"A Constitution is not the act of a Government, but of a people constituting a government, and a government without a constitution is a power without right."

--Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791


 
 
"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."

-- Frederick Douglass, August 4, 1857
 
 
"If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power." 

-- DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, speech, Mar. 6, 1956
 
 
 
 
"The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power."

-- Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted, 1775

 
 
"Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many friends, determining to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution. On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question, on which rest the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves."

-- Joseph Warren, Boston Massacre Oration, March 6, 1775
 
 
_"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few. The hand entrusted with power becomes…the necessary enemy of the people. Only by continual oversight can the democrat in office be prevented from hardening into a despot: only by unintermitted Agitation can a people be kept sufficiently awake to principle not to let liberty be smothered in material prosperity."

-- Wendell PHILLIPS, 1852

 
 
_"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse."

-- James Madison, speech in the Virginia constitutional convention, 1829