Famous Quotes on Liberty

“Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say ‘what should be the reward of such sacrifices?’ Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship and plough, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!”

—Samuel Adams
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But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.

John Adams
July 17, 1775
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I Pray Heaven to Bestow The Best of Blessing on THIS HOUSE, and on ALL that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under This Roof!

John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, November 2, 1800
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Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.

John Adams, Defense of the Constitutions, 1787
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If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute.
Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791
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But as the plan of the convention aims only at a partial union or consolidation, the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not, by that act, EXCLUSIVELY delegated to the United States.
Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 32, January 3, 1788
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Here sir, the people govern.
Alexander Hamilton, speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, June 17, 1788
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A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate.
Thomas Jefferson, Rights of British America, 1774
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Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.
Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 14, 1781
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But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years.
Thomas Jefferson, September 6, 1789
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And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever.
Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 18, 1781
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A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate.
Thomas Jefferson, Rights of British America, 1774
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I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Benjamin Rush, September 23, 1800
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