Quotes to Learn From Our Founding Fathers
By Susan Steffen-Kraft
Patrick Henry, American colonial revolutionary
The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
Patrick Henry to the Virginia House of Burgesses, 1775
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!
We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall hang separately!
It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government.
Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster, and what has happened once in 6000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.
We the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts–not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
“There! His Majesty can now read my name without glasses. And he can double the reward on my head!”
Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few … No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. – James Madison
"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse,
intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over
governments by controlling money and its issuance."
President James Madison
Not a place upon earth might be so happy as America. Her situation is remote from all the wrangling world, and she has nothing to do but to trade with them.
Thomas Paine (1776)
I have ever deemed it fundamental for the United States never to take active part in the quarrels of Europe. Their political interests are entirely distinct from ours. Their mutual jealousies, their balance of power, their complicated alliances, their forms and principles of government, are all foreign to us. They are nations of eternal war.
Thomas Jefferson (1823)
Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.
It is in the interest of tyrants to reduce the people to ignorance and vice. For they cannot live in any country where virtue and knowledge prevail.
It is no dishonor to be in a minority in the cause of liberty and virtue
John Adams, letter to H. Niles, February 13,1818
The government must be a weak one indeed, if it should forget that the good of the whole can only be promoted by advancing the good of each of the parts or members which compose the whole.
John Jay The Federalist Papers Federalist No. 64
Date: March 5, 1788
I consider knowledge to be the soul of a republic, and as the weak and wicked are generally in alliance, as much care should be taken to diminish the number of the former as of that latter. Education is the way to do this, and nothing should be left undone to afford all ranks of people that means of obtaining a proper degree of it at a cheap and easy rate.
John Jay to Benjamin Rush - March 21, 1785
No power on earth has a right to take our property from us without our consent. John Jay
When a government betrays the people by amassing too much power and becoming tyrannical, the people have no choice but to exercise their original right of self-defense — to fight the government.
National honor is the national property of the highest value. James Monroe
In the wars of the European powers in matters relating to themselves we have never taken any part, not does it comport with our policy so to do. It is only when our rights are invaded or seriously menaced that we resent injuries or make preparation for our defense.
“At no period of our political existence had we so much cause to felicitate ourselves at the prosperous and happy condition of our country.”
Give all the power to the many, they will oppress the few. Give all the power to the few, they will oppress the many.
It has been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity.
Comment from Susan:
I love reading the quotes from these intelligent men who founded our country. We can learn so much and there are so many more quotes it would fill a book ....a huge one. Sadly, we have not heeded their wisdom and if they could see this country today they would be ashamed of what we have allowed. The ignorance of people in not following their wisdom and appreciating their sacrifices is very sad indeed. You are here in this country because of their actions or this country would not exist today. They rebelled and fought their own country; Great Britain and their king, King George. You owe them so much and all I see from so many is non-appreciation and whining for more and more and more. Get over it and be grateful and that goes for today's government also. They certainly want more and more and more from We the People. That is not the way it was suppose to be.