Quotes Supporting Principle Ten

From The American Ideal...

"BILL OF RIGHTS" IN FIRST CONSTITUTION

[Right to] . . . lives and liberties . . . acquiring, possessing, and protecting property . . .

Bill of Rights of Mass., 1780

LIBERTY AND PROPERTY-- RIGHTS MUST SHARE THE SAME FATE

There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage.

Rev. John Witherspoon (Sermon, May 17, 1776)

LIFE, LIBERTY, PROPERTY, ETC.

That all men . . . have certain inherent rights . . . namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property . . .

Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776

[Recommending that each Colony form a new government] . . . and it is necessary that . . . all the powers of Government [should be] exerted, under the authority of the people of the colonies, for the preservation of internal peace, virtue, and good order, as well as for the defence of their lives, liberties and properties . . .

Resolutions, Continental Congress, May 15, 1776

RIGHT, PROPERTY AND GOVERNMENT STAND OR FALL TOGETHER

It is essentially a natural right, that a man shall quietly enjoy, and have the sole disposal of his own property . . . The security of right and property, is the great end of government. Surely, then, such measures as tend to render right and property precarious, tend to destroy both property and government, for these must stand or fall together. Property is admitted to have an existence in the savage state of nature; and if it is necessary for the support of savage life, it by no means becomes less so in civil society.

House of Representatives of Massachusetts (To the King's representative, 1768)

PROPERTY AND LIBERTY

Property must be secured, or liberty cannot exist.

John Adams ("Discourses on Davila," 1790)

STATE OF PROPERTY, EQUAL OR UNEQUAL

. . . our wish . . . is, that . . . [there be maintained] . . . that state of property, equal or unequal, which results to every man from his own industry, or that of his fathers.

President Thomas Jefferson (Second Inaugural Address)

PROPERTY AN ESSENTIAL RIGHT

That Government is instituted and ought to be exercised for the benefit of the people; which consists in the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the right of acquiring and using property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

James Madison (In 1st Session of Congress of U.S., in proposing "Bill of Rights" amendments to U.S. Constitution)

THE GREAT END OF GOVERNMENT

. . . the great end of government . . . [after the glory of God, is] . . . the good of man, the common benefit of society . . . instituted for the preservation of mens persons, properties & various rights . . . (Per the original.)

Rev. Jonathan Mayhew (Election Sermon, 1754)

THE BASIS OF THE RIGHT TO PROPERTY

And as Reason tells us, all are born thus naturally equal, i.e., with an equal Right to their Persons; so also with an equal Right to their Preservation; and therefore to such Things as Nature affords for their Subsistence . . . [Each Man entitled to the fruits of his labor] . . . Thus every Man having a natural Right to (or being the Proprietor of) his own Person and his own Actions and Labour and to what he can honestly acquire by his Labour, which we call Property; it certainly follows, that no Man can have a Right to the Person or Property of another . . . [and a Man has a right to defend his property] (Emphasis per original.)

Rev. Elisha Williams ("A Seasonable Plea .... "1744) (Note: "Person" connotes Liberty, "Preservation" connotes Life, and "Subsistence" connotes Property.)

PROPERTY IN RIGHTS--- AND RIGHTS OF PROPERTY

If the United States mean to obtain or deserve the full praise due to t wise and just governments, they will equally respect the rights of property, and the property in rights . . .

James Madison (Essay, The National Gazette, 1792) (Note: full text is quoted at pages 232-233 of this study-guide.)

WICKED PROJECTS, SUCH AS A FORCED DIVISION OF PROPERTY EQUALLY

A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project [will be less likely for the entire Union].

The Federalist (no. 10, by James Madison)

DESPOTIC SCHEMES FOR "LEVELLING"

. . . The Utopian schemes of levelling, and a community of goods, are as visionary and impracticable, as those which vest all property in the Crown, are arbitrary, despotic, and in our government unconstitutional.

House of Representatives of Massachusetts (1768, to agent in London for the Colonies) (Note: the word "unconstitutional" pertains to the British "Constitution.")

SECURITY OF PROPERTY ONLY ONE OF THE ENDS OF GOVERNMENT

. . . tho' it is also admitted that the security of property is one end of government, but that of little estimation even in the view of a miser when life and liberty of locomotion and further accumulation are placed in competition, it must be a very absurd way of speaking to assert that one end of government is the foundation of government . . . [the people delegate power to government only to serve "the good of the whole"] The end of government being the good of mankind, points out its great duties: It is above all things to provide for the security, the quiet, and happy enjoyment of life, liberty, and property. There is not one act which a government can have a right to make, that does not tend to the advancement of the security, tranquility and prosperity of the people. (Emphasis per original.)

James Otis ("The Rights of the British Colonies," 1764)