Reviving An American Revolutionary Spirit: A Passion For LibertySubmitted by spitfireatme on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 11:55
Feeling some strong emotions the other day in reaction to a political video I viewed online, I was inclined to look up some of the writings of the Founding Fathers and other American Patriots. I recall growing up with a strong sense of American Revolutionary Spirit which I have carried with me throughout most of my life, but certainly as I've grown up there have been enormous challenges to keeping it alive. Nevertheless, I wanted to re-collect some of these vital quotes which should inspire and give information about the character of the American Revolution, which in turn should help form a healthy attitude for American liberty and individualism.
Read on and may a passion for liberty be ignited in your heart!
"Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the
Declaration of Independence?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured
before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two
lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two
sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships
of the Revolutionary War. They signed and they pledged their lives,
their fortunes, and their sacred honor. What kind of men were they?"
"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace.
We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand
that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may
posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
- Samuel Adams
"... God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a
rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The
part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the
importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under
such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the
public liberty.... And what country can preserve its liberties, if its
rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the
spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them
right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few
lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed
from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its
Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334 (C.J. Boyd, Ed., 1950)
"If we wish to be free, if we mean to preserve inviolate those
inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending, if
we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been
so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon
until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained _ we must
fight!" Patrick Henry
It's not an endlessly expanding list of rights – the "right" to
education, the "right" to health care, the "right" to food and
housing. That's not freedom, that's dependency. Those aren't rights,
those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.
- Alexis De Tocquiville
JA2. "Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of
freedom." - John Adams
He is probably best remembered for his purported last words before
being hanged for treason, by the British: "I only regret that I have
but one life to give for my country." - Nathan Hale
“Fireams stand next in importance of the Constitution itself.
They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence.”
"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and
lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
"Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the world that a free man, contending for his liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth." George Washington, July 2, 1776
"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever." 1781, Query XVIII of his Notes on that State of Virginia.
"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
- Samuel Adams
"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power (of money) should be taken away from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs."
- Thomas Jefferson
History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.
- Thomas Jefferson
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!"
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
- Benjamin Franklin
Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty.
- Thomas Jefferson
These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. 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
I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labor and in our amusements. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labor of the people, under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.
- Thomas Jefferson [What would Jefferson say today?]
To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
-Thomas Jefferson [What would Jefferson say today?]
I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.
-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Ludlow, September 6, 1824
"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 pretence, raised in the United States."
"A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins."
- Benjamin Franklin