I think the first duty of society is justice.
Man is a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal.
There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.
Then the effort that I have made is what people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.
Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct.
Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. To be more safe, nations at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.
If the end be clearly comprehended within any of the specified powers, and if the measure have an obvious relation to that end, and is not forbidden by any particular provision of the Constitution, it may safely be deemed to come within the compass of the national authority.
It is presumable that no country will be able to borrow of foreigners upon better terms than the United States, because none can, perhaps, afford so good security.
The practice of arbitrary imprisonments have been, in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny.
Happy will it be for ourselves, and most honorable for human nature, if we have wisdom and virtue enough to set so glorious an example to mankind!
Has it not... invariably been found that momentary passions, and immediate interests, have a more active and imperious control over human conduct than general or remote considerations of policy, utility and justice?
Wherever indeed a right of property is infringed for the general good, if the nature of the case admits of compensation, it ought to be made; but if compensation be impracticable, that impracticability ought to be an obstacle to a clearly essential reform.
This process of election affords a moral certainty that the office of President will seldom fall to the lot of any many who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.
The natural cure for an ill-administration, in a popular or representative constitution, is a change of men.
The institution of delegated power implies that there is a portion of virtue and honor among mankind which may be a reasonable foundation of confidence.
In disquisitions of every kind there are certain primary truths, or first principles, upon which all subsequent reasoning must depend.
A struggle for liberty is in itself respectable and glorious... When conducted with magnanimity, justice and humanity, it ought to command the admiration of every friend to human nature. But if sullied by crimes and extravagancies, it loses its respectability.
The superiority...enjoyed by nations that have...perfected a branch of industry, constitutes a...formidable obstacle.
It is a general principle of human nature, that a man will be interested in whatever he possesses, in proportion to the firmness or precariousness of the tenure by which he holds it.
It is a general principle of human nature, that a man will be interested in whatever he possesses, in proportion to the firmness or precariousness of the tenure by which he holds it; will be less attached to what he holds by a momentary or uncertain title, than to what he enjoys by a durable or certain title; and, of course, will be willing to risk more for the sake of the one, than for the sake of the other.
Would they not fear that citizens not less tenacious than conscious of their rights would flock from the remotest extremes of their respective states to the places of election, to overthrow their tyrants, and to substitute men who would be disposed to avenge the violated majesty of the people?
The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE. The streams of national power ought to flow from that pure, original fountain of all legitimate authority.
By a steady adherence to the Union we may hope, erelong, to become the arbiter of Europe in America, and to be able to incline the balance of European competitions in this part of the world as our interest may dictate.
Every power vested in a government is in its nature sovereign, and includes by force of the term a right to employ all the means requisite ... to the attainment of the ends of such power.
To judge from the history of mankind, we shall be compelled to conclude, that the fiery and destructive passions of war, reign in the human breast, with much more powerful sway, than the mild and beneficent sentiments of peace.
A garden, you know, is a very usual refuge of a disappointed politician. Accordingly, I have purchased a few acres about nine miles from town, have built a house, and am cultivating a garden.
Measures which serve to abridge the free competition of foreign Articles, have a tendency to occasion an enhancement of prices.
No man ought certainly to be a judge in his own cause, or in any cause in respect to which he has the least interest or bias.
There is one transcendant advantage belonging to the province of the State governments ... -I mean the ordinary administration of criminal and civil justice.
When you assemble from your several counties in the Legislature, were every member to be guided only by the apparent interest of his county, government would be impracticable. There must be a perpetual accomodation and sacrifice of local advantage to general expediency.
The inquiry constantly is what will please, not what will benefit the people. In such a government there can be nothing but temporary expedient, fickleness, and folly.
A fondness for power is implanted in most men, and it is natural to abuse it when acquired.
A fondness for power is implanted in most men, and it is natural to abuse it when acquired. This maxim, drawn from the experience of all ages, makes it the height of folly to intrust any set of men with power which is not under every possible control; perpetual strides are made after more as long as there is any part withheld.
The standard of good behavior for the continuance in office of the judicial magistracy is certainly one of the most valuable of the modern improvements in the practice of government.
Its objects are CONTRACTS with foreign nations which have the force of law, but derive it from the obligations of good faith.
The changes in the human condition are uncertain and frequent. Many, on whom fortune has bestowed her favours, may trace their family to a more unprosperous station; and many who are now in obscurity, may look back upon the affluence and exalted rank of their ancestors.
In all very numerous assemblies, of whatever character composed, passion never fails to wrest the sceptre from reason. Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.
It may safely be received as an axiom in our political system, that the state governments will in all possible contingencies afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority.
Such a wife as I want... must be young, handsome I lay most stress upon a good shape, sensible a little learning will do, well-bread, chaste, and tender. As to religion, a moderate stock will satisfy me. She must believe in God and hate a saint.
Nothing is more natural to men in office, than to look with peculiar deference towards that authority to which they owe their official existence.
The truth is, after all the declamations we have heard, that the Constitution is itself, in every rational sense, and to every useful purpose, a Bill of Rights.
Of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants.
There is not a syllable in the plan under consideration which directly empowers the national courts to construe the laws according to the spirit of the Constitution.
Necessity, especially in politics, often occasions false hopes, false reasonings, and a system of measures, correspondingly erroneous.
For it is a truth, which the experience of all ages has attested, that the people are commonly most in danger when the means of insuring their rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion.
Were it not that it might require too long a discussion, it would not be difficult to demonstrate that a large and well-organized republic can scarcely lose its liberty from any other cause than that of anarchy, to which a contempt of the laws is the high-road.
The inhabitants of territories, often the theatre of war, are unavoidably subject to frequent infringements on their rights, which serve to weaken their sense of those rights; and by degrees, the people are brought to consider the soldiery not only as their protectors but as their superiors.
The Judicial Branch may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.
War, like most other things, is a science to be acquired and perfected by diligence, by perserverance, by time, and by practice.
I trust that the proposed Constitution afford a genuine specimen of representative government and republican government; and that it will answer, in an eminent degree, all the beneficial purposes of society.
I propose ... The conformity of the proposed Constitution to the true principles of republican government.
The desire of reward is one of the strongest incentives of human conduct; ... the best security for the fidelity of mankind is to make their interest coincide with their duty.
There are men who could neither be distressed nor won into a sacrifice of their duty; but this stern virtue is the growth of few soils: And in the main it will be found, that a power over a man's support is a power over his will.
Unless your government is respectable, foreigners will invade your rights; and to maintain tranquillity you must be respectable; even to observe neutrality you must have a strong government.
A republic of this kind, able to withstand an external force, may support itself without any internal corruptions. The form of this society prevents all manner of inconveniences.
The reasonableness of the agency of the national courts in cases in which the state tribunals cannot be supposed to be impartial, speaks for itself. No man ought certainly to be a judge in his own cause, or in any cause in respect to which he has the least interest or bias.
It was remarked yesterday that a numerous representation was necessary to obtain the confidence of the people. This is not generally true. The confidence of the people will easily be gained by a good administration. This is the true touchstone.
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.
Foreign influence is truly the Grecian horse to a republic. We cannot be too careful to exclude its influence.
For my part, I sincerely esteem the Constitution, a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests.
And as the vicissitudes of Nations beget a perpetual tendency to the accumulation of debt, there ought to be in every government a perpetual, anxious, and unceasing effort to reduce that, which at any times exists, as fast as shall be practicable consistently with integrity and good faith.
The local interest of a State ought in every case to give way to the interests of the Union. For when a sacrifice of one or the other is necessary, the former becomes only an apparent, partial interest, and should yield, on the principle that the smaller good ought never to oppose the greater good.
The awful discretion, which a court of impeachments must necessarily have, to doom to honor or to infamy the most confidential and the most distinguished characters of the community, forbids the commitment of the trust to a small number of persons.
These are not vague inferences ... but they are solid conclusions drawn from the natural and necessary progress of human affairs.
It is far more rational to suppose that the courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the people and the legislature, in order, among other things, to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their authority.
I have a tender reliance on the mercy of the Almighty, through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am a sinner. I look to Him for mercy; pray for me.
The law... dictated by God Himself is, of course, superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times. No human laws are of any validity if contrary to this.
If government is in the hands of the few, they will tyrannize the many; if in the hands of the many, they will tyrannize over the few. It ought to be in the hands of both, and be separated...they will need a mutual check. This check is a monarch.
These powers ought to exist without limitation, because it is impossible to foresee or to define the extent and variety of national exigencies, and the correspondent extent and variety of the means which may be necessary to satisfy them.
Though a wide ocean separates the United States from Europe, yet there are various considerations that warn us against an excess of confidence or security.
This power ought to be coextensive with all the possible combinations of such circumstances; and ought to be under the direction of the same councils which are appointed to preside over the common defense.
When men, engaged in unjustifiable pursuits, are aware that obstructions may come from a quarter which bare apprehension of opposition from doing what they would with eagerness rush into if no such external impediments were to be feared.
A government, the constitution of which renders it unfit to be trusted with all the powers which a free people ought to delegate to any government, would be an unsafe and improper depositary of the NATIONAL INTERESTS.
The same state of the passions which fits the multitude, who have not a sufficient stock of reason and knowledge to guide them, for opposition to tyranny and oppression, very naturally leads them to a contempt and disregard of all authority.
Establish that a Government may decline a provision for its debts, though able to make it, and you overthrow all public morality, you unhinge all the principles that must preserve the limits of free constitutions.
The idea of governing at all times by the simple force of law (which we have been told is the only admissible principle of republican government) has no place but in the reveries of those political doctors whose sagacity disdains the admonitions of experimental instruction.
Remember civil and religious liberty always go together: if the foundation of the one be sapped, the other will fall of course.
The powers contained in a constitution...ought to be construed liberally in advancement of the public good.
It is a just observation that the people commonly intend the Public Good. This often applies to their very errors. But their good sense would despise the adulator who should pretend they always reason right about the means of promoting it.
A government ought to contain in itself every power requisite to the full accomplishment of the objects committed to its care, and to the complete execution of the trusts for which it is responsible, free from every other control but a regard to the public good and to the sense of the people.
It is the Press which has corrupted our political morals -- and it is to the Press we must look for the means of our political regeneration.
If there are such things as political axioms, the propriety of the judicial power of a government being co-extensive with its legislative, may be ranked among the number.
The propriety of a law, in a constitutional light, must always be determined by the nature of the powers upon which it is founded.
The same rule that teaches the propriety of a partition between the various branches of power, teaches us likewise that this partition ought to be so contrived as to render the one independent of the other.
CREDIT supposes specific and permanent funds for the punctual payment of interest, with a moral certainty of a final redemption of the principal.
A habit of labor in the people is as essential to the health and rigor of their minds and bodies as it is conducive to the welfare of the state.
Government implies the power of making laws. It is essential to the idea of a law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience.
But as the plan of the convention aims only at a partial union or consolidation, the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not, by that act, EXCLUSIVELY delegated to the United States.
I would die to preserve the law upon a solid foundation; but take away liberty, and the foundation is destroyed.
An over-scrupulous jealousy of danger to the rights of the people, which is more commonly the fault of the head than of the heart, will be represented as mere pretense and artifice, the stale bait for popularity at the expense of the public good.
There is at this present juncture, a certain fermentation of mind, a certain activity of speculation and enterprise which if properly directed may be made subservient to useful purposes; but which if left entirely to itself, may be attended with pernicious effects.
The Courts must declare the sense of the law; and if they should be disposed to exercise will instead of judgement; the consequences would be the substitution of their pleasure for that of the legislative body.
The truth unquestionably is, that the only path to a subversion of the republican system of the Country is, by flattering the prejudices of the people, and exciting their jealousies and apprehensions, to throw affairs into confusion, and bring on civil commotion.
The only constitutional exception to the power of making treaties is, that it shall not change the Constitution.… On natural principles, a treaty, which should manifestly betray or sacrifice primary interests of the state, would be null.
A treaty cannot be made which alters the Constitution of the country, or which infringes and express exceptions to the power of the Constitution.
After an unequivocal experience of the inefficacy of the subsisting federal government, you are called upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the United States of America.
In testimony of their Respect For The Patriot of incorruptible Integrity, The Soldier of approved Valour The Statesman of consummate Wisdom; Whose Talents and Virtues will be admired By Grateful Posterity Long after this Marble shall have mouldered into Dust.
If we are in earnest about giving the Union energy and duration we must abandon the vain project of legislating upon the States in their collective capacities.
Some reasonable term ought to be allowed to enable aliens to get rid of foreign and acquire American attachments; to learn the principles and imbibe the spirit of our government; and to admit of a probability at least, of their feeling a real interest in our affairs.
A sacred respect for the constitutional law is the vital principle, the sustaining energy of a free government.
The citizens of America have too much discernment to be argued into anarchy. And I am much mistaken, if experience has not wrought a deep and solemn conviction in the public mind, that greater energy of government is essential to the welfare and prosperity of the community.
We are now forming a republican government. Real liberty is never found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
No person that has enjoyed the sweets of liberty can be insensible of its infinite value, or can reflect on its reverse without horror and detestation.
Can any reasonable man be well disposed toward a government which makes war and carnage the only means of supporting itself?
What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws.
We are attempting, by this Constitution, to abolish factions, and to unite all parties for the general welfare.
Government is frequently and aptly classed under two descriptions-a government of force, and a government of laws; the first is the definition of despotism-the last, of liberty.
The Liberty of the press consists in the right to publish with impunity truth with good motives for justifiable ends, though reflecting on government, magistracy, or individuals.
Hard words are very rarely useful. Real firmness is good for every thing. Strut is good for nothing.
Effective resistance to usurpers is possible only provided the citizens understand their rights and are disposed to defend them.
The people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government and to reform, alter, or totally change the same when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.
In the usual progress of things, the necessities of a nation in every stage of its existence will be found at least equal to its resources.
A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing.
A national debt if it is not excessive will be to us a national blessing; it will be powerfull cement of our union. It will also create a necessity for keeping up taxation to a degree which without being oppressive, will be a spur to industry.
There are seasons in every country when noise and impudence pass current for worth; and in popular commotions especially, the clamors of interested and factious men are often mistaken for patriotism.
Constitutions should consist only of general provisions; the reason is that they must necessarily be permanent, and that they cannot calculate for the possible change of things.
The honor of a nation is its life.
The honor of a nation is its life. Deliberately to abandon it is to commit an act of political suicide.
Men are rather reasoning than reasonable animals, for the most part governed by the impulse of passion.
Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
You should not have taken advantage of my sensibility to steal into my affections without my consent.