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Alexander Hamilton Quotes

Here are quotes by one of America's greatest founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, and related quotations about America's founding. For more history, see Founding Fathers.

Founding Fathers Quotes

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.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 70, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

A fondness for power is implanted, in most men, and it is natural to abuse it, when acquired.

Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted, February 23, 1775

Founding Fathers Quotes

A government ought to contain in itself every power requisite to the full accomplishment of the objects committed to its care, and to the complete execution of the trusts for which it is responsible, free from every other control but a regard to the public good and to the sense of the people.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 31, January 1, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

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.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 78, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

As on the one hand, the necessity for borrowing in particular emergencies cannot be doubted, so on the other, it is equally evident that to be able to borrow upon good terms, it is essential that the credit of a nation should be well established.

Alexander Hamilton, Report on Public Credit, January 9, 1790

Founding Fathers Quotes

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. This is the real disposition of human nature; it is what neither the honorable member nor myself can correct. It is a common misfortunate that awaits our State constitution, as well as all others.

Alexander Hamilton, speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, June, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

As to Taxes, they are evidently inseparable from Government. It is impossible without them to pay the debts of the nation, to protect it from foreign danger, or to secure individuals from lawless violence and rapine.

Alexander Hamilton, Address to the Electors of the State of New York, March, 1801

Founding Fathers Quotes

But as the plan of the convention aims only at a partial union or consolidation, the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not, by that act, EXCLUSIVELY delegated to the United States.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 32, January 3, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

Constitutions of civil government are not to be framed upon a calculation of existing exigencies, but upon a combination of these with the probable exigencies of ages, according to the natural and tried course of human affairs. Nothing, therefore, can be more fallacious than to infer the extent of any power, proper to be lodged in the national government, from an estimate of its immediate necessities.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 34, January 4, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

Energy in the executive is a leading character in the definition of good government. It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks; it is not less essential to the steady administration of the laws; to the protection of property against those irregular and high-handed combinations which sometimes interrupt the ordinary course of justice; to the security of liberty against the enterprises and assaults of ambition, of faction, and of anarchy.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 69, March 14, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

Experience is the oracle of truth; and where its responses are unequivocal, they ought to be conclusive and sacred.

Alexander Hamilton and Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 20, December 11, 1787

Founding Fathers Quotes

Foreign influence is truly the Grecian horse to a republic. We cannot be too careful to exclude its influence.

Alexander Hamilton, Pacificus, No. 6, July 17, 1793

Founding Fathers Quotes

Good constitutions are formed upon a comparison of the liberty of the individual with the strength of government: If the tone of either be too high, the other will be weakened too much. It is the happiest possible mode of conciliating these objects, to institute one branch peculiarly endowed with sensibility, another with knowledge and firmness. Through the opposition and mutual control of these bodies, the government will reach, in its regular operations, the perfect balance between liberty and power.

Alexander Hamilton, speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, June 25, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

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.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 15, 1787

Founding Fathers Quotes

Here sir, the people govern.

Alexander Hamilton, speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, June 17, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

I am persuaded that a firm union is as necessary to perpetuate our liberties as it is to make us respectable; and experience will probably prove that the National Government will be as natural a guardian of our freedom as the State Legislatures.

Alexander Hamilton, speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, June, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

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?

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 84, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

I never expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 85, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

I trust that the proposed Constitution afford a genuine specimen of representative government and republican government; and that it will answer, in an eminent degree, all the beneficial purposes of society.

Alexander Hamilton, speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, June, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

I will venture to assert that no combination of designing men under heaven will be capable of making a government unpopular which is in its principles a wise and good one, and vigorous in its operations.

Alexander Hamilton, speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, June, 1788



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