Quotes of the Founders/Framers

The Founders on Limited Government
"It is to be remembered that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws.  Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects." 
James Madison
, Federalist #14

“In questions of power, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
Thomas Jefferson

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”
James Madison
, Federalist No. 45

“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.”
James Madison
, letter to Edmund Pendleton, 21 January 1792

“I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that ‘all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.’ To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power not longer susceptible of any definition.”
Thomas Jefferson, Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, February 15, 1791

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”
Thomas Jefferson, letter to E. Carrington, May 27, 1788

“We still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping at the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised to furnish new pretenses for revenue and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without a tribute.”
– Thomas Paine
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