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.
A fondness for power is implanted, in most men, and it is natural to abuse it, when acquired.
And it proves, in the last place, that liberty can have nothing to fear from the judiciary alone, but would have everything to fear from its union with either of the other departments.
As riches increase and accumulate in few hands, as luxury prevails in society, virtue will be in a greater degree considered as only a graceful appendage of wealth, and the tendency of things will be to depart from the republican standard. ... It is a common misfortunate that awaits our State constitution, as well as all others.
A well adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous.
Even to observe neutrality you must have a strong government.
Government implies the power of making laws. It is essential to the idea of a law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience.
I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?
In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.
In the general course of human nature, a power over a man's subsistence amounts to a power over his will.
It is a signal advantage of taxes on articles of consumption that they contain in their own nature a security against excess. ... If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the Treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds.
It is the advertiser who provides the paper for the subscriber. It is not to be disputed, that the publisher of a newspaper in this country, without a very exhaustive advertising support, would receive less reward for his labor than the humblest mechanic.
Man is a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal.
Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike.
Nobody expects to trust his body overmuch after the age of fifty.
No character, however upright, is a match for constantly reiterated attacks, however false.
Our great error is that we suppose mankind to be more honest than they are.
Real firmness is good for anything; strut is good for nothing.
The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the Divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.
The voice of the people has been said to be the voice of God; and, however generally this maxim has been quoted and believed, it is not true to fact. The people are turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right.
Those who stand for nothing will fall for anything.
A famous face, a not so famous thinker. Much more from this guy than we expect--the "bad guy" of the Founding Fathers was, like most things taught by history, way more complex than we imagine.