The Key 2 Liberty involves learning the principles of freedom for yourself and then sharing your knowledge with others.

Ben Franklin

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."

"A fine genius in his own country is like gold in the mine."

"In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other."

"Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God."

"Marriage is...the most natural state of man, and therefore the state in which you are most likely to find solid happines.... It is the man and woman united that makes the complete human being..... man has not nearly the value he would have in the state of union. He is an incomplete animal; he resembles the odd half of a pair of scissors."

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

"AMERICA: ...every act of oppression will sour their tempers, lessen greatly if not annihilate the profits of your commerce with them, and hasten their final revolt; for the seeds of liberty are universally found there, and nothing can eradicate them."

"He that lives upon hope will die fasting."

"The best thing to give your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity."

"Sir, there are two passions which have a powerful influence in the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice—the love of power and the love of money. Separately, each of these has great force in prompting men to action; but, when united in view of the same object, they have, in many minds, the most violent effects. Place before the eyes of such men a post of honor, that shall, at the same time, be a place of profit, and they will move heaven and earth to obtain it."

Thomas Jefferson

"I have sworn upon the alter of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."

"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."

"You seem ... to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy... The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal."

"A judiciary independent of a king or executive alone, is a good thing; but independence of the will of the nation is a solecism, at least in a republican government."

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."

"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever."

"At the establishment of our constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a freehold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors only, pass silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions, nevertheless, become law by precedent, sapping, by little and little, the foundations of the constitution, and working its change by construction, before any one has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm has been busily employed in consuming its substance. In truth, man is not made to be trusted for life, if secured against all liability to account."

"But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years."

"Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day."

"Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories."

"The way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to everyone exactly the functions he is competent."

"We are bound to defray expenses within our own time, and are unauthorized to burden posterity with them.... We shall all consider ourselves morally bound to pay them ourselves and consequently within the life of the majority."

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

"And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith,Paris, 13 Nov. 1787

"To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

"In questions of power then let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

"A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves. They include all men capable of bearing arms. To preserve liberty is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms and be taught alike how to use them."

"It ought to be the very first object of our pursuits to have nothing to do with the European interests and politics.  Let them be free or slaves at will, navigators or agriculturists, swallowed into one government or divided into a thousand; we have nothing to fear from them in any form. . . To take part in their conflicts would be to divert our energies from creation to destruction."

"If people let the 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."

"Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now."

"We are bound to defray expenses [of the war] within our own time, and are unauthorized to burden posterity with them.... We shall all consider ourselves morally bound to pay them ourselves and consequently within the life [expectancy] of the majority."

"I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it."

President Thomas Jefferson, March 4, 1805, offered A National Prayer for Peace: "Almighty God, Who has given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honorable ministry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and  arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitude brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endow with Thy spirit of wisdom those to whom in Thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and  peace at home, and that through obedience to Thy law, we may show  forth Thy praise among the nations of the earth. In time of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail; all of which we ask through  Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen."

Patrick Henry

"It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? 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!"

"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them."

"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense?"

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel."

"...Virtue, morality, and religion.  This is the armor, my friend, and this alone that renders us invincible.  These are the tactics we should study.  If we lose these, we are conquered, fallen long as our manners and principles remain sound, there is no danger."

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 the money and its issuance."

"Because it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it."

"A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained in arms, is the best most natural defense of a free country."

"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."

"It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood."

"From this point of view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert results from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would at the same time be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions." (Federalist #10)

"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse."

"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."

"No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."

"Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other."

"The executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war."

"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. ... The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home..If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be under the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."

George Washington

"A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing... than ... communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?"

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force. Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearsome master."

"No country upon earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly; I cannot believe it will ever come to pass."

"To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace."

"No pecuniary consideration is more urgent, than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt: on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable."

"When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen; and we shall most sincerely rejoice with you in the happy hour when the establishment of American Liberty, upon the most firm and solid foundations shall enable us to return to our Private Stations in the bosom of a free, peacefully and happy Country."

"I hope that I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider to be the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

"Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government."

"Harmony, liberal intercourse with all Nations, are recommended by policy, humanity and interest. But even our Commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand: neither seeking nor granting exclusive favours or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of Commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing with Powers so disposed; in order to give trade a stable course."

"It appears to me, then, little short of a miracle, that the Delegates from so many different States ... should unite in forming a system of national Government, so little liable to well founded objections."

"It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn."

"It is an old adage that honesty is the best policy. This applies to public as well as private life, to states as well as individuals."

"No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency."

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.... And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion."

"But if in the pursuit of the means we should unfortunately stumble again on unfunded paper money or any similar species of fraud, we shall assuredly give a fatal stab to our national credit in its infancy. Paper money will invariably operate in the body of politics as spirit liquors on the human body. They prey on the vitals and ultimately destroy them. Paper money has had the effect in your state that it will ever have, to ruin commerce, oppress the honest, and open the door to every species of fraud and injustice."

"I was but the humble agent of favoring Heaven, whose benign interference was so often manifested in our behalf, and to whom the praise of victory alone is due." - To the legislature of the state of Connecticut - 1789.

Thanksgiving Proclamation

Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington

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