Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
  • Born: January 11, 1755
  • Died: July 12, 1804
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Politician

164

Quotes

134

Citations

405

Concepts

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Alexander Hamilton was an American statesman and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was an influential interpreter and promoter of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the founder of the nation's financial system, the Federalist Party, the United States Coast Guard, and the New York Post newspaper. As the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton was the main author of the economic policies of George Washington's administration. He took the lead in the Federal government's funding of the states' debts, as well as establishing a national bank, a system of tariffs, and friendly trade relations with Britain. His vision included a strong central government led by a vigorous executive branch, a strong commercial economy, a national bank and support for manufacturing, and a strong military. Thomas Jefferson was his leading opponent, arguing for agrarianism and smaller government.

Quotes About
Author Quote
Aaron Burr Conscience? Great souls do not worry themselves with such little details
Daniel Webster He smote the rock of the national resources, and abundant streams of revenue gushed forth. He touched the dead corpse of Public Credit, and it sprung upon its feet.
Nathanael Greene There is no such thing as National character or National Sentiment. The Inhabitants are from all quarters of the globe; and as various in their opinions, projects and schemes, as their manners and habits are from their early education.
Nathanael Greene At Philadelphia and all my journey through the Country, I endeavored to impress upon those in power the necessity of sending clothing and supplies of every kind immediately to this Army. But poverty was urged as a plea or bar to every application. They all promised fair; but I fear will do but little: ability is wanting with some and inclination with others. Public credit is so totally lost, that private people will not give their aid, though they see themselves involved in one common ruin.
Henry Adams … the most dramatic moment in the early politics of the Union.
John Adams The bastard brat of a Scotch pedlar.
John Jay ... a measure for party purposes which it would not become me to adopt.
Thomas Jefferson ... a tissue of machinations against the liberties of the country.
Thomas Johnson ... the gentleman from New York has been praised by everybody, he has been supported by none.
William Maclay … a damnable villain
Edmund Morgan (historian) Our society today is much more Hamiltonian than Jeffersonian.
George Will The American people are rhetorically Jeffersonian and operationally Hamiltonian.
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand The United States bonds are safe and free from reverses. They have been funded in such a sound manner and the prosperity of the country is growing so rapidly that there is no doubt of their solvency.
John Adams Alexander Hamilton is a man devoid of every moral principle.
Willard Sterne Randall After the American Revolution Alexander Hamilton wanted to study law, but there were no law books. So Hamilton wrote them.
Martha Dandridge Custis Washington Alexander Hamilton
Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
... erred in relying so much on the rectitude and utility of their measures as to have neglected the cultivation of popular favor by fair and justifiable expedients. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
[Impeachment is a] method of national inquest into the conduct of public men. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
[The Electoral College] affords a moral certainty that the office of the Presidency will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
[The new Federal Government] would either triumph over the state governments and reduce them to entire subordination or in the course of a few years … the contests about the boundaries of power between the particular [State] governments and the general government … will produce a dissolution of the union. Intergovernmental Relations
[Thomas Jefferson] whom I once very much esteemed but who does not permit me to retain that sentiment for him is certainly a man of sublimated and paradoxical imagination, entertaining and propagating notions inconsistent with dignified and orderly government. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
… a degeneracy of representation in the great council of America .… Many members of it are no doubt men in every respect, fit for the trust, but this cannot be said of it as a body. Folly, caprice a want of foresight, comprehension and dignity, characterize the general tenor of their actions…. Their conduct with respect to the army especially is feeble indecisive and improvident Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
… the origin of all civil government, justly established, must be a voluntary compact, between the rulers and the ruled; and must be liable to such limitations, as are necessary for the security of the absolute rights of the latter; for what original title can any man or set of men have, to govern others, except their own consent? Democracies & Republics
…his politics are tinctured with fanaticism, that he is too much in earnest in his democracy…. he is a contemptible hypocrite. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
A feeble executive implies a feeble execution of government. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
A man of irregular and insatiable ambition ...who ought not be trusted with the reins of government Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
A national debt is the price of liberty. Budgets & Budgeting
A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing. Budgets & Budgeting
a political machine of the greatest importance of the state. Political Parties & Machines
A power over a man's subsistence amounts to a power over his will. Power
A power to regulate trade, is a power to make all needful rules and regulations concerning trade. Why may it not, then, include that of erecting a trading company, as well as, in other cases, to erect a government ? Regulation & Deregulation
A well-constituted court for the trial of impeachments is an object not more to be desired than difficult to be obtained in a government wholly elective. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
All communities divide ... into the few and the many. The 1st are the rich and well-born; the other are the mass of the people [who are] ... turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right. Give, therefore to the 1st class a distinct, permanent share in the government. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Almost certainly there will be vicious wars between the states. War & Peace
An unrestrained intercourse between the States themselves will advance the trade of each. Business, Commerce & Finance
Ardent spirits [injured] the health, morals [and] economy of the community. Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs
As a general rule, government manufactories . . . are to be avoided. Gunmaking is the great exception to this rule. Such establishments are agreeable to the usual practice of Nations and that practice seems founded on sufficient reason. It makes little sense to leave these essential instruments of national defense to the casual speculations of individual adventure. Guns are not objects of ordinary and indispensable private consumption or use. Guns & Gun Control
As to [Aaron] Burr, there is nothing in his favour … he is bankrupt beyond redemption except by the plunder of his country. His public principles have no other spring or aim than his own aggrandizement…. He is truly the Cataline of America. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Colonel Laurens … is on his way to South Carolina, on a project which I think, in the present situation of affairs there, is a very good one, and deserves every kind of support and encouragement. This is, to raise two, three, or four battalions of negroes, with the assistance of the government of that State, by contributions from the owners, in proportion to the number they possess …. I have not the least doubt, that the negroes will make very excellent soldiers with proper management: and I will venture to pronounce, that they cannot be put in better hands than those of Mr. Laurens. Military & Veterans ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
Constitutions should consist only of general provisions; the reason is that they must necessarily be permanent, and that they cannot calculate for the possible change of things. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
Decision, activity, secrecy and dispatch will characterize the proceedings of one man in a much more eminent degree than the proceedings of any greater number and in proportion as the number is increased. Management & Managing Government
Energy in the executive is a leading character in the definition of a good government. Energy ;Management & Managing Government
Energy in the Executive is a leading character of good government. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
England is the model from which impeachment has been borrowed. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
Form such a national government that we think best adapted for the good of the whole. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
Had the rest of America passively looked on, while a sister colony was subjugated, the same fate would gradually have overtaken all. The safety of the whole depends upon the mutual protection of every part. If the sword of oppression be permitted to lop off one limb without opposition, reiterated strokes will soon dismember the whole body. Hence it was the duty and interest of all the colonies to succor and support the one which was suffering. Miscellaneous
he will become a malcontent and possibly espouse and give additional weight to the opposition to the Government . Political Parties & Machines
His [President John Adams] administration has already very materially disgraced and sunk the government. There are defects in his character which must inevitably continue to do this more and more. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Humanity and good policy conspire to dictate, that the benign prerogative of pardoning should be as little as possible fettered or embarrassed. The criminal code of every country partakes so much of necessary severity, that without an easy access to exceptions in favor of unfortunate guilt, justice would wear a countenance too sanguinary and cruel. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights ;Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership ;Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
I dread the reveries of you philosophic politicians. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I expect to be told that the militia of the country is its natural bulwark, and would be at all times equal to the national defense. This doctrine, in substance, had like to have lost us our independence. . . . The facts which, from our own experience, forbid a reliance of this kind, are too recent to permit us to be dupes of such a suggestion Military & Veterans
I never expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
I sincerely wish ingratitude was not so natural to the human heart as it is. Human Nature
I suggest that the executive appoint or nominate the Judges to the Senate which should have the right of rejecting or approving.
If government is in the hands of the few, they will tyrannize the many; if in the hands of the many, they will tyrannize over the few. It ought to be in the hands of both, and they should be separated.... They will need a mutual check. This check is a monarch. Power
If it would be necessary to bring proof to a proposition so clear, as that which affirms that the powers of the federal government, as to its objects, were sovereign, there is a clause of its Constitution which would be decisive. It is that which declares that the Constitution, and the laws of the United States made in pursuance of it, and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority, shall be the serene law of the land. The power which can create the supreme law of the land in any case, is doubtless sovereign Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all forms of government. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two [the Constitution and legislation], that which has superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention of their agents. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place, oblige it to control itself. Miscellaneous
In politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution. Religion & God ;Political Parties & Machines ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
In the legislature promptitude of decision is oftener an evil than a benefit. Legislating & Legislative Process
is clothed with powers competent to calling for the resources of the community. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
Is it not natural that a man who is a candidate for the favor of the people, and who is dependant on the suffrages of his fellow-citizens for the continuation of his public honors, should take care to inform himself of their dispositions and inclinations…? This dependant [creates] strong chords of sympathy between the Representative and the constituent. Voters, Voting & Elections
Is it not time to awaken from the deceitful dream of a golden age and to adopt a practical maxim for the direction of our political conduct that we, as well as the other inhabitants of the globe, are yet remote from the happy empire of perfect wisdom and perfect virtue? Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
It (lifetime appointment of judges) is the best expedient which can be devised in any government, to secure a steady, upright, and impartial administration of the laws.
It equally proves, that though individual oppression may now and then proceed from the courts of justice, the general liberty of the people can never be endangered from that quarter; I mean so long as the judiciary remains truly distinct from both the legislature and the Executive. For I agree, that "there is no liberty, if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers." And it proves, in the last place, that as liberty can have nothing to fear from the judiciary alone, but would have every thing to fear from its union with either of the other departments… Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
It is a curious phenomenon in political history that a measure which has elevated the credit of the country from a state of absolute prostration to a state of exalted preeminence, should bring upon the authors of it obloquy and reproach. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
It is an invariable maxim, that every acquisition of foreign territory is at the absolute disposal of the King. [And not to Parliament.] Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
It is easy to sacrifice the substantial interests of society by a strict adherence to ordinary rules. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
It is impossible to foresee or define the extent and variety of national exigencies, or the correspondent extent and variety of the means which may be necessary to satisfy them. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
It is impossible to foresee or define the extent and variety of national exigencies. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
It is long since I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value. Public Opinion & Polling
It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. Justice & Injustice
It is to be acknowledged that there is even a certain degree of truth in the reasoning of both sides. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
It may be truly said of every government, as well as of that of the United States, that it has only a right to pass such laws as are necessary and proper to accomplish the objects entrusted to it. For no government has a right to do merely what it pleases Legislating & Legislative Process
It may safely be received as an axiom in our political system that the state governments will in all possible contingencies afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority. Intergovernmental Relations
Jefferson would tumble the financial system of the country into ruin at one stroke and cause universal bankruptcy and beggary Mr. Jefferson hated the Constitution [and] pledged to subvert it. Every vessel which floated from our shores would be plundered or captured Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Jurors should acquit, even against the judge's instruction . . . if exercising their judgment with discretion and honesty they have a clear conviction the charge of the court is wrong Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Jurors should acquit, even against the judge's instruction . . . if exercising their judgment with discretion and honesty they have a clear conviction the charge of the court is wrong. Justice & Injustice
Let the Executive [the President] also be for life. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others. Hope ;War & Peace ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Many internal improvements of primary magnitude might be promoted by an authority operating throughout the Union which cannot be effected as well, if at all, by the authority confirmed within the limits of a single state. Development & Growth ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;Public Works & Natural Resources
Men will pursue their interest. It is as easy to change human nature as to oppose the strong current of selfish passions. A wise legislature will gently divert the channel, and direct it, if possible, to the public good. Legislating & Legislative Process
Momentary passions and immediate interests have a more active and imperious control over human conduct than general or remote considerations of policy, utility or justice. Policy & Policy Making
Money is, with propriety, considered as the vital principle of the body politic; as that which sustains its life and motion, and enables it to perform its most essential functions. A complete power, therefore, to procure a regular and adequate supply of it, as far as the resources of the community will permit may be regarded as an indispensable ingredient in every constitution. Money, Coins & Minting
Money is, with propriety, considered as the vital principle of the body politic; as that which sustains its life and motion, and enables it to perform its most essential functions. A complete power, therefore, to procure a regular and adequate supply of it, as far as the resources of the community will permit, may be regarded as an indispensable ingredient in every constitution. Taxes
Nations in general, even under governments of the more popular kind, usually commit the administration of their finances to single men or to boards composed of a few individuals, who digest and prepare, in the first instance, the plans of taxation, which are afterwards passed into laws by the authority of the sovereign or legislature. Management & Managing Government
No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
Not only the wealth; but the independence and security of a Country, appear to be materially connected with the prosperity of manufactures. Business, Commerce & Finance
Nothing but a permanent body can check the imprudence of democracy. Democracies & Republics
Nothing is more fallacious than to expect to produce any valuable or permanent results in political projects by relying merely on the reason of men. Men are ... for the most part governed by the impulses of passion. Human Nature
Novelty even is useful if a general opinion prevails that the old way is bad. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
Now I must defend with my blood the ideas that have come from my pen. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Our countrymen have all the folly of the ass and all the passiveness of the sheep .... They are determined not to be free. Freedom & Liberty
Our real disease ... is democracy. Democracies & Republics
Power over a man's support is a power over his will. Power
Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments. Freedom & Liberty
Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Defense & National Security
Shall the majority govern or be governed? Shall the nation rule or be ruled? Shall the general will prevail, or the will of a faction? Shall there be government or no government? Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Take mankind in general; they are vicious, their passions may be operated upon. Miscellaneous
Tell them from ME at MY request, for God’s sake, to cease these conversations and threatenings about the separation of the Union. It must hang together as long as it can be made to. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
The ancient democracies, in which the people themselves deliberated, never possessed one feature of good government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure, deformity. When they assembled, the field of debate presented an ungovernable mob, not only incapable of deliberation, but prepared for every enormity. Democracies & Republics
The Constitution is itself in every rational sense, and to every useful purpose, A BILL OF RIGHTS. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
The contempt we have been taught to entertain for the blacks, makes us fancy many things that are founded neither in reason nor experience Discrimination & Prejudice
The Criminal Code of every country partakes so much of necessary severity that without an easy access to exceptions it in favor of unfortunate guilt, justice would wear it a countenance too sanguinary and cruel. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The cultivation of the earth, as the primary and most certain source of national supply ... has intrinsically a strong claim to pre-eminence over every other kind of industry.
The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of the consent of the people. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
The history of human conduct does not warrant that exalted opinion of human virtue which would make it wise in a nation to commit interests of so delicate and momentous a kind as those which concern its intercourse with the rest of the world to the sole disposal of a magistrate, created and circumstanced, as would be a President of the United States. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The idea of an actual representation of all classes of the people, by persons of each class, is altogether visionary. Unless it were expressly provided in the Constitution, that each different occupation should send one or more members, the thing would never take place in practice. Mechanics and manufacturers will always be inclined, with few exceptions, to give their votes to merchants, in preference to persons of their own professions or trades. Those discerning citizens are well aware that the mechanic and manufacturing arts furnish the materials of mercantile enterprise and industry. Many of them, indeed, are immediately connected with the operations of commerce. They know that the merchant is their natural patron and friend; and they are aware, that however great the confidence they may justly feel in their own good sense, their interests can be more effectually promoted by the merchant than by themselves. They are sensible that their habits in life have not been such as to give them those acquired endowments, without which, in a deliberative assembly, the greatest natural abilities are for the most part useless; and that the influence and weight, and superior acquirements of the merchants render them more equal to a contest with any spirit which might happen to infuse itself into the public councils, unfriendly to the manufacturing and trading interests Voters, Voting & Elections
The idea of restraining the Legislative authority [by the constitution], in the means of providing for the national defense, is one of those refinements, which owe their origin for a zeal for liberty more ardent than enlightened. Defense & National Security
The inflexible and uniform adherence to the rights of the constitution and of individuals, which we perceive to be indispensable in the courts of justice, can certainly not be expected from judges who hold their offices by a temporary commission. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The institution of a bank has also a natural relation to the regulation of trade between the States, in so far as it is conducive to the creation of a convenient medium of exchange between them, and to the keeping up a full circulation, by preventing the frequent displacement of the metals in reciprocal remittances Money is the very hinge on which commerce turns. And this does not merely mean gold and silver; many other things have served the purpose, with different degrees of utility. Paper has been extensively employed. Business, Commerce & Finance ;Money, Coins & Minting
The institution of a bank has also a natural relation to the regulation of trade between the States, in so far as it is conducive to the creation of a convenient medium of exchange between them, and to the keeping up a full circulation, by preventing the frequent displacement of the metals in reciprocal remittances Money is the very hinge on which commerce turns. And this does not merely mean gold and silver; many other things have served the purpose, with different degrees of utility. Paper has been extensively employed. Money, Coins & Minting
The interest of the State is in intimate connection with those of the rich individuals belonging to it. Lobbying & Special Interests
The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts. A constitution, is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention of their agents. Nor does this conclusion by any means suppose a superiority of the judicial to the legislative power. It only supposes that the power of the people is superior to both; and that where the will of the legislature, declared in its statutes, stands in opposition to that of the people, declared in the Constitution, the judges ought to be governed by the latter rather than the former. They ought to regulate their decisions by the fundamental laws, rather than by those which are not fundamental
The judicial branch of the government is the least dangerous because … it has no influence over either the sword or the purse. Intergovernmental Relations
The moral character of Jefferson was repulsive. Continually pulling about liberty, equality and the degrading curse of slavery, he brought his own children to the hammer, and made money of his debaucheries. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
The necessities of a nation in every stage of its existence will be found at least equal to its resources. Bureaucracy
The passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint. Human Nature
The people can never err more than in supporting that by multiplying their representatives beyond a certain limit, they strengthen the barrier against the government of a few. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The people should choose whom they please to govern them. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The President is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States…In this respect his authority would be nominally the same with that of the king of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces…while that of the British king extends to the DECLARING of war and to the RAISING and REGULATING of fleets and armies, all [of] which, by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
The right of erecting corporations is one inherent in, and inseparable from, the idea of sovereign power. Miscellaneous
The rights of neutrality will only be respected when they are defended by an adequate power. A nation, despicable by its weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral. Defense & National Security
The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature by the hand of the divinity itself and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power. Every new scene, which is opened to the busy nature of man and rouse and exert itself, is the addition of a new energy to the general stock of effort. Miscellaneous
The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power. Human Nature
The spirit of commerce has a tendency to soften the manners of men and to extinguish those inflammable humors which have so often kindled into wars. Foreign Trade
The spirit of moderation in a state of overbearing power is a phenomenon which has not yet appeared, and which no wise man will expect ever to see. Power
The system is the best that the present views and circumstances of the country will permit. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
The vast importance of the trust, and the operations of treaties as laws, plead strongly for the participation . . . of the legislative body in the office of making them . . . It must indeed be clear to a demonstration that the joint possession of the power in question, by the President and Senate, would afford a greater prospect of security, than the separate possession of it by either of them Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
There are certain emergencies of nations, in which expedients, that in the ordinary state of things ought to be forborne, become essential to the public weal. Management & Managing Government
There can be no truer principle than this—that every individual of the community at large has an equal right to the protection of government. Equality & Equal Opportunity
There is no liberty, if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
There is such a hostility against the military by the Congress that the nation does not deserve the loyalty of any officer. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
This man [Aaron Burr] has no principles, public or private. As a politician, his sole spring of action is an inordinate ambition. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
To attach full confidence to an institution of this nature, it appears to be an essential ingredient in its structure that it shall be under a private direction—under the guidance of individual interest, not of public policy. Miscellaneous
To oblige the great body of the yeomanry and of the other classes of the citizens to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people and a serious public inconvenience and loss. Military & Veterans
To reverse and undo what has been done by a predecessor, is very often considered by a successor as the best proof he can give of his own capacity. Leaders & Leadership
We must take man as we find him, and if we expect him to serve the public we must interest his passions in doing so. Human Nature
We suppose mankind more honest than they are. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
What is the liberty of the press? Who can give it any definition that would not leave the utmost latitude for evasion …. Its [the press's] security … must altogether depend on public opinion. Freedom & Liberty
When ... the interests of the people are at variance with their inclinations, it is the duty of the persons they have appointed to be the guardians of those interests, to withstand the temporary delusion, in order to give them time and opportunity for more cool and sedate reflection. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Whenever the Government appears in arms it ought to appear a Hercules, and inspire respect by the display of strength. Intergovernmental Relations ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
While property continues to be pretty equally divided, and a considerable share of information pervades the community, the tendency of people’s suffrage will be to elevate merit even from obscurity. As riches increase and accumulate in a few hands, as luxury prevails in society, virtue will be in greater degree considered only as a graceful appendage of wealth, and the tendency of things will be to depart from the republican standard. Equality & Equal Opportunity
Who can pretend that commercial imposts are, or would be, alone equal to the present and future exigencies of the Union? Taxes
Why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
With regard to the instalments of the foreign debt, these ... ought to be paid by new loans abroad. Budgets & Budgeting
Your people, sir, is nothing but a great beast! Public Opinion & Polling
A promise must never be broken.
A well adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous.
Even to observe neutrality you must have a strong government. Government
Here, sir, the people govern; here they act by their immediate representatives.
I never expect to see a perfect work from an imperfect man. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I think the first duty of society is justice. Society
In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself. Government
In the usual progress of things, the necessities of a nation in every stage of its existence will be found at least equal to its resources.
It is the advertiser who provides the paper for the subscriber. It is not to be disputed, that the publisher of a newspaper in this country, without a very exhaustive advertising support, would receive less reward for his labor than the humblest mechanic.
It's not tyranny we desire; it's a just, limited, federal government. Government
Learn to think continentally. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Men are rather reasoning than reasonable animals, for the most part governed by the impulse of passion.
Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike.
Nobody expects to trust his body overmuch after the age of fifty. Trust
Power over a man's subsistence is power over his will. Power
Real firmness is good for anything; strut is good for nothing.
Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
The honor of a nation is its life. Life
The inquiry constantly is what will please, not what will benefit the people. In such a government there can be nothing but temporary expedient, fickleness, and folly. Government
The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power. Nature ;Power
The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased. Nature
The voice of the people has been said to be the voice of God; and, however generally this maxim has been quoted and believed, it is not true to fact. The people are turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right. Religion & God
There are seasons in every country when noise and impudence pass current for worth; and in popular commotions especially, the clamors of interested and factious men are often mistaken for patriotism. Citizenship & Patriotism
There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism. Nature
To all general purposes we have uniformly been one people, each individual citizen everywhere enjoying the same national rights, privileges, and protection.
Unless your government is respectable, foreigners will invade your rights; and to maintain tranquillity, it must be respectable - even to observe neutrality, you must have a strong government. Government
When the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation.
Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of man will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint. Government
Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraint. Government
You should not have taken advantage of my sensibility to steal into my affections without my consent.