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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

If a well-regulated militia be the most natural defense of a free country, it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security. If standing armies are dangerous to liberty, an efficacious power over the militia in the same body ought, as far as possible, to take away the inducement and the pretext to such unfriendly institutions. If the federal government can command the aid of the militia in those emergencies which call for the military arm in support of the civil magistrate, it can the better dispense with the employment of a different kind of force. If it cannot avail itself of the former, it will be obliged to recur to the latter. To render an army unnecessary will be a more certain method of preventing its existence than a thousand prohibitions upon paper.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 29, January 10, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds. This forms a complete barrier against any material oppression of the citizens by taxes of this class, and is itself a natural limitation of the power of imposing them.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 21, 1787

Founding Fathers Quotes

If it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws — the first growing out of the last.... A sacred respect for the constitutional law is the vital principle, the sustaining energy of a free government.

Alexander Hamilton, Essay in the American Daily Advertiser, Aug 28, 1794

Founding Fathers Quotes

If mankind were to resolve to agree in no institution of government, until every part of it had been adjusted to the most exact standard of perfection, society would soon become a general scene of anarchy, and the world a desert.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 65, March 7, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 33, January 3, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

In all very numerous assemblies, of whatever character composed, passion never fails to wrest the sceptre from reason. ... Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.

Alexander Hamilton and Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 55, February 15, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

In disquisitions of every kind there are certain primary truths, or first principles, upon which all subsequent reasoning must depend.

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

Founding Fathers Quotes

In politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 1, October 27, 1787

Founding Fathers Quotes

In the first place, there is not a syllable in the plan under consideration which directly empowers the national courts to construe the laws according to the spirit of the Constitution, or which gives them any greater latitude in this respect than may be claimed by the courts of every State.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 81, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

Industry is increased, commodities are multiplied, agriculture and manufacturers flourish: and herein consists the true wealth and prosperity of a state.

Alexander Hamilton, Report on a National Bank, December 13, 1790

Founding Fathers Quotes

It is a just observation that the people commonly intend the Public Good. This often applies to their very errors. But their good sense would despise the adulator who should pretend they always reason right about the means of promoting it.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 71, March 18, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

It is a singular advantage of taxes on articles of consumption that they contain in their own nature a security against excess. They prescribe their own limit, which cannot be exceeded without defeating the end purposed — that is, an extension of the revenue.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 21

Founding Fathers Quotes

It is an unquestionable truth, that the body of the people in every country desire sincerely its prosperity. But it is equally unquestionable that they do not possess the discernment and stability necessary for systematic government. To deny that they are frequently led into the grossest of errors, by misinformation and passion, would be a flattery which their own good sense must despise.

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

Founding Fathers Quotes

It is evident from the state of the country, from the habits of the people, from the experience we have had on the point itself, that it is impracticable to raise any very considerable sums by direct taxation.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 12, November 27, 1787

Founding Fathers Quotes

It is one thing to be subordinate to the laws, and another [for the Executive] to be dependent on the legislative body. The first comports with, the last violates, the fundamental principles of good government; and, whatever may be the forms of the Constitution, unites all power in the same hands.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 71, March 18, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

It seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force. If there be any truth in the remark, the crisis at which we are arrived may with propriety be regarded as the era in which that decision is to be made; and a wrong election of the part we shall act may, in this view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 1, October 27, 1787

Founding Fathers Quotes

It was remarked yesterday that a numerous representation was necessary to obtain the confidence of the people. This is not generally true. The confidence of the people will easily be gained by a good administration. This is the true touchstone.

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

Founding Fathers Quotes

It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow.

Alexander Hamilton and Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 62, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station [of President] filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 68, March 14, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?

Alexander Hamilton and Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 62, 1788



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