Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804)

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.”

“Constitutions should consist only of general provisions; the reason is that they must necessarily be permanent, and that they cannot calculate for the possible change of things.”

“Power over a man’s subsistence is power over his will.”

“Men give me credit for some genius. All the genius I have is this. When I have a subject in mind. I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. My mind becomes pervaded with it … the effort which I have made is what people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.”

“A promise must never be broken.”

“Your people, sir, is nothing but a great beast.”

“I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value.”

“A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing.”

“Man is a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal.”

“Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike.”

“A well adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous.”

“When the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation.”

“Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of man will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint.”

“I think the first duty of society is justice”

“Those who do not industrialize become hewers of wood and haulers of water.”

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

“It has been frequently remarked that 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.”

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

“Even to observe neutrality you must have a strong government.”

“In the main it will be found that a power over a man’s support (salary) is a power over his will”

“The voice of the people has been said to be the voice of God; and, however generally this maxim has been quoted and believed, it is not true to fact. The people are turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right.”

“Here, sir, the people govern; here they act by their immediate representatives.”

“Such a wife as I want… must be young, handsome I lay most stress upon a good shape, sensible a little learning will do, well-bread, chaste, and tender. As to religion, a moderate stock will satisfy me. She must believe in God and hate a saint.”

“Nobody expects to trust his body overmuch after the age of fifty.”

“Learn to think continentally.”

“The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct permanent share in the government… Can a democratic assembly who annually revolve in the mass of the people be supposed steadily to pursue the public good?”

“Real firmness is good for anything; strut is good for nothing”

“In the usual progress of things, the necessities of a nation in every stage of its existence will be found at least equal to its resources”

“In the general course of human nature, A power over a man’s subsistence amounts to a power over his will.”

“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.”

“It’s not tyranny we desire; it’s a just, limited, federal government.”

“You should not have taken advantage of my sensibility to steal into my affections without my consent.”

“It is the advertiser who provides the paper for the subscriber. It is not to be disputed, that the publisher of a newspaper in this country, without a very exhaustive advertising support, would receive less reward for his labor than the humblest mechanic.”

“Ah, this is the constitution,” he said. “Now, mark my words. So long as we are a young and virtuous people, this instrument will bind us together in mutual interests, mutual welfare, and mutual happiness. But when we become old and corrupt, it will bind no longer.”

“The founders established a government of checks and balances so nobody could take advantage. As for Hamilton, he set up our banking system.”

“Who behave amiss, or betray their public trust.”

“The courts must declare the sense of the law and if they should be disposed exercise will, instead of judgment, the consequences would be the substitution of their pleasure for that of the legislative body.”

“A constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the Legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the constitution ought to be preferred to the statute.”

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