Thomas Jefferson

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Let us, then, with courage and confidence pursue our own federal and republican principles, our attachment to our union and representative government. . . . Entertaining a due sense of our equal right to the use of our own faculties, to the acquisitions of our industry, to honour and confidence from our fellow citizens, resulting not from birth but from our actions and their sense of them; enlightened by a benign religion, professed, indeed, and practised in various forms, yet all of them including honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter; with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow citizens-a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another,which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labour the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.


Thomas Jefferson

First Inaugural Address

March 4, 1801

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