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Benjamin Franklin




Quotes by This Author

The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.” (Benjamin Franklin)


“We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel; we shall be divided by our little partial, local interests, our projects will be confounded and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a byword down to future ages. And, what is worse, mankind may hereafter, from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing government by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war, or conquest.” (Benjamin Franklin)


“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. ” (Benjamin Franklin)


“Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.” (Benjamin Franklin)


“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty.” (Benjamin Franklin)


“If you would not be forgotten
As soon as you are dead and rotten,
Either write things worthy reading,
Or do things worth the writing.” (Benjamin Franklin)


“I have so much faith in the general government of the world by Providence that I can hardly conceive a transaction of such momentous importance [as the framing of the Constitution] ... should be suffered to pass without being in some degree influenced, guided, and governed by that omnipotent, omnipresent, and beneficent Ruler in whom all inferior spirits live and move and have their being.” (Benjamin Franklin)


“I think with you, that nothing is of more importance for the public weal, than to form and train up youth in wisdom and virtue. Wise and good men are in my opinion, the strength of the state; more so than riches or arms.” (Benjamin Franklin, Letter to Samuel Johnson, August 23, 1750.)


“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” (Benjamin Franklin)


“…there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered.” (Benjamin Franklin, at the Constitutional Convention September 17, 1787.)


“Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” (Benjamin Franklin, his motto. This was part of the original proposal for the reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States, which depicted the children of Isreal being lead by a pillar of fire and pharoh's army drowning in the red sea. Instead today we have the familiar pyramid, and all-seeing eye.)


“The refusal of King George to allow the colonies to operate an honest money system, which freed the ordinary man from clutches of the money manipulators was probably the prime cause of the revolution.” (Benjamin Franklin)




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