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Great Liberty Books to Read

Our Founding Fathers risked everything they had to create a new nation, the United States of America. Had the American Revolution failed, each of them would have faced execution - and the loss of all their property, which would have condemned their wives and children to a life of poverty. It was a remarkable gamble, because most of the Founding Fathers were already wealthy, successful men. They didn't rebel against England for personal enrichment; they rebelled because they truly believed that the loss of freedom was worse than death.

There are lots of "freedom quotes" from all kinds of world leaders, philosophers and theologians, but the freedom quotes from our Founding Fathers are infinitely more powerful - because they succeeded in removing the shackles of tyranny. And all along the way, Liberty's lantern was their guiding light.

For further inspiration and insight, please read some of the best quotes from our Founding Fathers on liberty, freedom, morality, patriotism, our republic, democracy, Constitutional law, and American Exceptionalism:

You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make a good use of it.
John Adams

Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet, that did not commit suicide. John Adams

The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution, are worth defending against all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.
Samuel Adams

A General Dissolution of Principles & Manners will more surely overthrow the Liberties of America than the whole Force of the Common Enemy.
Samuel Adams

They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.
Benjamin Franklin

Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.
Benjamin Franklin

I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.
Nathan Hale

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

"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government".
Alexander Hamilton

"We have all one common cause; let it, therefore, be our only contest, who shall most contribute to the security of the liberties of America."
John Hancock

"I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
Patrick Henry

"The policy of American government is to leave its citizens free, neither restraining them nor aiding them in their pursuits."
Thomas Jefferson

"A sacred respect for the constitutional law is the vital principle, the sustaining energy of a free government."
Thomas Jefferson

"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty."
Thomas Jefferson

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms and be taught alike especially when young how to use them".
Richard Henry Lee

"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 today can guess what it will be tomorrow."
James Madison

"Democracy is the most vile form of government..... democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property: and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths".
James Madison

"Nothing so strongly impels a man to regard the interests of his constituents, as the certainty of returning to the general mass of the people, from whence he was taken, where he must participate in their burdens".
George Mason

"The end of the government being the good of mankind points out its great duties: it is above all things to provide for the security, the quiet, the happy enjoyment of life, liberty, and property."
James Otis Jr.

"It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government".
Thomas Paine

"Those people who will not be ruled by God will be ruled by tyrants".
William Penn

"If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter"
George Washington

"The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people". George Washington

"The Constitution is the guide which I will never abandon" George Washington

"Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster, and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, because if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world".
Daniel Webster

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States."
....Noah Webster


"Nothing clarifies a man's thoughts like staking his life on them".
"All the pleasures of riches, science, virtue, and even religion itself derive their value from liberty alone."
William Penn "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
Patrick Henry "The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive."
Thomas Jefferson "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
Thomas Jefferson "The 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."
Alexander Hamilton "What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated."
Thomas Paine "Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia and Africa have long expelled her. Europe regards her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O! Receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind."
Thomas Paine "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
Samuel Adams "Freedom and not servitude is the cure of anarchy; as religion, and not atheism, is the true remedy for superstition."
Edmund Burke "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion... Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
John Adams "A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of a higher obligation. \u2026 To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means."
Thomas Jefferson "Those that can give up essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Benjamin Franklin "When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."
Benjamin Franklin "Of the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press; of the trial by jury of the vicinage in civil and criminal cases; of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms...If these rights are well defined, and secured against encroachment, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny."
James Monroe "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 today can guess what it will be tomorrow."
James Madison "Our new Constitution is now established, everything seems to promise it will be durable; but, in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes."
Benjamin Franklin "The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside. Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them"
Thomas Paine "What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms."
Thomas Jefferson More to come....

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