"But while property is considered as the basis of the freedom of the American yeomanry, there are other auxiliary supports; among which is the information of the people. In no country, is education so general -- in no country, have the body of the people such a knowledge of the rights of men and the principles of government. This knowledge, joined with a keen sense of liberty and a watchful jealousy, will guard our constitutions and awaken the people to an instantaneous resistance of encroachments."
--Noah Webster, On Education of Youth in America, 1790
"O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand, Between their lov’d home, and the war’s desolation, Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land, Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto - “In God is our Trust”; And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
-- The Star-Spangled Banner, 1814
"There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."
-- James Madison, speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788
"Posterity, you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that ever I took half the pains to preserve it."
-- John Adams
"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, Rights of Man, 1791
"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
"This is the real task before us: to reassert our commitment as a nation to a law higher than our own, to renew our spiritual strength. Only by building a wall of such spiritual resolve can we, as a free people, hope to protect our own heritage and make it someday the birthright of all men."
-- Ronald Reagan
"Every man, and every body of men on earth, possesses the right of self-government."