Federalist Papers Quotes



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It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Alexander Hamilton

The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man. James Madison

The Founders understood that democracy was important, but if you didn't filter it through a republican system you'd be just as likely to end up with a tyranny of the majority as you would with a healthy society. Don't worry, I won't quote the Federalist Papers, but trust me, it's in there. Jonah Goldberg

Can the real Constitution be restored? Probably not. Too many Americans depend on government money under programs the Constitution doesn't authorize, and money talks with an eloquence Shakespeare could only envy. Ignorant people don't understand The Federalist Papers, but they understand government checks with their names on them. Joseph Sobran

Our country, if you read the 'Federalist Papers,' is about disagreement. It's about pitting faction against faction, divided government, checks and balances. The hero in American political tradition is the man who stands up to the mob - not the mob itself. Jonah Goldberg

In a free government, the security for civil rights must be the same as that for religious rights. It consists in the one case in the multiplicity of interests, and in the other in the multiplicity of sects. Alexander Hamilton

Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. To be more safe, [nations] at length become willing to run the risk of being less free. Alexander Hamilton

It is our policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world. George Washington

The religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. James Madison

A zeal for different opinions concerning religion...[has] divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good. James Madison

A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest while we are building ideal monuments of Renown and Bliss here we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven. James Madison

A feeble executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution; and a government ill executed, whatever may be its theory, must be, in practice, a bad government. Alexander Hamilton

Of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants. Alexander Hamilton

Extend the sphere and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have common motive to invade the rights of other citizens. James Madison

The invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the Constituents. James Madison

It is of great importance in a republic, not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers; but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. James Madison

[T]he great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachment of the others. James Madison

A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions. James Madison

The vigour of government is essential to the security of liberty. . . . a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people, than under the forbidding appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government. Alexander Hamilton

Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of man will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint. Alexander Hamilton

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