A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to Farce, or a Tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance. and a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.
What spectacle can be more edifying or more seasonable than that of Liberty and Learning, each leaning on the other for their natural and surest support.
Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects
The Constitution of the United States was created by the people of the United States composing the respective states, who alone had the right .
The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms
The American people are too well schooled in the duty and practice of submitting to the will of the majority to permit any serious uneasiness on that account
Experience has proved that the real danger to America and to liberty lies in the defect of energy and stability in the present establishment of the United States
A standing army is one of the greatest mischief that can possibly happen
In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.
I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.
Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation
What prudent merchant will hazard his fortunes in any new branch of commerce when he knows not that his plans may be rendered unlawful before they can be executed?
Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.
A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained in arms, is the best most natural defense of a free country.
The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.
In Republics, the great danger is, that the majority may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority
Learned institutions ought to be favorite objects with every free people. They throw that light over the public mind which is the best security against crafty and dangerous encroachments on the public liberty.
And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together
Experience is the oracle of truth; and where its responses are unequivocal, they ought to be conclusive and sacred
A good government implies two things: fidelity to the object of government, which is the happiness of the people; secondly, a knowledge of the means by which that object can be best attained
Each generation should be made to bear the burden of its own wars, instead of carrying them on, at the expense of other generations
Strongly guarded as is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history
The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.
The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived