Category Archives: Equal Rights

As I Would Not Be a Slave, So I Would Not Be a Master…

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

“As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.” — Abraham Lincoln

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Filed under Abraham Lincoln, Abuse & Misuse of Power, American Exceptionalism, Checks & Balances in Government, Constitution, Democracy, Equal Rights, Freedom/Liberty, Human Nature/Nature of Mankind, Human Rights/Natural Rights, Individual Responsibility, Limited Government, Tyranny

History Affords Us Many Instances of the Ruin of States…

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

“History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill-suited to the temper and genius of their people. The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy… These measures never fail to create great and violent jealousies and animosities between the people favored and the people oppressed; whence a total separation of affections, interests, political obligations, and all manner of connections, by which the whole state is weakened.” — Benjamin Franklin, Emblematical Representations

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There Is No Such Thing As An Equality of Condition

James Fenimore Cooper

James Fenimore Cooper

“There are numerous instances in which the social inequality of America may do violence to our notions of abstract justice, but the compromise of interests under which all civilized society must exist, renders this unavoidable. . . . If we would have civilization and the exertion indispensable to its success, we must have property; if we have property, we must have its rights; if we have the rights of property, we must take those consequences of the rights of property which are inseparable from the rights themselves.”

“The equality of rights in America, therefore, after allowing for the striking exception of domestic slavery, is only a greater extension of the principle [that] there is no such thing as an equality of condition.” — James Fenimore Cooper, “The American Democrat”, 1838

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Filed under Equal Rights, Human Rights/Natural Rights, Individual Responsibility, Work & Industry

Where There is No Law, There is No Liberty…

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Rush

“Where there is no law, there is no liberty; and nothing deserves the name of law but that which is certain and universal in its operation upon all the members of the community.” — Benjamin Rush, Letter to David Ramsay, 1788

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“It is the Same Tyrannical Principle…”

Abraham Lincoln

“It is the eternal struggle between these two principles — right and wrong — throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time; and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity, and the other the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, ‘You toil and work and earn bread, and I’ll eat it.’ No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.” – Abraham Lincoln

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Not a Question of What Rights Naturally Belong to Man…

Roger Sherman

“The question is, not what rights naturally belong to man, but how they may be most equally and effectually guarded in society.” – Roger Sherman, (April 19, 1721 – July 23, 1793) was an early American lawyer and politician, as well as a Founding Father. He served as the first mayor of New Haven, Connecticut, and served on the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence, and was also a Representative and Senator in the new republic. He was the only person to sign all four great State papers of the United States: The Continental Association, The Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson said of him, “That is Mr. Sherman, of Connecticut, a man who never said a foolish think in his life.”

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Filed under Bill of Rights, Equal Rights, Founding Fathers, Freedom/Liberty, Human Rights/Natural Rights, Roger Sherman

The Time May Come When All Individuals Shall Be Free and Equal Partakers of Our Political Liberties

John Jay

“As to the position that ‘the people always mean well,’ that they always mean to say and do what they believe to be right and just – it may be popular, but it cannot be true. The word people applies to all the individual inhabitants of a country… That portion of them who individually mean well never was, nor until the millennium will be, considerable. Pure democracy, like pure rum, easily produces intoxication and with it a thousand pranks and fooleries. I do not expect mankind will, before the millennium, be what they ought to be and therefore, in my opinion, every political theory which does not regard them as being what they are, will prove abortive. Yet I wish to see all unjust and unnecessary discriminations everywhere abolished, and that the time may come when all our inhabitants of every color and discrimination shall be free and equal partakers of our political liberties.” – John Jay (December 12, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American statesman, Patriot, diplomat, a Founding Father of the United States, and the first Chief Justice of the United States (1789 – 1795)

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Filed under Democracy, Equal Rights, Freedom/Liberty, Human Nature/Nature of Mankind, Human Rights/Natural Rights, John Jay