Government Quotes

That no free government, or the blessing of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles

George Mason

the true theory of our Constitution is surely the wisest and best . . . (for) when all government . . . shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as . . . oppressive as the government from which we separated

Thomas Jefferson

The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants

Thomas Jefferson

We must confine ourselves to the powers described in the Constitution, and the moment we pass it, we take an arbitrary stride towards a despotic Government

James Jackson

All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree

James Madison

We still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping at the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised to furnish new pretenses for revenue and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without a tribute

Thomas Paine

That the principle and construction contended for by sundry of the state legislatures, that the general government is the exclusive judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it, stop nothing short of despotism; since the discretion of those who administer the government, and not the constitution, would be the measure of their powers: That the several states who formed that instrument, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction; and that a nullification, by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done under colour of that instrument, is the rightful remedy.

Thomas Jefferson

It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress

Mark Twain

If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that, if it is comfort or money it values more, it will lose that too

William Somerset Maughan

It is sufficiently obvious, that persons and property are the two great subjects on which Governments are to act; and that the rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted. These rights cannot be separated

James Madison

When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated

Thomas Jefferson

Every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact casus non faederis to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits. Without this right, they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whosoever might exercise this right of judgment for them

Thomas Jefferson

The only greater evil than separation... is living under a government of discretion

Thomas Jefferson

The purpose of a written constitution is to bind up the several branches of government by certain laws, which, when they transgress, their acts shall become nullities; to render unnecessary an appeal to the people, or in other words a rebellion, on every infraction of their rights, on the peril that their acquiescence shall be construed into an intention to surrender those rights.

Thomas Jefferson

Whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force

Thomas Jefferson

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Updated On : June 10, 2014
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