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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

The instrument by which it [government] must act are either the AUTHORITY of the laws or FORCE. If the first be destroyed, the last must be substituted; and where this becomes the ordinary instrument of government there is an end to liberty!

Alexander Hamilton, Tully, No. 3, August 28, 1794

Founding Fathers Quotes

The Judiciary...has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society, and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither force nor will.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 78, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

The local interest of a State ought in every case to give way to the interests of the Union. For when a sacrifice of one or the other is necessary, the former becomes only an apparent, partial interest, and should yield, on the principle that the smaller good ought never to oppose the greater good.

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

Founding Fathers Quotes

The natural cure for an ill-administration, in a popular or representative constitution, is a change of men.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 21, 1787

Founding Fathers Quotes

The proposed Constitution, so far from implying an abolition of the State governments, makes them constituent parts of the national sovereignty, by allowing them a direct representation in the Senate, and leaves in their possession certain exclusive and very important portions of sovereign power. This fully corresponds, in every rational import of the terms, with the idea of a federal government.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 9, 1787

Founding Fathers Quotes

The propriety of a law, in a constitutional light, must always be determined by the nature of the powers upon which it is founded.

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

Founding Fathers Quotes

The prosperity of commerce is now perceived and acknowledged by all enlightened statesmen to be the most useful as well as the most productive source of national wealth, and has accordingly become a primary object of its political cares.

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

Founding Fathers Quotes

The regular distribution of power into distinct departments; the introduction of legislative balances and checks; the institution of courts composed of judges holding their offices during good behavior; the representation of the people in the legislature by deputies of their own election... They are means, and powerful means, by which the excellences of republican government may be retained and its imperfections lessened or avoided.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 9, 1787

Founding Fathers Quotes

The republican principle demands that the deliberate sense of the community should govern the conduct of those to whom they entrust the management of their affairs; but it does not require an unqualified complaisance to every sudden breeze of passion or to every transient impulse which the people may receive from the arts of men, who flatter their prejudices to betray their interests.

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

Founding Fathers Quotes

The rights of neutrality will only be respected when they are defended by an adequate power. A nation, despicable by its weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 11, 1787

Founding Fathers Quotes

The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.

Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted, February 23, 1775

Founding Fathers Quotes

The standard of good behavior for the continuance in office of the judicial magistracy is certainly one of the most valuable of the modern improvements in the practice of government.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 78, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

The State governments possess inherent advantages, which will ever give them an influence and ascendancy over the National Government, and will for ever preclude the possibility of federal encroachments. That their liberties, indeed, can be subverted by the federal head, is repugnant to every rule of political calculation.

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

Founding Fathers Quotes

The tendency of a national bank is to increase public and private credit. The former gives power to the state, for the protection of its rights and interests: and the latter facilitates and extends the operations of commerce among individuals. 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 Manufactures, 1790

Founding Fathers Quotes

The true principle of government is this — make the system compleat in its structure; give a perfect proportion and balance to its parts; and the powers you give it will never affect your security.

Alexander Hamilton, Remarks in the New York Ratifying Convention, June, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

The truth is, after all the declamations we have heard, that the Constitution is itself, in every rational sense, and to every useful purpose, A BILL OF RIGHTS.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 84, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

There are certain social principles in human nature, from which we may draw the most solid conclusions with respect to the conduct of individuals and of communities. We love our families more than our neighbors; we love our neighbors more than our countrymen in general. The human affections, like solar heat, lose their intensity as they depart from the centre... On these principles, the attachment of the individual will be first and for ever secured by the State governments. They will be a mutual protection and support.

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

Founding Fathers Quotes

There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.

Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted, February 23, 1775

Founding Fathers Quotes

There is no part of the administration of government that requires extensive information and a thorough knowledge of the principles of political economy, so much as the business of taxation. The man who understands those principles best will be least likely to resort to oppressive expedients, or sacrifice any particular class of citizens to the procurement of revenue. It might be demonstrated that the most productive system of finance will always be the least burdensome.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 35, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

There is nothing absurd or impracticable in the idea of a league or alliance between independent nations for certain defined purposes precisely stated in a treaty regulating all the details of time, place, circumstance, and quantity; leaving nothing to future discretion; and depending for its execution on the good faith of the parties.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 15, 1787



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