...Government




Thomas Paine

The end of all political associations is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man; and these rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance of oppression.

Rights of Man – Part One



James Winthrop

It is universally agreed, that the object of every just government is to render the people happy, by securing their persons and possessions from wrong.

“Agrippa” XII
Massachusetts Gazette,
Boston,
January 11, 1788



Pelatiah Webster

But after all, the grand secret of forming a good government, is, to put good men into the administration: for wild, vicious, or idle men, will ever make a bad government, let its principles be ever so good; but grave, wise, and faithful men, acting under a good constitution, will afford the best chance of security, peace, and prosperity, to the citizens...

The Weaknesses of Brutus Exposed:
“A Citizen of Philadelphia”
Philadelphia
November 8, 1787



James Madison

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.

Speech on Proposed Constitutional Amendments
June 8, 1789



James Madison

Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own.

National Gazette,
March 29, 1792



Thomas Paine

Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.

Common Sense



Pelatiah Webster

No form of government can preserve a nation which can't controul the party rage of its own citizens; when any one citizen can rise above the controul of the laws, ruin draws near. 'Tis not possible for any nation on earth, to hold their strength and establishment, when the dignity of their government is lost, and this dignity will forever depend on the wisdom and firmness of the officers of government, aided and supported by the virtue and patriotism of their citizens.

The Weaknesses of Brutus Exposed:
“A Citizen of Philadelphia”
Philadelphia
November 8, 1787



George Mason

Nothing is so essential to the preservation of a Republican Government, as a periodical rotation. Nothing so strongly impels a man to regard the interest of his constituents, as the certainty of returning to the general mass of the people, from whence he was taken; were he must participate in their burdens.

Speech at the Virginia Convention
June 17, 1788


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Thomas Paine

Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the later negatively by restraining our vices.

Common Sense



If then this government should not derive support from the good will of the people, it must be executed by force, or not executed at all; either case would lead to the total destruction of liberty.

“Brutus” IV
New York Journal,
November 29, 1787



Thomas Paine

Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.

Common Sense



Pelatiah Webster

...the greatest care has been used to procure and form a good Congress.

The dignity and importance of their station and character will afford all the inducements to virtue and effort, which can influence a mind capable of their force.

Their own personal reputation, with the eyes of all the world on them,—the approbation of their fellow citizens, which every man in public station naturally wishes to enjoy,—and the dread of censure and shame, all contribute very forceable and strong inducements to noble, upright and worthy behavior.

The Weaknesses of Brutus Exposed:
“A Citizen of Philadelphia”
Philadelphia
November 8, 1787



The object of every free government is the public good, and all lesser interests yield to it. That of every tyrannical government, is the happiness and aggrandisement of one, or a few, and to this the public felicity, and every other interest must submit.

“Brutus” IV
New York Journal,
November 29, 1787



Pelatiah Webster

The particular interest which every member of Congress has in every public order and resolution, is another strong motive to right action. For every act to which any member gives his sanction, if it be raising an army, levying a tax, instituting a court, or any other act to bind the States,—such act will equally bind himself, his nearest connections, and his posterity.

The Weaknesses of Brutus Exposed:
“A Citizen of Philadelphia”
Philadelphia
November 8, 1787



Oliver Ellsworth

The business of civil government is to protect the citizens in his rights, to defend the community from hostile powers, and to promote the general welfare.

“A Landholder” VII
Connecticut Courant (Hartford)
December 17, 1787


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