In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.
The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.
No people will tamely surrender their liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved. On the contrary, when people are universally ignorant, and debauched in their manners, they will sink under their own weight without the aid of foreign invaders.
[T]here is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust.
When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.
All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.
A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.
The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public monies.
The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.
Beware the greedy hand of government, thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry.