“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom; it is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” — British Prime Minister William Pitt (1759-1806)
Monthly Archives: January 2013
“[I]f the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted. … If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.” — Noah Webster, History of the United States
“No free government was ever founded or ever preserved its liberty, without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the state…. Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen.” — Josiah Quincy, Jr., Thoughts on Standing Armies, 1774.
“I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” — George Mason, Speech at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788
“O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone; and you have no longer an aristocratical, no longer a democratical spirit. Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all?” — Patrick Henry, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788
“Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nations, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.” — James Madison,
Federalist No. 46, 1788