Founding Fathers Quotes

The biggest conspiracy has always been the fact that there is no conspiracy.
Nobody's out to get you. Nobody gives a shit whether you live or die.
There, you feel better now?
-- Dennis Miller

National Debt Clock
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Secretary of Commerce under Nixon, Peterson explains the national debt by the Republicans' pursuit of reckless supply-side economics and the Democrats' unwillingness to consider limits on entitlements.

You say you want a Revolution?


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"The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history,
whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite."

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President

Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction.

Source: in a letter to John Adams as quoted in John A. Stormer, None Dare Call it Treason
(Florissant, MO: Liberty Bell Press, 1964) 93.

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.

Source: letter to Abigail Adams, February 22, 1787; reproduced in Thomas Jefferson, Writings
(The Library of America, 1984), p. 889-890

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

Source: The Works of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 11

I am not among those who fear the people. They, and not the rich, are our dependence for continued freedom. And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessities and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow suffers. Our land-holders, too, like theirs, retaining indeed the title and stewardship of estates called theirs but held really in trust for the treasury, must wander, like theirs, in foreign countries, and be contented with penury, obscurity, exile, and the glory of the nation. This example reads to us the salutary lesson, that private fortunes are destroyed by public as well as by private extravagances. And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for the second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of the society is reduced to mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering. Then begins, indeed, the bellum omnium in omnia, which some philosophers observing to be so general in this world, have mistaken for the natural, instead of the abusive state of man. And the fore horse on this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.

Source: Letter to Samuel Kercheval, Monticello, July 12, 1816

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a moneyed aristocracy that has set the Government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs.

If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

Source: Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1802)

The system of banking [is] a blot left in all our Constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction... I sincerely believe that banking institutions are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity... is but swindling futurity on a large scale.

Source: stated in 1811 when President Jefferson refused to renew the charter for the
First Bank of the United States (the 2nd central bank chartered by Congress in 1791)

I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground; that 'all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are preserved to the states or to the people.' ... To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition. The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed by this bill (chartering the first Bank of the United States), have not been delegated to the United States by the Constitution.

Source: in opposition to the chartering of the first Bank of the United States (1791).

I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to Heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.

Source: Letter to F. Hopkinson, Paris, March 13, 1789.



George Washington
George Washington (1732-1799) Founding Father, 1st US President, 'Father of the Country'

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action. Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of Liberty abused to licentiousness. Occupants of public offices love power and are prone to abuse it. Paper money has had the effect in your state that it will ever have, to ruin commerce, oppress the honest, and open the door to every species of fraud and injustice. There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily. Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth. The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people. The foundation of our Empire was not laid in the gloomy age of Ignorance and Superstition, but at an Epoch when the rights of mankind were better understood and more clearly defined, than at any former period. No country upon earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly; I cannot believe it will ever come to pass.

Source: compiled from the letters and speeches of George Washington.



James Madison
James Madison (1751-1836), Father of the Constitution of the United States, 4th US President

Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of freedoms of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.

Source: Virginia Convention on the ratification of the Constitution, in Debates
in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution,
Jonathan Elliot, ed., v.3 p.87 (Philadelphia, 1836), 6 June 1788

All men having power ought to be mistrusted. Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.

Source: from a letter to Thomas Jefferson, May 13, 1798; reproduced in Jack N. Rakove (Ed.),
James Madison: Writings (1999), p. 588.

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.

Source: Speech, Virginia State Convention, 2 December 1829

The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty. A people armed and free forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition and is a bulwark for the nation against foreign invasion and domestic oppression. Americans need never fear their government because of the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation.

History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance.

A government that does not trust it's law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is itself unworthy of trust.

Source: compiled from the letters and speeches of James Madison



Samuel Adams
Samuel Adams (1722-1803), was known as the "Father of the American Revolution."

The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.

Source: The Writings of Samuel Adams, ed., Harry Alonzo Cushing (G. P. Putman's Sons, 1908), Vol. 4



John Adams
John Adams (1735-1826) Founding Father, 2nd US President

Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice. The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.

Source: compiled from the letters and speeches of John Adams

Let us disappoint the Men who are raising themselves upon the ruin of this Country. Banks have done more injury to the religion, morality, tranquility, prosperity, and even wealth of the nation than they can have done or ever will do good. All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, nor from want of honor or virtue, so much as downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.

Source: compiled from the letters and speeches of John Adams

Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.

Source: Thoughts on Government, 1776

The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations ... This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.

Source: February 13, 1818

When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking, or thinking, I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.

Source: letter to Thomas Jefferson in 1818.



Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) US Founding Father

It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority. In those wretched countries where a man cannot call his tongue his own, he can scarce call anything his own. Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech. A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins. When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic. Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!

Source: compiled from the writings of Benjamin Franklin



Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine (1737-1809) American Revolution Author & Pamphleteer

Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one. A constitution is not the act of a government, but of a people constituting a government; and government without a constitution is power without a right. All power exercised over a nation must have some beginning. It must be either delegated, or assumed. There are not other sources. All delegated power is trust, and all assumed power is usurpation. Time does not alter the nature and quality of either.

The trade of governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of mankind.

Beware the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry.

Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.

Reason and Ignorance, the opposites of each other, influence the great bulk of mankind. If either of these can be rendered sufficiently extensive in a country, the machinery of Government goes easily on. Reason obeys itself; and Ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.

The danger to which the success of revolutions is most exposed, is that of attempting them before the principles on which they proceed, and the advantages to result from them, are sufficiently seen and understood.

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) Author of the popular American Revolution pamphlet "Common Sense"


The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve

The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve

Where does money come from? Where does it go? Who makes it? The money magicians' secrets are unveiled. We get a close look at their mirrors and smoke machines, their pulleys, cogs, and wheels that create the grand illusion called money. A dry and boring subject? Just wait! You'll be hooked in five minutes. Reads like a detective story - which it really is. But it's all true. This book is about the most blatant scam of all history. It's all here: the cause of wars, boom-bust cycles, inflation, depression, prosperity. Creature from Jekyll Island will change the way you view the world, politics, and money. Your world view will definitely change. You'll never trust a politician again - or a banker.


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Money, Banking and the Federal Reserve

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The Revolution - A Manifesto End The Fed

The Revolution - A Manifesto

Congressman, Republican Presidential candidate and author Paul (A Foreign Policy of Freedom) says "Let the revolution begin" with this libertarian plea for a return to "the principles of our Founding Fathers: liberty, self-government, the Constitution, and a noninterventionist foreign policy." Specific examples demonstrate how far U.S. law has strayed from this path, particularly over the past century, as well as Paul's firm grasp of history and dedication to meaningful debate: "it is revolutionary to ask whether we need troops in 130 countries... whether the accumulation of more and more power in Washington has been good for us...to ask fundamental questions about privacy, police-state measures, taxation, social policy." Though he can rant, Paul is informative and impassioned, giving readers of any political bent food for thought. With harsh words for both Democrats and Republicans, and especially George W. Bush, Paul's no-nonsense text questions the "imperialist" foreign policy that's led to the war in Iraq ("one of the most ill considered, poorly planned, and... unnecessary military conflicts in American history"), the economic situation and rampant federalism treading on states' rights and identities ("The Founding Fathers did not intend for every American neighborhood to be exactly the same"). Though his policy suggestions can seem extreme, Paul's book gives new life to old debates.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

© Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

End The Fed

Over 4,000 students gathered at the University of Michigan to hear Republican Party candidate Ron Paul speak. As he began to address the topics of monetary policy and the coming depression, a chant rose from the crowd, "End the Fed! End the Fed!" As dollar bills were lit on fire and thrown into the night skies, it became clear that the real problem, one that nobody in the media was talking about, was the central bank - an unconstitutional entity and a political, economic, and moral disaster.

Most people don't give a second thought to the Federal Reserve, but they should. In End the Fed, Ron Paul argues that the Fed is both corrupt and dangerously autonomous, inflating currency today at nearly a Weimar or Zimbabwe level. What most people don't realize is that the Fed is actually working against their own personal interests. Ron Paul's urgent appeal tells us how we went wrong and what we need to do fix America's economic structure for future generations.

© 2009 Ron Paul; (P)2009 Hachette



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