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  • The common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
    --George Washington, Farewell Address, September 26, 1796
  • I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of this society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion.
    --Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Charles Jarvis, September 28, 1820
  • There must be a positive passion for the public good… established in the minds of the people, or there can be no republican government, nor any real liberty: and this public passion must be superior to all private passions.
    --John Adams, letter to Mercy Warren, April 16, 1776
  • I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men … where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.
    --Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Francis Hopkinson, March 13, 1789
  • Among the numerous advantages promised by a well-constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction.
    --James Madison, Federalist No. 10, November 23, 1787
  • If we move in mass, be it ever so circuitously, we shall attain our object; but if we break into squads, everyone pursuing the path he thinks most direct, we become an easy conquest to those who can now barely hold us in check.
    --Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Duane, 1811
  • Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.
    --James Madison, letter to W.T. Barry, August 4, 1822
  • Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.
    --John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776
  • A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.
    --James Madison, letter to W.T. Barry, August 4, 1822
  • With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in.
    --Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865
  • The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.
    --George Washington, Farewell Address, September 26, 1796
  • Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.
    --John Adams, Dissertation on Canon and Feudal Law, 1765
  • … the public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the supreme object to be pursued; and…no form of government whatever has any other value than as it may be fitted for the attainment of this object.
    --James Madison, Federalist No. 45, January 26, 1788
  • …that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
    --Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863
  • In every political society, parties are unavoidable. A difference of interests, real or supposed, is the most natural and fruitful source of them. The great object should be to combat the evil.
    --James Madison, Parties, January 23, 1792
    
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