Famous Quotes from ...

Thomas Jefferson



    The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money.

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    Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.

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    Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.

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    Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.

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    I have no ambition to govern men; it is a painful and thankless office.

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    Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

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    Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.

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    It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.

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    I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.

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    One travels more usefully when alone, because he reflects more.

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    Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government...

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    But friendship is precious, not only in shade, but in the sunshine of life; and thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part of life is sunshine

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    Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.

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    Responsibility is a tremendous engine in a free government

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    The States should be left to do whatever acts they can do as well as the general government

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    The second office of this government is honorable and easy, the first is but a splendid misery

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    The mobs of the great cities add just so much to the support of pure government, as sores do to the strength of the human body

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    So confident am I in the intentions, as well as wisdom, of the government, that I shall always be satisfied that what is not done, either cannot, or ought not to be done.

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    The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as they are injurious to others.

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    I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.

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    The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public moneys

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    Money, not morality, is the principle commerce of civilized nations.

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    A government big enough to supply you with everything you need is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.... The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases.

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    The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.

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    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.

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    A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inferences

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    The appointment of a woman to office is an innovation for which the public is not prepared, nor am I

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    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 reserved 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, not longer susceptible of any definition.

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    If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy

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    A single good government is a blessing to the whole earth

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    Truth is certainly a branch of morality and a very important one to society.

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    Let us in education dream of an aristocracy of achievement arising out of a democracy of opportunity

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    Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people.

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    A single zealot may commence prosecutor, and better men be his victims

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    I find as I grow older that I love those most whom I loved first.

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    A little rebellion now and then... is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.

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    Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. education and free discussion are the antidotes of both.

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    Traveling makes men wiser, but less happy

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    What is it men cannot be made to believe!

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    The greatest honor of a man is in doing good to his fellow men, not in destroying them.

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    Conquest is not in our principles; it is inconsistent with our government

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    Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.

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    It is not by consolidation, or concentration of powers, but by their distribution, that good government is effected

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    What a stupendous, what an incomprehensible machine is man! Who can endure toil, famine, stripes, imprisonment and death itself in vindication of his own liberty, and the next moment . . . inflict on his fellow men a bondage, one hour of which is fra

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    A republican government is slow to move, yet when once in motion, its momentum becomes irresistible

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    Reading, reflection and time have convinced me that the interests of society require the observation of those moral precepts only in which all religions agree (for all forbid us to steal, murder, plunder, or bear false witness), and that we should n

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    A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.

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    No government can continue good but under the control of the people

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    Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.

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    Most bad government has grown out of too much government.

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    It is a misnomer to call a government republican in which a branch of the supreme power [the judiciary] is independent of the nation.

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    I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage with my books, my family and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post, which any human power can give.

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    Governments (derive) their just powers from the consent of the governed

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    When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

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    No one more sincerely wishes the spread of information among mankind than I do, and none has greater confidence in its effect towards supporting free and good government.

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    I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.

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    The rights of human nature are deeply wounded by this infamous practice of slavery.

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    Men are disposed to live honestly, if the means of doing so are open to them.

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    All men are created equal.

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