Category Archives: Federalism

In America, the Law is King

Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine

“Let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is King. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King; and there ought to be no other.” – Thomas Paine

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Filed under Abuse & Misuse of Power, American Exceptionalism, Checks & Balances in Government, Constitution, Democracy, Democratic Republic, Enumerated Powers & Delegated Authority, Federalism, Founding Fathers, Freedom/Liberty, Government Accountability, Individual Responsibility, Limited Government, Representative Government, Republican Government, Rule of Law, Thomas Paine, Tyranny, Will & Consent of the People

Every Government Degenerates When Trusted to the Rulers of the People Alone…

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

“Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.” — Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XIV, 1781

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Filed under Abuse & Misuse of Power, Balance of Power, Checks & Balances in Government, Democratic Republic, Enumerated Powers & Delegated Authority, Federalism, Founding Fathers, Government Accountability, Human Nature/Nature of Mankind, Individual Responsibility, Limited Government, Representative Government, Thomas Jefferson, Tyranny, Will & Consent of the People

Liberty to Yield… Government to Gain Ground

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” —Thomas Jefferson

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Filed under Federalism, Founding Fathers, Freedom/Liberty, Government Accountability, Limited Government, Thomas Jefferson

You Must Oblige Government to Control Itself…

James Madison

James Madison

“In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.” — James Madison, Federalist No. 51, 1788

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Filed under Balance of Power, Checks & Balances in Government, Constitution, Enumerated Powers & Delegated Authority, Federalism, Founding Fathers, Government Accountability, James Madison, Limited Government, Rule of Law, Will & Consent of the People

I Wish Never to See All Offices Transferred to Washington…

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

“[T]he States can best govern our home concerns and the general government our foreign ones. I wish, therefore … never to see all offices transferred to Washington, where, further withdrawn from the eyes of the people, they may more secretly be bought and sold at market.” — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Judge William Johnson, 1823

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Filed under Abuse & Misuse of Power, Balance of Power, Checks & Balances in Government, Democratic Republic, Enumerated Powers & Delegated Authority, Federalism, Founding Fathers, Government Accountability, Individual Responsibility, Limited Government, Republican Government, Thomas Jefferson, Virtue

Never to See All Offices Transferred to Washington…

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

“[T]he States can best govern our home concerns and the general government our foreign ones. I wish, therefore … never to see all offices transferred to Washington, where, further withdrawn from the eyes of the people, they may more secretly be bought and sold at market.” — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Judge William Johnson, 1823

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Filed under Balance of Power, Checks & Balances in Government, Enumerated Powers & Delegated Authority, Federalism, Founding Fathers, Freedom/Liberty, Limited Government, Thomas Jefferson, Tyranny

Instituting a Congress with Power to Do Whatever Would Be for the Good of the United States Would Be Also a Power to Do Whatever They Please…

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

“They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please… Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It was intended to lace them up straightly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect.” — Thomas Jefferson, 1791

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Filed under Abuse & Misuse of Power, Balance of Power, Checks & Balances in Government, Constitution, Enumerated Powers & Delegated Authority, Federalism, Founding Fathers, Human Rights/Natural Rights, Limited Government, Thomas Jefferson