Alexander Hamilton quotes and ideas are famous for their wisdom on how a nation works. Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1757 – July 12, 1804), orphaned as a child but in by a prosperous merchant, became the famous American statesman, the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, the author of the economic policies of George Washington’s administration and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. As an influential interpreter and promoter of the U.S. Constitution, he took the lead in establishing a national bank, a system of tariffs, and friendly trade relations with Britain.
His vision included a strong central government led by a strong executive branch, a robust commercial economy, a national bank and support for building up a strong military. Thomas Jefferson, one of the leading opponents of Hamilton in those days, argued for agrarianism and smaller government. Today, his interpretations of the Constitution set forth in the Federalist Papers remain highly influential, in scholarly studies and court decisions. Here are the best Alexander Hamilton quotes on power and politics.
1. Give all the power to the many, they will oppress the few. Give all the power to the few, they will oppress the many. ― Alexander Hamilton
2. The constitution shall never be construed…to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms. ― Alexander Hamilton
3. Men give me credit for some genius. All the genius I have lies in this; when I have a subject in hand, I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. My mind becomes pervaded with it. Then the effort that I have made is what people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.― Alexander Hamilton
4. Those who stand for nothing fall for everything. ― Alexander Hamilton
5. A well adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous.
6. The art of reading is to skip judiciously. ― Alexander Hamilton
7. I never expect a perfect work from an imperfect man. ― Alexander Hamilton
8. A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one. ― Alexander Hamilton
9. There are seasons in every country when noise and impudence pass current for worth; and in popular commotions especially, the clamors of interested and factious men are often mistaken for patriotism. ― Alexander Hamilton
10 .The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the Hand of Divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power. ― Alexander Hamilton
11. Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of man will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint. ― Alexander Hamilton
12. Hard words are very rarely useful. Real firmness is good for every thing. Strut is good for nothing. ― Alexander Hamilton
13. I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be. ― Alexander Hamilton
14. Men are reasoning rather than reasonable animals. ― Alexander Hamilton
15. The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed. ― Alexander Hamilton
16. A powerful, victorious ally is yet another name for master. ― Alexander Hamilton
17. For in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution. ― Alexander Hamilton
18. If we must have an enemy at the head of government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible. ― Alexander Hamilton
19. Here, sir, the people govern; here they act by their immediate representatives. ― Alexander Hamilton
20. Vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty. ― Alexander Hamilton quotes
21. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood ― Alexander Hamilton
22. To all general purposes we have uniformly been one people each individual citizen everywhere enjoying the same national rights, privileges, and protection. ― Alexander Hamilton
23. The inquiry constantly is what will please, not what will benefit the people. In such a government there can be nothing but temporary expedient, fickleness, and folly. ― Alexander Hamilton
24. Divide et impera must be the motto of every nation that either hates or fears us. ― Alexander Hamilton
25. All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. the first are the rich and well-born, the other the mass of the people ― Alexander Hamilton
26. But this is a thing more ardently to be wished than seriously to be expected ― Alexander Hamilton
27. A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing. ― Alexander Hamilton
28. Nature of war to increase the executive at the expense of the legislative authority. ― Alexander Hamilton quotes
29. But the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. ― Alexander Hamilton
30. An avaricious man might be tempted to betray the interests of the state for the acquisition of wealth. ― Alexander Hamilton
31. Divisions at home would invite dangers from abroad ― Alexander Hamilton
32. The pains taken to preserve peace include a proportional responsibility that equal pains be taken to be prepared for war. ― Alexander Hamilton
33. Opinion, whether well or ill founded, is the governing principle of human affairs – Alexander Hamilton
34. A dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people, than under the forbidding appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of Government. ― Alexander Hamilton
35. Experience is the oracle of truth; and where its responses are unequivocal, they ought to be conclusive and sacred. ― Alexander Hamilton
36. An enlightened zeal for the energy and efficiency of government will be stigmatized, as the offspring of a temper fond of despotic power, and hostile to the principles of liberty. ― Alexander Hamilton
37. Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. To be more safe, [nations] at length become willing to run the risk of being less free. ― Alexander Hamilton
Hope you enjoy reading Alexander Hamilton quotes. Let me know your favorite quote in the comments below.
Nakul Grover, author of Superhuman In You and the one who runs this blog. He has been writing on self-improvement since 2014. Featured on various websites, his works have helped thousands of people to live an extraordinary life. He loves spending his leisure hours in reading books and learning new skills.