Thomas Jefferson Quotes
I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.
Letter to William Ludlow (1824)
Amplification is the vice of modern oratory. It is an insult to an assembly of reasonable men, disgusting and revolting instead of persuading. Speeches measured by the hour, die with the hour.
Letter to David Harding, April 20, 1824
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.
Letter to Charles Yancey (January 6, 1816)
I sincerely believe ... that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.
Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.
History is essential to wisdom and statesmanship. It teaches the young the virtues of freedom. By apprising them of the past it will enable them to judge the future; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise and knowing it, to defeat its views.
In questions of power, then, let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.
Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.
Experience has taught me that manufacturers are now as necessary to our independence as to our comfort.
Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
I like dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
I'm a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.
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.
Law and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind.
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.