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View all quotes by Thomas Jefferson
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"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
"...a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
"A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt...If the game runs sometime against us at home, we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake."
"Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations -- entangling alliances with none."
"The government is best which governs least."
"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself."
"I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power."
"History, in general, only informs us what bad government is."
"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all."
"The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object."
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