What were they thinking, those men who expelled the super-power of the day from our shores and established a new form of government? This is what Independence day should celebrate. Fireworks and parades are great, political speeches on July 4th are a tradition, but not so great. A lot of people celebrate militarism, which to my way of thinking is off the mark. Here are a few random comments by a handful of the men who established our government.
Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party, generally. This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.
I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.
All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones.
If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down & lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.