"We have heard of the impious doctrine in the old world, that the people were made for kings, not kings for the people. Is the same doctrine to be revived in the new, in another shape -- that the solid happiness of the people is to be sacrificed to the views of political institutions of a different form? It is too early for politicians to presume on our forgetting that the public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the supreme object to be pursued; and that no form of government whatever has any other value than as it may be fitted for the attainment of this object."

--James Madison, Federalist No. 45

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"[T]he Constitution ought to be the standard of construction for the laws, and that wherever there is an evident opposition, the laws ought to give place to the Constitution. But this doctrine is not deducible from any circumstance peculiar to the plan of convention, but from the general theory of a limited Constitution."

--Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 81, 1788
"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If `Thou shalt not covet' and `Thou shalt not steal' were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free."

--John Adams, A Defense of the American Constitutions, 1787
"Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."

--James Madison
"Work as if you were to live 100 Years, Pray as if you were to die To-morrow."

--Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1757
"To cherish and stimulate the activity of the human mind, by multiplying the objects of enterprise, is not among the least considerable of the expedients, by which the wealth of a nation may be promoted."

--Alexander Hamilton, Report on Manufactures, December, 1791
"Where liberty dwells, there is my country."

--Benjamin Franklin (attributed), letter to Benjamin Vaughn, March 14, 1783
"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood."

--John Adams, A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1765
"Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!"

--George Washington, letter to James Warren, March 31, 1779
"The Sun never shined on a cause of greater worth."

--Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776
"Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."

--Leviticus 25:10 Inscription on the Liberty Bell
"When occasions present themselves, in which the interests of the people are at variance with their inclinations, it is the duty of the persons whom they have appointed to be the guardians of those interests, to withstand the temporary delusion, in order to give them time and opportunity for more cool and sedate reflection."

--Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 71
"It behooves you, therefore, to think and act for yourself and your people. The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counselors. The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail."

--Thomas Jefferson, A Summary View of the Rights of British America, 1775

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