[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.
Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them.
If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one …
Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.