Founding Fathers: 26 Thomas Jefferson Quotes

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My Town Tutors loves history. In honor of the 4th of July, we are compiling great quotes from the founding fathers.

Below are quotes from Thomas Jefferson:

  1. “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” Thomas Jefferson
  2. “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” Thomas Jefferson
  3. “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” Thomas Jefferson
  4. “The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.” Thomas Jefferson
  5. “The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.” Thomas Jefferson
  6. “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” Thomas Jefferson
  7. “The god who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.” Thomas Jefferson
  8. “In matters of style, swim with the current; In matters of principle, stand like a rock.” Thomas Jefferson
  9. “What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?” Thomas Jefferson
  10. “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all.” Thomas Jefferson
  11. “The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.” Thomas Jefferson
  12. “When wrongs are pressed because it is believed they will be borne, resistance becomes morality.” Thomas Jefferson
  13. “Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.” Thomas Jefferson
  14. “Liberty is the great parent of science and of virtue; and a nation will be great in both in proportion as it is free.” Thomas Jefferson
  15. “He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.” Thomas Jefferson
  16. “In a government bottomed on the will of all, the…liberty of every individual citizen becomes interesting to all.” Thomas Jefferson
  17. “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” Thomas Jefferson
  18. “Most bad government has grown out of too much government.” Thomas Jefferson
  19. “Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.”
  20. “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.” Thomas Jefferson
  21. “Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?” Thomas Jefferson
  22. “A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate.” Thomas Jefferson
  23. “An elective despotism was not the government we fought for.”
  24. “History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.” Thomas Jefferson
  25. “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” Thomas Jefferson
  26. “The man who reads nothing at all is better than educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” Thomas Jefferson

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