Wednesday, December 26, 2012

On Rebellion in the face of tyranny

"In short, the flames kindled on the 4th of July, 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of depotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them."--Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, September 12, 1821

"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; 'tis dearness only that gives everything 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, The American Crisis, No. 1, December 23, 1776

"Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."--Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man, 1791

"Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God."--Benjamin Frankin, 1776

"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! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms, and to the God of hosts, is all that is left us."--Patrick Henry, Speech in Virginia Convention, Richmond, March 23, 1775

"The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government . . ."--George Washington, Farewell Address, September 17, 1796

"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 natural manure."--Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Stevens Smith, November 13, 1787

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