General Quotes

It has been objected also against a bill of rights, that, by enumerating particular exceptions to the grant of power, it would disparage those rights which were not placed in that enumeration, and it might follow by implication, that those rights which were not singled out, were intended to be assigned into the hands of the general government, and were consequently insecure. This is one of the most plausible arguments I have ever heard urged against the admission of a bill of rights into this system; but, I conceive, that may be guarded against. I have attempted it, as gentlemen may see by turning to the last clause of the 4th resolution

James Madison

An elective despotism was not the government we fought for, but one which should not only be founded on true free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among general bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others

Thomas Jefferson

If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions.

James Madison

That the General Assembly of Virginia, doth unequivocally express a firm resolution to maintain and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of this State, against every aggression either foreign or domestic ... That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact, to which the states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact; as no further valid than they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that in case of deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.

James Madison

With respect to the two words "general welfare," I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators. If the words obtained so readily a place in the "Articles of Confederation," and received so little notice in their admission into the present Constitution, and retained for so long a time a silent place in both, the fairest explanation is, that the words, in the alternative of meaning nothing or meaning everything, had the former meaning taken for granted

James Madison

A general must be a charlatan.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Unhappy the general who comes on the field of battle with a system.

Napoleon Bonaparte

It is often in the audacity, in the steadfastness, of the general that the safety and the conservation of his men is found.

Napoleon Bonaparte

A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inferences

Thomas Jefferson

History, in general, only informs us what bad government is

Thomas Jefferson

In general my children refuse to eat anything that hasn't danced on television.

Erma Bombeck

At that time, there was general agreement among everyone involved in womens liberation that women should have a defined sexual self-interest.


How many times, have I had to seat women whom I received at audiences next to me, rather than facing me, in order to avoid general embarrassment? Nothing should compel us to suffer such trials. It puts the nerves of men and the modesty of women to a severe test.

Habib Bourguiba

My general attitude to life is to enjoy every minute of every day. I never do anything with a feeling of, Oh God, I've got to do this today.

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson

The general rule of law is, that the noblest of human productions -- knowledge, truths ascertained, conceptions, and ideas -- become, after voluntary communication to others, free as the air to common use.

Louis Dembitz Brandeis

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