There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh – get first all the people’s money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants forever. … There is a natural inclination in mankind to kingly government. … I am apprehensive … that the government of the states may, in future times, end in a monarchy.
Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.
Philadelphia, July 3 : Yesterday the Continental Congress declared the United Colonies free and independent states.
In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. There is no country in the world where so many provisions are established for them; so many hospitals to receive them when they are sick or lame, founded and maintained by voluntary charities; so many alms-houses for the aged of both sexes, together with a solemn general law made by the rich to subject their estates to a heavy tax for the support of the poor. Under all these obligations, are our poor modest, humble, and thankful; and do they use their best endeavours to maintain themselves, and lighten our shoulders of this burthen? — On the contrary, I affirm that there is no country in the world in which the poor are more idle, dissolute, drunken, and insolent. The day you passed that act, you took away from before their eyes the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, by giving them a dependance on somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health, for support in age or sickness. In short, you offered a premium for the encouragement of idleness, and you should not now wonder that it has had its effect in the increase of poverty.
When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.
Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. [I]ndustry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.
If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it?
He that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing.
Man will ultimately be governed by God or by tyrants.
… as all history informs us, there has been in every State & Kingdom a constant kind of warfare between the governing & governed: The one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less. And this has alone occasioned great convulsions, actual civil wars, ending either in dethroning of the Princes, or enslaving of the people. Generally indeed the ruling power carries its point, the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more. The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes; the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure. There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh, get first all the people’s money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants for ever …