Tag Archives: Thomas Jefferson

First Principles: God Who Gave Us Life Gave Us Liberty

“God who gave us life gave us Liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that … Continue reading

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First Principles: Honor, Justice and Humanity Forbid Us Tamely to Surrender That Freedom Which We Received From Our Gallant Ancestors

“Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding … Continue reading

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First Principles: A Morsel of Genuine History Is A Thing So Rare As To Be Always Valuable

“A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable.” – Thomas Jefferson (1817)      

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First Principles: Laws Are Made For Men of Ordinary Understanding and Should…Be Construed By the Ordinary Rules of Common Sense

“Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at … Continue reading

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First Principles: Falsehood of the Tongue Leads To That of the Heart and In Time Depraves All Its Good Disposition

“It is of great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it … Continue reading

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First Principles: History By Apprising Citizens of the Past Will Enable Them To Judge of the Future

“History by apprising [citizens] of the past will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of … Continue reading

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First Principles: An Honest Man Can Feel No Pleasure In the Exercise of Power Over His Fellow Citizens

“An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens….There has never been a moment of my life in which I should have relinquished for it the enjoyments of my family, my farm, my … Continue reading

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First Principles: The Opinion Giving Judges the Right To Decide Constitutionality For All Three Branches Makes the Judiciary A Despotic Branch

“The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves, in their, own sphere of action, but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make … Continue reading

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First Principles: One Single Object …Will Merit the Endless Gratitude of the Society: That of Restraining the Judges From Usurping Legislation

“One single object … [will merit] the endless gratitude of the society: that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation.” – Thomas Jefferson (1825)      

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First Principles: It Is the Manners and Spirit of A People Which Preserve A Republic In Vigor

“It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.” – Thomas Jefferson (1781)      

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