The Federalist Papers Quotes

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The Federalist Papers The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton
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The Federalist Papers Quotes (showing 1-30 of 49)
“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, selfappointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
James Madison, Federalist Papers
“You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.”
James Madison, The Federalist Papers
“It has been frequently remarked, that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country to decide, by their conduct and example, the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not, of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend, for their political constitutions, on accident and force.”
Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
“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.”
James Madison, The Federalist Papers
tags: 45
“On the other hand, it will be equally forgotten that the vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty; that, in the contemplation of a sound and well-informed judgment, their interest can never be separated; and that a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the forbidden appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government. History will teach us that the former has been found a much more certain road to the introduction of despotism than the latter, and that of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants.

Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
“Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.”
Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
“A powerful, victorious ally is yet another name for master.”
Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
“When occasions present themselves in which the interests of the people are at variance with their inclinations, it is the duty of the persons whom they have appointed to be the guardians of those interests to withstand the temporary delusion in order to give them time and opportunity for more cool and sedate reflection. Instances might be cited in which a conduct of this kind has saved the people from very fatal consequences of their own mistakes, and has procured lasting monuments of their gratitude to the men who had courage and magnanimity enough to serve them at the peril of their displeasure.”
Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
“Liberty is to faction what air is to fire...”
James Madison, The Federalist Papers
“The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.”
Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
“vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty;”
Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
“It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”
James Madison, The Federalist Papers
“Among the many objects to which a wise and free people find it necessary to direct their attention, that of providing for their safety seems to be the first.”
John Jay, The Federalist Papers
“Distrust naturally creates distrust, and by nothing is good will and kind conduct more speedily changed.”
John Jay, The Federalist Papers
“A good Government implies two things: first, fidelity to the object of Government, which is the happiness of the People; secondly, a knowledge of the means by which that object can be best attained.”
James Madison, The Federalist Papers
“For in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.”
Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
“Have we not already seen enough of the fallacy and extravagance of those idle theories which have amused us with promises of an exemption from the imperfections, weaknesses and evils incident to society in every shape?”
Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
“To all general purposes we have uniformly been one people each individual citizen everywhere enjoying the same national rights, privileges, and protection.”
Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
“And a further reason for caution, in this respect, might be drawn from the reflection that we are not always sure that those who advocate the truth are influenced by purer principles than their antagonists. Ambition, avarice, personal animosity, party opposition, and many other motives not more laudable than these, are apt to operate as well upon those who support as those who oppose the right side of a question. Were there not even these inducements to moderation, nothing could be more ill-judged than that intolerant spirit which has, at all times, characterized political parties. For in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.”
Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Papers
“Divide et impera must be the motto of every nation that either hates or fears us.”
Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
“Experience is the oracle of truth; and where its responses are unequivocal, they ought to be conclusive and sacred.”
James Madison, The Federalist Papers
“If we are to be one Nation in any respect, it clearly ought to be in respect to other Nations.”
James Madison, The Federalist Papers
“To have submitted it to the legislative discretion of the States, would have been improper for the same reason; and for the additional reason that it would have rendered too dependent on the State governments that branch of the federal government which ought to be dependent on the people alone.”
James Madison, The Federalist Papers
“Every man is bound to answer these questions to himself, according to the best of his conscience and understanding, and to act agreeably to the genuine and sober dictates of his judgment. This is a duty from which nothing can give him a dispensation. 'Tis one that he is called upon, nay, constrained by all the obligations that form the bands of society, to discharge sincerely and honestly. No partial motive, no particular interest, no pride of opinion, no temporary passion or prejudice, will justify to himself, to his country, or to his posterity, an improper election of the part he is to act. Let him beware of an obstinate adherence to party; let him reflect that the object upon which he is to decide is not a particular interest of the community, but the very existence of the nation ...”
Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
“The great and radical vice in the construction of the existing Confederation is in the principle of LEGISLATION for STATES or GOVERNMENTS, in their CORPORATE or COLLECTIVE CAPACITIES, and as contradistinguished from the INDIVIDUALS of which they consist.”
Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
“The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous. It poisons the blessing of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?”
James Madison, The Federalist Papers
“in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.”
Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
“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.”
Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
“It is too true, however disgraceful it may be to human nature, that nations in general will make war whenever they have a prospect of getting anything by it.”
John Jay, The Federalist Papers
“Owing its ratification to the law of a State, it has been contended that the same authority might repeal the law by which it was ratified. However gross a heresy it may be to maintain that a party to a compact has a right to revoke that compact, the doctrine itself has had respectable advocates. The possibility of a question of this nature, proves the necessity of laying the foundations of our National Government deeper than in the mere sanction of delegated authority. The fabric of American Empire ought to rest on the solid basis of the consent of the People. The streams of National power ought to flow immediately from that pure original fountain of all legitimate authority.”
Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers

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