Abraham Lincoln Quotes

Quotes on Liberty and Government from our 16th President:

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable – a most sacred right – a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.

As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.

Ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors to bullets.

Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.

My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.

The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.

Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it.

To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men.

We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man’s initiative and independence.

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.

You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.

I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.

Property is the fruit of labor…property is desirable…is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.

We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name – liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names – liberty and tyranny.

Let us then turn this government back into the channel in which the framers of the Constitution originally placed it.

I don’t believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good. So while we do not propose any war upon capital, we do wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else.

No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

I have never had a feeling, politically, that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence.

Any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure.

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