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Thomas Jefferson Quotes


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So confident am I in the intentions, as well as wisdom, of the government, that I shall always be satisfied that what is not done, either cannot, or ought not to be done.
 

Some are whigs, liberals, democrats, call them what you please. Others are tories, serviles, aristocrats, &c. The latter fear the people, and wish to transfer all power to the higher classes of society; the former consider the people as the safest depository of power in the last resort; they cherish them therefore, and wish to leave in them all the powers to the exercise of which they are competent.
 

Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched.
 

Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.
 

Speeches that are measured by the hour will die with the hour.
 

Taste cannot be controlled by law.
[Taste]
 

That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.
[Government]
 

That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part.
 

The abolition of domestic slavery is the greatest object of desire in these colonies, where it was unhappily introduced in their infant state.
[Slavery]
 

The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper.
 

The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.
 

The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.
 

The Creator has not thought proper to mark those in the forehead who are of stuff to make good generals. We are first, therefore, to seek them blindfold, and then let them learn the trade at the expense of great losses.
 

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
 

The earth belongs to the living, not to the dead.
 

The execution of the laws is more important than the making of them.
[Law]
 

The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money.
 

The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.
[Liberty]
 

The good opinion of mankind, like the lever of Archimedes, with the given fulcrum, moves the world.
 

The habit of intemperance by men in office has occasioned more injury to the public, and more trouble to me, than all other causes; and, were I to commence my administration again, the first question I would ask respecting a candidate for office, would be, "Does he use ardent spirits?"
[Drinking]
 


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