Make your own free website on Tripod.com

KEY AREAS

Historical Documents

The Magna Carta
U. S. Constitution
Monroe Doctrine
Gettysburg Address
Truman Doctrine

Quotations

Thomas Jefferson
Abraham Lincoln
John F. Kennedy
James Madison

Editorial Cartoons

A.F. Branco
Bell Cartoons Network
Carol Simpson
C.D. Norman
HallToons
Pete Wagner
Politically Correct
Unquietmind
Rictoons Cartoons
Twisted Puzzles

Reference

American Presidents
Election Results
Inaugural Addresses
Federalism
American History

Email

Guest Commentary

Suggest-A-Site

 

 

Thomas Jefferson
President of the United States from 1801 to 1809.

  • No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority.

  • The liberty of speaking and writing guards our other liberties.

  • I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others.

  • One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them.

  • The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government.

  • Every people may establish what form of government they please, and change it as they please, the will of the nation being the only thing essential.

  • No government ought to be without censors; and where the press is free no one ever will.

  • Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.

  • There is...an artificial aristocracy founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents.... The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provisions should be made to prevent its ascendancy.

  • The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it.

  • The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to.

  • I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.

  • The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.

  • That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.

  • It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.

  • Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government...

  • The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.

  • If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.

  • Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.

  • Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.

  • The principles on which we engaged, of which the charter of our independence is the record, were sanctioned by the laws of our being, and we but obeyed them in pursuing undeviatingly the course they called for. It issued finally in that inestimable state of freedom which alone can ensure to man the enjoyment of his equal rights.

  • Under the law of nature, all men are born free, every one comes into the world with a right to his own person, which includes the liberty of moving and using it at his own will. This is what is called personal liberty, and is given him by the Author of nature, because necessary for his own sustenance.

  • Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.

  • It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all.

  • No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.

  • I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others.

  • Experience declares that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to...the general prey of the rich on the poor.

  • Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people.

  • I am not among those who fear the people. They, and not the rich, are our dependence for continued freedom.

  • I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.

  • If once (the people) become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.

  • Bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression.

  • Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.