Quotes Supporting Principle Nine

From The American Ideal...

LIBERTY VERSUS GOVERNMENT-PROVIDED SECURITY

However great the tragedy Freedom's experience may be, Security in servitude is the dread alternative to Individual Liberty.

THE AMERICAN MOTTO

. . . give me liberty or give me death.

Patrick Henry (Address in second Virginia Convention, 1775)

SECURITY OF LIBERTY PARAMOUNT

. . . for the efficient management of your common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a Government of as much vigour as is consistent with the perfect security of Liberty is indispensable.

President George Washington, Farewell Address

WHO ARE A FREE PEOPLE?

For who are a free people? Not those, over whom government is reasonably and equitably exercised, but those, who live under a government so constitutionally checked and controuled, that proper provision is made against its being otherwise exercised.

John Dickinson (Emphasis per original.) (Political Writings, 1767-1768)

THE CONSTITUTION'S RECONCILIATION OF MAN'S NEED FOR GOVERNMENT WITH HIS DESIRE FOR LIBERTY

Among the difficulties encountered by the [1787 Framing] convention, a very important one must have lain, in combining the requisite stability and energy in government with the inviolable attention due to liberty, and to the republican form [of government].

The Federalist (no. 37, by Madison)

LOSS OF LIBERTY AT HOME DUE TO FOREIGN DANGERS, REAL OR PRETENDED

The management of foreign relations appears to be the most susceptible of abuse of all the trusts committed to a Government, because they can be concealed or disclosed, or disclosed in such parts and at such times as will best suit particular views . . . Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.

James Madison (Letter to Jefferson, 1798)

LIBERTY AND FACTION

Liberty is to faction, what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be a less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.

The Federalist (no. 10, by James Madison)

NATURAL RIGHTS

"Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these First a Right to Life; Secondly to Liberty; thirdly to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can--Those are evident Branches of, rather than deductions from the Duty of Self Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature--" (Emphasis per original.)

Resolutions of Town of Boston, 1772 ("The Rights of the Colonists . . .")

SOME SOUND PRINCIPLES

Secondly, That every man . . . is, of common right, and by the laws of God, a freeman, and entitled to the free enjoyment of liberty. Thirdly, that liberty, or freedom, consists in having an actual share in the appointment of those who frame the laws, and who are to be the guardians of every man's life, property, and peace; for the all of one man is as dear to him as the all of another; and the poor man has an equal right, but more need, to have representatives in the legislature than the rich one. (Emphasis per original.)

Benjamin Franklin (Note: "Some Good Whig Principles" approved by Franklin.)

FIRST AMENDMENT CONFIRMS DENIAL OF POWER TO CONGRESS AS TO RELIGION

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .

First Amendment, U.S. Constitution (Note: "establishment" here means an organization, such as the Church of England organization then in some States.)

FREEDOM OF CHOICE--AND RELIGION

From the dissensions among sects themselves arises necessarily a right of chusing & necessity of deliberating to which we will conform, but if we chuse for ourselves, we must allow others to chuse also, & to reciprocally. This establishes religious liberty.

Thomas Jefferson ("Notes on Religion," 1776)

That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience . . .

Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776

Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities . . . the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind . . .

Virginia Statute of Religious Liberty, 1786

LIBERTY UNDER LAW, BY CONSENT

Political liberty is by some defined, a liberty of doing whatever is not prohibited by law. The definition is erroneous. A tyrant may govern by laws . . . Let it be thus defined; political liberty is the right every man in the state has, to do whatever is not prohibited by laws, TO WHICH HE HAS GIVEN HIS CONSENT. This definition is in unison with the feelings of a free people. (Emphasis per original.)

"Essex Result" (Report of Convention of Towns, Essex County, Mass., rejecting first proposed Constitution for Mass., 1778)