|The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust.
- Federalist No. 57, February 19, 1788
|The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice. Every shilling which they overburden the inferior number is a shilling saved to their own pockets.
- Federalist No. 10, November 23, 1787
|The Army (considering the irritable state it is in, its suffering and composition) is a dangerous instrument to play with.
- Letter to Alexander Hamilton, April 4, 1783
|The art of acting consists in keeping people from coughing.||Benjamin Franklin|
|The Artist is he who detects and applies the law from observation of the works of Genius, whether of man or Nature. The Artisan is he who merely applies the rules which others have detected.||Henry David Thoreau|
|The augmentation of slaves weakens the states; and such a trade is diabolical in itself, and disgraceful to mankind.||George Mason|
|The balance of power in a society accompanies the balance of property in land.||John Adams|
|The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world not destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside ... Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them ... the weak will become prey to the strong.|
- Thoughts on Defensive War, Pennsylvania Magazine, July 1775
|The ballot box is the surest arbiter of disputes among free men.||James Buchanan|
|The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.||George Washington|
|The best and only safe road to honor, glory, and true dignity is justice.
- Letter to Marquis de Lafayette, September 30, 1779
|The best form of government is that which is most likely to prevent the greatest sum of evil.||James Monroe|
|The best means of forming a manly, virtuous, and happy people will be found in the right education of youth. Without this foundation, every other means, in my opinion, must fail.
- Letter to George Chapman, December 15, 1784
|The best service that can be rendered to a Country, next to that of giving it liberty, is in diffusing the mental improvement equally essential to the preservation, and the enjoyment of the blessing.
- Letter to Littleton Dennis Teackle, March 29, 1826
|The best thing to give your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity.||Benjamin Franklin|
|The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.
- The Federalist Papers
|The Bible is the rock on which this Republic rests.||Andrew Jackson|
|The blessed Religion revealed in the word of God will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove that the best Institution may be abused by human depravity; and that they may even, in some instances be made subservient to the vilest purposes. Should, hereafter, those incited by the lust of power and prompted by the Supineness or venality of their Constituents, overleap the known barriers of this Constitution and violate the unalienable rights of humanity: it will only serve to shew, that no compact among men (however provident in its construction and sacred in its ratification) can be pronounced everlasting an inviolable, and if I may so express myself, that no Wall of words, that no mound of parchm[en]t can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other.|
- Fragments of the Draft First Inaugural Address, April 1789
|The bluebird carries the sky on his back.||Henry David Thoreau|
|The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.||Thomas Jefferson|