"Whatever may be the judgement pronounced on the competency of the architects of the Constitution, or whatever may be the destiny of the edifice prepared by them, I feel it a duty to express my profound and solemn conviction . . . that there never was an assembly of men, charged with a great and arduous trust, who were more pure in their motives, or more exclusively or anxiously devoted to the object committed to them."
"The kind of oppression with which democratic peoples are threatened will resemble nothing that has preceded it in the world . . . . The thing is new, therefore I must try to define it, since I cannot name it. I want to imagine with what new features despotism could be produce in the world: I see an innumerable crowd of like and equal men who revolve on themselves without repose, procuring the small and vulgar pleasures with which they fill their souls . . . . Above [the people] an immense tutela"
"Freedom sees in religion the companion of its struggles and its triumphs, the cradle of its infancy, the divine source of its rights. It considers religion as the safeguard of mores; and mores as the guarantee of laws and the pledge of its duration."
"Americans of all ages, all stations on life, and all types of dispositions are forever forming associations . . . The lawgivers of America did not suppose that a general representation of the whole nation would suffice . . . . They thought it also right to give each part of the land its own political life so that there should be an infinite number of occasions for the citizens to act together and so that every day they should feel that they depended on one another."
"When, after having examined in detail the organization of the Supreme Court, one comes to consider in sum the prerogatives that have been given it, one discovers without difficulty that a more immense judicial power has never been constituted in any people."
"The character of Anglo-American civilization . . . is the product . . . of two perfectly distinct elements that elsewhere have often made war with each other, but which, in America, they have succeeded in incorporating somehow into one another and combining marvelously. I mean to speak of the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom."
"The more I view the independence of the press in its principal effects, the more I convince myself that among the moderns the independence of the press is the capital and so to speak the constitutive element of freedom."
"When a large number of organs of the press come to advance along the same track, their influence becomes almost irresistible in the long term, and public opinion, struck always from the same side, ends by yielding under their blows."
"In the matter of the press there is therefore really no middle between servitude and license. To get the inestimable good that freedom of the press assures one must know how to submit to the inevitable evil it gives rise to."
"I avow that I do not hold that complete and instantaneous love for the freedom of the press that one accords to things whose nature is unqualifiedly good. I love it out of consideration for the evils it prevents much more than for the good it does."
"In democratic centuries, on the contrary, when the duties of each individual toward the species are much clearer, devotion toward one man becomes rarer: the bond of human affections is extended and loosened."
"I shall not fear to say that the doctrine of self-interest rightly understood seems to me of all the philosophic theories the most appropriate to the needs of men in our time, and that I see in it the most powerful guarantee against themselves that remains to them. The minds of the moralists of our day ought to turn, therefore, principally toward it. Even should they judge it imperfect, they would still have to adopt it as necessary."