Patrick Henry : War
is Inevitable, March 1775
"Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause
of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess,
are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against
us. Beside, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There
is a just God who presides over the destinies of Nations,
and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us."
Madison : author of the Bill of Rights
ultimate authority...resides in the people alone."
is proper to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.
We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens
and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution.
The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had
strengthened itself by exercise and entangled the question
in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle,
and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.
We revere this lesson too much ...to forget it."
liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution,
are worth defending at all hazards."
long as the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but
when once they lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender
their liberties to the first external or internal invader.
If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they
will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.
and nations are forged in the fires of adversity."
the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall
be unfurled, there will be America's heart, her benedictions
and prayers, but she goes not abroad in search of monsters
to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence
of all. She is the champion and vindicator of her own."
sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among
old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with
a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature by the hand
of the Divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured
by mortal power."
give me credit for some genius. All the genius I have is this:
When I have a subject in mind. I study it profoundly. Day
and night it is before me. My mind becomes pervaded with it,
the effort which I have made is what people are pleased to
call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.
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.
who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
temporary safety, deserve neither Liberty nor safety.
hope that mankind will at length, as they call themselves
reasonable creatures, have reason and sense enough to settle
their differences without cutting throats; for in my opinion
there never was a good war, or a bad peace.
way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.
hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to
maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles,
the character of an honest man.
err is nature, to rectify error is glory.
every question of construction of the Constitution, let us
carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was
adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and
instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the
text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one
in which it was passed.