Gathered Notes On Government

The 4 principle reasons why a federal government was formed:

"(1) The common defense (national security);

(2) the preservation of public peace, as well against internal convulsions as external attacks;

(3) the regulation of commerce with other nations and between states;

(4) the superintendence of our intercourse, political and commercial, with foreign countries." – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper No.23

Above in more detail: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce. … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State." – James Madison, Federalist Paper No. 25

2. "I place economy among the first and most important of republic virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared."Thomas Jefferson to William Plumer, 1816

3. "There is in the nature of government an impatience of control that disposes those invested with power to look with an evil eye upon all external attempts to restrain or direct its operations. This has its origin in the love of power. Representatives of the people are not superior to the people themselves." – Alexander Hamilton – Federalist Paper No.15, 1787.

4. "The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance." – Thomas Jefferson

5. "Democracy was the right of the people to choose their own tyrants." – James Madison

6. "America… well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extraction, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force… She might become dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit." – John Quincy Adams; Address, 4 July 1821

7. "Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all… The Nation which indulges toward another an habitual hatred or an habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest … Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances, with any portion of the foreign world." – George Washington, Farewell Address, 17 Sept. 1796

8. "No legislative act contrary to the Constitution can be valid. To deny this would be to affirm that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representative of the people is superior to the people." – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper No. 78.

9. "Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other." John Quincy Adams, 6th President of USA.

10. "Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." – James Madison – 1788

11. "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage." Alexander Tyler (When the thirteen colonies were still a part of England, Professor Alexander Tyler wrote about the fall of the Athenian republic over two thousand years previous to that time)

12. "With respect to the words 'general welfare,' I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators." – James Madison – 'father of the Constitution.

13. "Judge the future by the past." – Patrick Henry – 1736-1799

14. "A small leak can sink a great ship." – Ben Franklin's advice

15. "Thomas Jefferson's prediction that "the natural progress of things is for government to gain ground and for liberty to yield."



1.    "The further backward you look, the further ahead you can see." – Winston Churchill – – (NOTE: the wisdom of this quote forms part of the basic reason The Grandfather Economic Report series displays economic and education history data in long-term picture-graphic form)

2.    "There doubtless are many causes for the loss of freedom, but surely a major cause has been the growth of government and its increasing control of our lives. Today, government, directly or indirectly, controls the spending of as much as half our national income." Milton Friedman, Nobel laureate in Economics – 1998

3.    "Modern civilization is a product of the philosophy of laissez faire (non-interference). It cannot be preserved under the ideology of government omnipotence (all-powerful)." Ludwig von Mises, 'Human Action' xxxiv – 1949

4.    "Trust but verify"Ronald Reagan, U.S. President, 1980-88 – – speaking about foreign leaders.

5.    "We hear sad complaints sometimes of merciless creditors; whilst the acts of merciless debtors are passed over in silence." – William Frend, 1817

6.    "If decade after decade the truth cannot be told, each person's mind begins to roam irretrievably." Alexander Solzhenitsyn

7.    "Capitalism will always have dramas. It is governments that turn them into crisis." – William Emmott, editor The Economist, 11 Sept. 1999

8.    "Behind all the complexities of modern political economy lies the simple fact that human beings are, speaking generally, of two persuasions: the first would spend tomorrow what they earn today; the second would spend today what they hope to earn tomorrow. From this rudimentary biological fact arise all conflicts that lead to economic crises: to panics, depressions, violent and revolutionary transfers of wealth, and perhaps most wars." Freeman Tilden, 'A World in Debt' – 1935

9.    "The only secret is the history you don't know." – Harry S. Truman, former president.

10.                       "The only proper purpose of government is to protect man's rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence. A proper government is only a policeman, acting as an agent of man's self defense, and, as such, may resort to force only against those who start the use of force. The only proper functions of government are: to protect you from criminals; the military, to protect you from foreign invaders; and, the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law." – Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, 1957.

11.                       "There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose." Lord John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946), renowned British economist

12.                       "The emotions of man are stirred more quickly than his intelligence." Oscar Wilde

13.                       "Old age ain't no place for sissies." – Bette Davis


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *