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Let others give aid and comfort to despots. Be it ours to stand for liberty and justice, nor fear to lock arms with those who are called hot-heads and demagogues, when the good cause requires.-Charles A. Dana (1848).
Each generation freedom's creed
And freemen warned that all they have
And are was dearly bought;
And oft must Lexington be roused
And Concord's fight be fought.
-Daniel Leavens Cady (1917).
What matter our lives? If we lose our freedom, to what end should we desire to live any longer?-Mattathias (166 B. C.).
God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.-Daniel Webster (1834).
Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.—John Philpot Curran (1808).
Yes! to this thought I hold with firm persistence;
The last result of wisdom stamps it true;
He only earns his freedom and existence
Who daily conquers them anew.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1825).
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.-Thomas Paine (1801).
Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can.-Samuel Adams (1772).
Our object is to vindicate the principles of peace and justice in the life of the world as against selfish and autocratic power, and to set up among the really free and self-governed peoples of the world such a concert of purpose and of action as will henceforth insure the observance of those principles.— Woodrow Wilson (1917).
For Freedom's battle, once begun,
Bequeathed from bleeding sire to son,
-Lord Byron (1821).
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 his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and the thanks of man and woman.-Thomas Paine (1777).
The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. It is a fearful thing to lead this great, peaceful people into war-into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But right is more precious than peace.-Woodrow Wilson (1917).
This hand to tyrants ever sworn the foe,
Then sheathes in calm repose the vengeful blade,
-John Quincy Adams (1842).
As long as one hundred of us remain alive, we will never consent to be a subject people. For it is not glory, it is not riches, neither is it honor, but it is liberty alone that we contend for, which no honest man will lose save with his life.-Robert Bruce (1320).
Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the government, nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it.—Abraham Lincoln (1860).
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
-Ralph Waldo Emerson (1867).
What does it mean, in fact, to be free? It is reasoning justly and knowing the Rights of Man; and being known, they will be defended.-Francois Voltaire (1750).
But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts—for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.—Woodrow Wilson (1917).
The Athenians will not sell their liberties for all the gold either above or under ground.-Aristides.
Their country first, their glory and their pride;
-James T. Fields (1873).
Liberty is one of the choicest gifts that heaven hath bestowed upon man, and exceeds in value all the treasures which the earth contains within its bosom, or the sea covers. Liberty, as well as honor, man ought to preserve at the hazard of his life, for without it life is insupportable.—Miguel de Cervantes (1590).
Blandishments will not fascinate us, nor will threats of a “halter” intimidate. For, under God, we are determined that wheresoever, whensoever, or howsoever we shall be called to make our exit, we will die free men.—Josiah Quincy (1774).
'Tis sweeter to bleed for an age at thy shrine
Than to sleep but a moment in chains!
-Thomas Moore (1846).
Those priceless rights, (civil liberties) guaranteed under the Constitution, have been the source of our happiness from our very beginnings as a nation. We have been accustomed to take them as a matter of course. Now, however, when we see other nations challenging those liberties, it behooves us to exercise that eternal vigilance which now, as always, is the price of liberty. No matter what comes we must preserve our national birthright; liberty of conscience and of education, of the press and of free assembly, and equal justice to all under the law.
As a free people we must defend our dearly won heritage of freedom against all assaults.-Franklin D. Roosevelt (1939).
The individual freedoms in our Bill of Rights are the supreme benediction of American democracy: they must be uncompromisingly defended to the death.—— Arthur H. Vandenberg (1940).
We must realize that liberty is not a gift from heaven; that liberty is something for which we must fight and sacrifice.—Ernest W. Gibson, Jr. (1940).
How sure the bolt that Justice wings;
For Freedom's Flag and Freedom's Land!
Giving Up Liberty
-Bayard Taylor (1865).
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.-Benjamin Franklin (1759)..
We desire liberty, and an indifferent use of all things. This we will have. Otherwise these tumults and our lives shall only be ended together . . . neither will we ever rest until we have brought things to our own liking.-Robert Kett (1516).
Let freedom never perish in your hands,
-Joseph Addison (1710).
The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.-Edmund Burke (1784).
I find written in a little volume: "Sweet is the name of liberty, but the thing itself has a value beyond all inestimable treasure." So much the more it behoveth us to take care lest we, contenting ourselves with the sweetness of the name, lose and forego the thing, being of the greatest value that can come into this noble realm.-Peter Wentworth (1575).
If you propose to acquit me on condition that I abandon my search for truth, I will say, I thank you, O! Athenians, but I will obey God, who as I believe set me this task, rather than you, and so long as I have breath and strength I will never cease from my occupation with philosophy. I will continue the practice of accosting whomever I meet and saying to him are you not ashamed of setting your heart on wealth and honors while you have no cure for wisdom and truth and making your soul better? I know not what death is, it may be a good thing, and I am not afraid of it. But I do know that it is a bad thing to desert one's
post and I prefer what may be good to what I know to be bad.—Socrates (399 B. C.).
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 (1775).
'Tis not in blood that Liberty inscribes her civil laws.
She writes them on the people's heart in language clear and plain;
We yield to none in earnest love of freedom's cause sublime;
Many people all over the world are losing almost overnight-rights and ideals that have taken perhaps hundreds of years to win. We in America can't protect democracy by remembering it just on a few national holidays and taking it for granted the other three hundred and sixty days a year.-Hans Kindler (1940).
It would hardly seem worth while to risk one's life for a country from which the fine plumage of its liberties had already been plucked.—Harold L. Ickes (1940).
If by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might in a moral point of view, justify revolution certainly would if such a right were a vital one.-Abraham Lincoln (1861).
It is a right which all freemen claim, and are entitled to, to complain when they are hurt; they have a right publicly to remonstrate against abuses of power or open violence of men in authority, and to assert with courage the sense they have of the blessings of liberty, the value they put upon it, and their resolution at all hazards to preserve it as one of the greatest blessings Heaven can bestow.-Andrew Hamilton (1735).
Bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate which would be oppression . (I stand for) equal and exact justice to
all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political.-Thomas Jefferson (1801).
By liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in doing what he believes his duty against the influence of authority and majority, custom and opinion.―John Emerich Acton (1897).
The problem of just how far freedom of speech and press can be maintained in war without danger to the Nation is an extremely complex one, depending upon a very exact balancing of the value as against the danger of the opinions of the protesting minority.-James Truslow Adams (1917).
The intolerance and discrimination practiced against groups of people in various parts of the world deny the equality of opportunity and the brotherhood which are such fundamental factors in democratic government.-Charles H. Wesley (1938).
The Bill of Rights provided that no majority, no matter how great, could deprive a minority, no matter how small, of certain fundamental individual rights. Surely this is an essential of Americanism, one whose violation in Russia and Germany has destroyed the least semblance of popular government.— Robert A. Taft (1939).
It is in the nature of a truism that America can actually have no more democracy than it accords and guarantees to the humblest and weakest of its citizens.-James Weldon Johnson (1933).
A King, by annulling or disallowing acts of so salutary a measure, from being the father of his people degenerates into a tyrant, and forfeits all right to his subjects' obedience.-Patrick Henry (1763).
They see that they cannot prevail against the open truth which, the more it is persecuted, the more it increaseth.-Hugh Latimer (1530).
Power may justly be compared to a great river, which, if kept within due bounds is both beautiful and useful; but when it overflows its banks, it is then too impetuous to be stemmed; it bears down all before it, and brings destruction and desolation wherever it comes. If then this is the nature of power, let us at least do our duty, and like wise men (who value freedom) use our utmost care to support liberty, the only bulwark against lawless power, which in all ages has sacrificed to its wild lust and boundless ambition, the blood of the best men that ever lived . . . Men who injure and oppress the people under their administration provoke them to cry out and complain; and then make that very complaint the foundation for new oppressions and persecutions.-Andrew Hamilton (1735).
Power, like a desolation pestilence,
Pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience,
Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth,
-Percy Bysshe Shelley (1813).
National injustice is the surest road to national downfall.-William Ewart Gladstone (1878).
The effect of coercion is to make one half the people fools and the other half hypocrites, and to support roguery and error all over the earth. It is error alone which needs the support of government; truth can stand by itself.Thomas Jefferson (1801).
It is doubtful whether any tyranny can be worse than that exercised in the name of the sovereignty of the people.-George L. Scherger (1923).