Algernon Sidney

Algernon Sidney
Algernon Sidney
  • Born: January 15, 1623
  • Died: December 8, 1683
  • Nationality: English
  • Profession: Politician









Algernon Sidney or Sydney was an English politician and member of the middle part of the Long Parliament. A republican political theorist, colonel, and commissioner of the trial of King Charles I of England, he opposed the king's execution. Sidney was later charged with plotting against Charles II, in part based on his most famous work, Discourses Concerning Government, used by the prosecution as a witness at his trial. He was executed for treason. After his death, Sidney was revered as a "Whig patriot–hero and martyr".

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All human constitutions are subject to corruption and must perish unless they are timely renewed and reduced to their first principles. Constitution / Bills & Declarations of Rights
Commonly they must use their feet for defense whose only weapon is their tongue. Defense & National Security
I am persuaded to believe that God had left nations to the liberty of setting up such governments as best pleased themselves, and that magistrates were set up for the good of nations, not nations for the honor and glory of magistrates. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Monarchy is in itself irrational, evil government, unless over those who are naturally beasts and slaves. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
That which is not just, is not Law; and that which is not Law, ought not to be obeyed. Justice & Injustice
There is a rich and haughty King who is blessed with such neighbours as are not likely to disturb him and has nothing to fear from his miserable subjects; but the whole body of that state is full of boils and wounds and putrid sores. There is no real strength in it. The people are so unwilling to serve him that he is said to have put to death above fourscore thousand of his own soldiers within the space of fifteen years for flying from their colours, and if he were vigorously attacked, little help could be expected from a discontented nobility or a starving and despairing people. Management & Managing Government
Those who have no sense of right, reason or religion, have a natural propensity to make use of their strength to the destruction of such as are weaker than they. Power
We live in an age that makes truth pass for treason. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
We need no other proof . . . than what we have seen in our own country, where in a few years good discipline and a just encouragement given to those who did well, produced more examples of pure, complete, incorruptible, and invincible virtue than Rome or Greece could ever boast Development & Growth
A general presumption that Icings will govern well, is not a sufficient security to the People... those who subjected themselves to the will of a man were governed by a beast.
All the nations they had to deal with, had the same fate.
Everyone sees they cannot well live asunder, nor many together, without some rule to which all must submit.
Fruits are always of the same nature with the seeds and roots from which they come, and trees are known by the fruits they bear: as a man begets a man, and a beast a beast, that society of men which constitutes a government upon the foundation of justice. Society ;Nature ;Government
God leaves to Man the choice of Forms in Government; and those who constitute one Form, may abrogate it. Religion & God ;Government
If vice and corruption prevail, liberty cannot subsist; but if virtue have the advantage, arbitrary power cannot be established. Power
Laws and constitutions ought to be weighed... to constitute that which is most conducing to the establishment of justice and liberty.
Liars need to have good memories.
Liberty cannot be preserved, if the manners of the people are corrupted.
Many things are unknown to the wisest, and the best men can never wholly divest themselves of passions and affections... nothing can or ought to be permanent but that which is perfect.
No right can come by conquest, unless there were a right of making that conquest.
Such as have reason, understanding, or common sense, will, and ought to make use of it in those things that concern themselves and their posterity, and suspect the words of such as are interested in deceiving or persuading them not to see with their own eyes.
That is the best Government, which best provides for war. Government ;War & Peace
The best Governments of the World have bin composed of Monarchy, Aristocracy, and Democracy.
The common Notions of Liberty are not from School Divines, but from Nature. Nature
The general revolt of a Nation cannot be called a Rebellion.
The truth is, man is hereunto led by reason which is his nature. Truth ;Nature
There may be a hundred thousand men in an army, who are all equally free; but they only are naturally most fit to be commanders or leaders, who most excel in the virtues required for the right performance of those offices.
This submission is a restraint of liberty, but could be of no effect as to the good intended, unless it were general; nor general, unless it were natural.
'Tis hard to comprehend how one man can come to be master of many, equal to himself in right, unless it be by consent or by force.
To depend upon the Will of a Man is Slavery.
Who will wear a shoe that hurts him, because the shoe-maker tells him 'tis well made?

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