American Statesman, First United States Secretary of the Treasury, a Founding Father, Economist and Political Philosopher
"In the general course of human nature, a power over a man's subsistence amount to a power over his will."
"In politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution."
"Patience does not mean indifference. We may work and trust and wait, but we ought not to be idle or careless while waiting."
"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against he usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state."
"A good government implies two things: first, fidelity to the object of government, which is the happiness of the people; secondly, a knowledge of the means by which that object can be best attained. Some governments are deficient in both these qualities; most governments are deficient in the first."
"It is a just observation that the people commonly intend the public good. This often applies to their very errors. But their good sense would despise the adulator who should pretend that they always reason right about the means of promoting it. They known from experience that they sometimes err; and the wonder is that they so seldom err as they do, beset, as they continually are, by the wiles of parasites and sycophants, by the snares of the ambitious, the avaricious, the desperate, by the artifices of men who possess their confidence more then they deserve it, and of those who seek to possess rather than to deserve it."
"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if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, and undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule which is little known and less fixed?"
"Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint."
"The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust."
"The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precaution for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust... The most effectual one is such a limitation of the term of appointments as will maintain a proper responsibility to the people."
"The amelioration of the condition of mankind, and the increase of human happiness ought to be the leading objects of every political institution, and the aim of every individual, according to the measure of his power, in the situation he occupies."
"Six things are requisite to create a "happy home." Integrity must be the architect, and tidiness the upholsterer. It must be warmed by affection, lighted up with cheerfulness, and industry must be the ventilator, renewing the atmosphere and bringing in fresh salubrity day by day; while over all, as a protecting canopy and glory, nothing will suffice except the blessing of God."
"What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary."
"When occasions present themselves, in which the interests of the people are at variance with their inclinations, it is the duty of the persons whom they have appointed to be the guardians of those interests, to withstand the temporary delusion, in order to give them time and opportunity for more cool and sedate reflection."