APAPatrick Henry Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=the-liberties-people-never-were-nor-ever-will-be-secure-when-transactions-their-rulers-may-be-concealed-from-them-patrick-henry
ChicagoPatrick Henry Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2019. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=the-liberties-people-never-were-nor-ever-will-be-secure-when-transactions-their-rulers-may-be-concealed-from-them-patrick-henry, accessed .
MLA"Patrick Henry Quotes." Jar of Quotes, 2019. . https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=the-liberties-people-never-were-nor-ever-will-be-secure-when-transactions-their-rulers-may-be-concealed-from-them-patrick-henry
I have the highest veneration of those Gentleman, -- but, Sir, give me leave to demand, what right had they to say, We, the People? My political curiosity, exclusive of my anxious solicitude for the public welfare, leads me to ask who authorized them to speak the language of, We, the People, instead of We, the States? States are the characteristics, and the soul of the confederation. If the States be not the agents of this compact, it must be one of great consolidated National Government of the people of all the States.
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First, the Constitution ought to secure a genuine and guard against a select militia, by providing that the militia shall always be kept well organized, armed, and disciplined, and include, according to the past and general usage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms; and that all regulations tending to render this general militia useless and defenseless, by establishing select corps of militia, or distinct bodies of military men, not having permanent interests and attachments in the community to be avoided.
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The Constitution is said to have beautiful features; but when I come to examine these features, Sir, they appear to me horribly frightful. Among other deformities, it has an awful squinting - it squints towards monarchy. And does not this raise indignation in the breast of every true American? Your president may easily become king. . . . Where are your checks in this government? . . . I would rather infinitely - and I am sure most of this convention are of the same opinion - have a king, lords, and commons than a government so replete with such insupportable evils.
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Have we the means of resisting disciplined armies, when our only defense, the militia, is put in the hands of Congress? Of what service would militia be to you when, most probably, you will not have a single musket in the state? For, as arms are to be provided by Congress, they may or may not provide them.
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Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled, that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugationthe last arguments to which kings resort.
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The battle, Sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, Sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable; and let it come! I repeat, Sir, let it come!
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