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Quotes from the American Founders Against Democracy

From the City of Presidents, President John Adams
From the City of Presidents, President John Adams
By Randy Pope

“A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will produce an eruption and carry desolation in their way.”

Fisher Ames , January 15, 1788

“[D]emocracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths."
James Madison, Father of the American Constitution

“Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
John Adams, President of the United States

“A simple democracy is the devil’s own government.”

Benjamin Rush, quoting John Joachim Zubly, Presbyterian Pastor and delegate to Congress, in a letter to David Ramsay, 1788

“The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness which the ambitious call, and ignorant believe to be liberty.”
Fisher Ames, Author of the First Amendment

“We have seen the tumult of democracy terminate . . . as [it has] everywhere terminated, in despotism. . . . Democracy! savage and wild. Thou who wouldst bring down the virtuous and wise to thy level of folly and guilt.”
Gouverneur Morris, Signer of the Constitution

“[T]he experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived.”
John Quincy Adams, President of the United States

“In democracy…there are commonly tumults and disorders…Therefore a pure democracy is generally a very bad government. It is often the most tyrannical government on earth.”

Noah Webster, Founder of American Christian Education

“It had been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience had proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity.”

Alexander Hamilton, June 21, 1788

“Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state—it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.”

John Witherspoon, American founding father

“[D]emocracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy; such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man's life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit, and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable cruelty of one or a very few. “

John Adams, President of the United States

“Between a republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”

John Marshall, Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court

“The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want virtue, but are dupes of pretended patriots.”

Elbridge Gerry, founding father from the Constitutional Convention

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