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1788
"The consciousness of having discharged that duty which we owe to our country is superior to all other considerations."
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-348113
"Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth."
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-348110
"It is by far the safer course to lay [considerations of the future] altogether aside; and to confine our attention wholly to the nature and extent of the powers as they are delineated in the constitution. Everything beyond this, must be left to the prudence and firmness of the people; who, as they will hold the scales in their own hands, it is to be hoped, will always take care to preserve the constitutional equilibrium between the General and State governments."
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-348046
"As the duties of superintending the national defense and of securing the public peace against foreign or domestic violence involve a provision for casualties and dangers to which no possible limits can be assigned, the power of making that provision ought to know no other bounds than the exigencies of the nation and the resources of the community."
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-348042
"The obscurity is more often in the passions and prejudices of the reasoner than in the subject."
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-348039
"A government ought to contain in itself every power requisite to the full accomplishment of the objects commmitted to its care, and to the complete execution of the trusts for which it is responsible, free from every other control but a regard to the public good and to the sense of the people."
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-348034
"In disquisitions of every kind there are certain primary truths, or first principles, upon which all subsequent reasoning must depend."
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-348030
"This mode of reasoning appears some times to turn upon the supposition of usurpation in the national government . . . . The moment we launch into conjectures about the usurpations of the federal government, we get into an unfathomable abyss, and fairly put ourselves out of the reach of all reasoning. Imagination may range at pleasure until it gets bewildered amidst the labyrinths of an enchanted castle . . . it is easy to imagine an endless train of possible dangers; and by indulging an excess o"
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-347978
"A LAW, by the very meaning of the term, includes supremacy. It is a rule which those to whom it is prescribed are bound to observe. This results from every political association."
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-348085
"The propriety of a law, in a constitutional light, must always be determined by the nature of the powers upon which it is founded."
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-348084
"The Convention probably foresaw what it has been a principal aim of these papers to inculcate that the danger which most threatens our political welfare is, that the state governments will finally sap the foundations of the Union."
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-348083
"The propriety of a law, in a constitutional light, must always be deteremined by the nature of the powers upon which it is founded."
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-348120
"If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify."
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-348119
"But as the plan of the convention aims only at a partial union or consolidation, the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not, by that act, EXCLUSIVELY delegated to the United States."
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-348118
"Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others."
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-348154
"Constitutions of civil government are not to be framed upon a calculation of existing exigencies, but upon a combination of these with the probable exigencies of ages, according to the natural and tried course of human affairs. Nothing, therefore, can be more fallacious than to infer the extent of any power, proper to be lodged in the national government, from an estimate of its immediate necessities."
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-348153
"To judge from the history of mankind, we shall be compelled to conclude that the fiery and destructive passions of war reign in the human breast with much more powerful sway than the mild and beneficent sentiments of peace; and that to model our political systems upon speculations of lasting tranquillity would be to calculate on the weaker springs of human character."
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-348152
"To model our political system upon speculations of lasting tranquility, is to calculate on the weaker springs of the human character."
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-348151
"These considerations and many others that might be mentioned prove, and experience confirms it, that artisans and manufacturers will commonly be disposed to bestow their votes on merchants."
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-348246
"In framing a Government for posterity as well as ourselves, we ought in those provisions which are designed to be permanent, to calculate not on temporary, but on permanent causes of expence."
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-348222
"With regard to the learned professions, little need be observed; they truly form no distinct interest in society . . . [discussing the landed, merchant, and learned classes in legislative assembly]. Will not the man of the learned profession, who will feel a neutrality to the rivalships between the different branches of industry, be likely to prove an impartial arbiter between them, ready to promote either, so far as it shall appear to him conducive to the general interests of society?"
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-348219
"Necessity, especially in politics, often occasions false hopes, false reasonings, and a system of measures, correspondingly erroneous."
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-348218
"Common interest may always be reckoned upon as the surest bond of sympathy."
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-348217
"It will be well to advert to the proportion between the objects that will require a federal provision in respect to revenue; and those which will require a state provision. We shall discover that the former are altogether unlimited; and that the latter are circumscribed within very moderate bounds."
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-348216
"Necessity, especially in politics, often occasions false hopes, false reasonings and a system of measures, correspondently erroneous."
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-348210
"[I]n framing a Government for a nation we ought, in those provisions which are designed to be permanent, to calculate not on temporary, but on permanent causes of expence."
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-348209
"There is no part of the administration of government that requires extensive information and a thorough knowledge of the principles of political economy, so much as the business of taxation. The man who understands those principles best will be least likely to resort to oppressive expedients, or sacrifice any particular class of citizens to the procurement of revenue. It might be demonstrated that the most productive system of finance will always be the least burdensome."
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-348208
"Happy will it be for ourselves, and most honorable for human nature, if we have wisdom and virtue enough to set so glorious an example to mankind!"
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-348337
"Happy will it be for ourselves, and most honorable for human nature, if we have wisdom and virtue enough to set so glorious an example to mankind!"
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-348336
"The representative assemblies ?will consist almost entirely of proprietors of land, of merchants and members of the learned professions, who will truly represent all those different interests and views . . . it is admitted there are exceptions to this rule, but not in sufficient number to influence the general complexion or character of the government. There are strong minds in every walk of life that will rise superior to the disadvantages of situation, and will command the tribute due to their"
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-348004
"The supposition of a want of proper knowledge [in the Federal government of ?local circumstances], seems to be entirely destitute of foundation. If any question is depending in a State legislature respecting one of the counties which demand a knowledge of local details, how is it acquired? No doubt from the information of the members of the county. Cannot the like knowledge be obtained in the national legislature from the representatives of each state. And is it not to be presumed that the men w"
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-347971
"What reason could there be to infer, that force was intended to be the sole instrument of authority, merely because there is a power to make use of it when necessary?"
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-348377
"There is something so far-fetched and so extravagant in the idea of danger to liberty from the militia that one is at a loss whether to treat it with gravity or with raillery; whether to consider it as a mere trial of skill, like the paradoxes of rhetoricians; as a disingenuous artifice to instil prejudices at any price; or as the serious."
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-348406
"If a well-regulated militia be the most natural defense of a free country, it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security. If standing armies are dangerous to liberty, an efficacious power over the militia in the same body ought, as far as possible, to take away the inducement and the pretext to such unfriendly institutions. If the federal government can command the aid of the militia in those emergencies "
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-347990
"Experience has instructed us that no skill in the science of government has yet been able to discriminate and define, with sufficient certainty, its three great provinces the legislative, executive, and judiciary; or even the privileges and powers of the different legislative branches."
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-348450
"The most that the Convention could do in such a situation, was to avoid the errors suggested by the past experience of other countries, as well as of our own; and to provide a convenient mode of rectifying their own errors, as future experience may unfold them."
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-348449
"The genius of Republican liberty, seems to demand on one side, not only that all power should be derived from the people; but, that those entrusted with it should be kept in dependence on the people, by a short duration of their appointments; and, that, even during this short period, the trust should be placed not in a few, but in a number of hands."
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-348447
"It is a misfortune, inseparable from human affairs, that public measures are rarely investigated with that spirit of moderation which is essential to a just estimate of their real tendency to advance or obstruct the public good; and that this spirit is more apt to be diminished than prompted, by those occasions which require an unusual exercise of it."
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-348446
"Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it, as well as to that repose and confidence in the minds of the people, which are among the chief blessings of civil society."
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-348445
"It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it [the Constitution] a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution."
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-348443
"Energy in government is essential to that security against external and internal danger and to that prompt and salutary execution of the laws which enter into the very definition of good government. Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it, as well as to that repose and confidence in the minds of the people, which are among the chief blessings of civil society."
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-348440
"The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness which the ambitious call, and ignorant believe to be liberty. "
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-348550
"The first question that offers itself is, whether the general form and aspect of the government be strictly republican? It is evident that no other form would be reconcileable with the genius of the people of America; with the fundamental principles of the revolution; or with that honourable determination which animates every votary of freedom, to rest all our political experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government."
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-348618
"In this relation, then, the proposed government cannot be deemed a national one; since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several states, a residuary and inviolable sovereignty over all other objects."
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-348617
"The proposed constitution, therefore, even when tested by the rules laid down by its antagonists, is, in strictness, neither a national nor a federal constitution; but a composition of both. In its foundation it is federal, not national; in the sources from which the ordinary powers of the government are drawn, it is partly federal, and partly national; in the operation of these powers, it is national, not federal; in the extent of them again, it is federal, not national; and finally, in the aut"
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-348616
"If we resort for a criterion to the different principles on which different forms of government are established, we may define a republic to be, or at least may bestow that name on, a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior."
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-348614
"It is to be the assent and ratification of the several States, derived from the supreme authority in each State, the authority of the people themselves. The act, therefore establishing the Constitution, will not be a NATIONAL, but a FEDERAL act."
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-348613
"Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a FEDERAL, and not a NATIONAL constitution."
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-348612
"If we resort for a criterion to the different principles on which different forms of government are established, we may define a republic to be, or at least may bestow that name on, a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior."
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-348611
"[T]he most productive system of finance will always be the least burdensome."
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-348608
"Since it is impossible for the people spontaneously and universally, to move in concert towards their object; and it is therefore essential, that such changes be instituted by some informal and unauthorized propositions, made by some patriotic and respectable citizen or number of citizens."
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-348702
"It has been urged and echoed, that the power ?to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States,? amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction . . . what colour can "
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-348018
"How could a readiness for war in time of peace be safely prohibited, unless we could prohibit, in like manner, the preparations and establishments of every hostile nation? The means of security can only be regulated by the means and the danger of attack. They will, in fact, be ever determined by these rules, and by no others . . . . If one nation maintains constantly a disciplined army, ready for service of ambition or revenge, it obliges the most pacific nations who may be within the reach of i"
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-348751
"How could a readiness for war in time of peace be safely prohibited, unless we could prohibit, in like manner, the preparations and establishments of every hostile nation?"
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-348748
"THE Constitution proposed by the convention may be considered under two general points of view. The FIRST relates to the sum or quantity of power which it vests in the government, including the restraints imposed on the States. The SECOND, to the particular structure of the government, and the distribution of this power among its branches."
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-348745
"It is in vain to oppose constitutional barriers to the impulse of self-preservation. It is worse than in vain; because it plants in the Constitution itself necessary usurpations of power, every precedent of which is a germ of unnecessary and multiplied repetitions."
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-348742
"Security against foreign danger is one of the primitive objects of civil society. It is an avowed and essential object of the American Union."
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-348741
"But cool and candid people will at once reflect, that the purest of human blessings must have a portion of alloy in them, that the choice must always be made, if not of the lesser evil, at least of the GREATER, not the PERFECT good; and that in every political institution, a power to advance the public happiness, involves a discretion which may be misapplied and abused."
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-348740
"Every man who loves peace, every man who loves his country, every man who loves liberty ought to have it ever before his eyes that he may cherish in his heart a due attachment to the Union of America and be able to set a due value on the means of preserving it."
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-348735
"?ssions, be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? . . . the idea of an enumeration of particulars, which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity . . . ."
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-347910
"We may be assured by past experience, that such a practice [as some states charging high taxes on goods from other states] would be introduced by future contrivances; and both by that and a common knowledge of human affairs, that it would nourish unceasing animosities, and not improbably terminate in serious interruptions of the public tranquility."
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-348903
"The defect of power in the existing confederacy, to regulate the commerce between its several members is in the number of those which have been clearly pointed out by experience . . . . A very material object of this power was the relief of the States which import and export through other States from the improper contributions levied on them by the latter."
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-348894
"But the mild voice of reason, pleading the cause of an enlarged and permanent interest, is but too often drowned, before public bodies as well as individuals, by the clamors of an impatient avidity for immediate and immoderate gain."
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-348890
"On what principle the confederation, which stands in the solemn form of a compact among the states, can be superseded without the unanimous consent of the parties to it? . . . . The . . . question is answered at once by recurring to the absolute necessity of the case; to the great principle of self- preservation; to the transcendent law of nature and of nature?s God, which declares that the safety and happiness of society are the objects at which all political institutions aim."
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-348948
"It would have marked a want of foresight in the convention, which our own experience would have rendered inexcusable."
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-348946
"That useful alterations will be suggested by experience, could not but be foreseen . . . . It moreover equally enables the general and state governments to originate the amendment of errors as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side or on the other."
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-348945
"At first view it might seem not to square with the republican theory, to suppose either that a majority have not the right, or that a minority will have the force to subvert a government . . . . But theoretic reasoning in this, as in most other cases, must be qualified by the lessons of practice."
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-348944
"The express authority of the people alone could give validity to the Constitution."
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-348943
"Bills of attainder, ex-post facto laws and laws impairing the obligation of contracts are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation."
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-349022
"The extension of the prohibition to bills of credit must give pleasure to every citizen in proportion to his love of justice, and his knowledge of the true springs of public prosperity."
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-349021
"What is to be the consequence, in case the Congress shall misconstrue this part [the necessary and proper clause] of the Constitution and exercise powers not warranted by its true meaning, I answer the same as if they should misconstrue or enlarge any other power vested in them . . . the success of the usurpation will depend on the executive and judiciary departments, which are to expound and give effect to the legislative acts; and in a last resort a remedy must be obtained from the people, who"
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-349018
"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
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-349017
"The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments, in times of peace and security."
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-349052
"The number of individuals employed under the Constitution of the United States will be much smaller than the number employed under the particular States."
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-349051
"The regulation of commerce, it is true, is a new power; but that seems to be an addition which few oppose and from which no apprehensions are entertained."
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-349050
"The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments, in times of peace and security."
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-349049
"We have heard of the impious doctrine in the old world, that the people were made for kings, not kings for the people. Is the same doctrine to be revived in the new, in another shape - that the solid happiness of the people is to be sacrificed to the views of political institutions of a different form? It is too early for politicians to presume on our forgetting that the public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the supreme object to be pursued; and that no form of govern"
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-349048
"It is too early for politicians to presume on our forgetting that the public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the supreme object to be pursued; and that no form of government whatever has any other value than as it may be fitted for the attainment of this object."
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-349047
"He who is permitted by law to have no property of his own, can with difficulty conceive that property is founded in anything but force."
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-349043
"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, "
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-347933
"But ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments, would not excite the opposition of a single State, or of a few States only. They would be signals of general alarm . . . But what degree of madness could ever drive the federal government to such an extremity."
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-349156
"A local spirit will infallibly prevail much more in the members of Congress than a national spirit will prevail in the legislatures of the particular States."
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-349153
"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."
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-349174
"I wish not to be regarded as an advocate for the particular organizations of the several state governments . . . they carry strong marks of the haste, and still stronger marks of the inexperience, under which they were framed."
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-349173
"In the next place, to show that unless these departments be so far connected and blended as to give to each a constitutional control over the others, the degree of separation which the maxim requires, as essential to a free government, can never in practice be duly maintained."
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-348073
"I have appealed to our own experience for the truth of what I advance on this subject [that the legislative power is the predominant power]. Were it necessary to verify this experience by particular proofs, they might be multiplied without end. I might find a witness in every citizen who has shared in, or been attentive to, the course of public administrations."
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-348071
"Experience assures us, that the efficacy of the provision has been greatly over-rated; and that some more adequate defense is indispensably necessary for the more feeble, against the more powerful members of the government."
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-348070
"It will not be denied that power is of encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it."
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-348069
"The danger from legislative usurpations, which, by assembling all power in the same hands, must lead to the same tyranny as is threatened by executive usurpations."
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-348067
"[I]n the next place, to show that unless these departments be so far connected and blended as to give to each a constitutional control over the others, the degree of separation which the maxim requires, as essential to a free government, can never in practice be duly maintained."
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-348061
"Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, 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."
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-348060
"For the same reason that the members of the State legislatures will be unlikely to attach themselves sufficiently to national objects, the members of the federal legislature will be likely to attach themselves too much to local objects."
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-348059
"It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it. After discriminating, therefore, in theory, the several classes of power, as they may in their nature be legislative, executive, or judiciary, the next and most difficult task is to provide some practical security for each, against the invasion of the others."
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-348058
"One hundred and seventy-three despots would surely be as oppressive as one."
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-348057
"The legislative department is everywhere extending the sphere of its activity and drawing all power into its impetuous vortex."
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-348056
"As the people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived, it seems strictly consonant to the republican theory to recur to the same original authority."
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-348107
"As every appeal to the people would carry an implication of some defect in the government, frequent appeals would in great measure deprive the government of that veneration, which time bestows on everything, and without which perhaps the wisest and freest governments would not possess the requisite stability. If it be true that all governments rest on opinion, it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual, and its practical influence on his conduct, depend much on the number"
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-348010
"?htened reason. But a nation of philosophers is as little to be expected as the philosophical race of kings wished for by Plato. And in every other nation, the most rational government will not find it a superfluous advantage, to have the prejudices of the community on its side."
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-347918
"When men exercise their reason coolly and freely, on a variety of distinct questions, they inevitably fall into different opinions, on some of them. When they are governed by a common passion, their opinions if they are so to be called, will be the same."
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-348245
"[I]t is the reason alone, of the public, that ought to control and regulate the government."
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-348244



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