„Here, in the first paragraph of the Declaration [of Independence], is the assertion of the natural right of all to the ballot; for how can "the consent of the governed" be given, if the right to vote be denied?“

—  Энтони, Сьюзен, On the United States Declaration of Independence in her "Is It a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote?" speech before her trial for voting (1873)
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„We set up government by consent of the governed, and the Bill of Rights denies those in power any legal opportunity to coerce that consent.“

—  Robert H. Jackson American judge 1892 - 1954
Context: We set up government by consent of the governed, and the Bill of Rights denies those in power any legal opportunity to coerce that consent. Authority here is to be controlled by public opinion, not public opinion by authority. 319 U.S. 641

John Quincy Adams фото

„The first steps of the slaveholder to justify by argument the peculiar instutitions is to deny the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence. He denies that all men are created equal. He denies that he has inalienable rights.“

—  John Quincy Adams American politician, 6th president of the United States (in office from 1825 to 1829) 1767 - 1848
As quoted in letter to the citizens of the twelfth congressional district (29 June 1839), The Hingham Patriot, MA. As quoted in Thomas Huges Rare and Early Newspaper catalog, No. 141

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„It may now be easily seen how great the difference is between the institution of government, as understood by Paine and the Declaration of Independence, and the institution of the State. … The nature and intention of government … are social. Based on the idea of natural rights, government secures those rights to the individual by strictly negative intervention, making justice costless and easy of access; and beyond that it does not go.“

—  Albert Jay Nock American journalist 1870 - 1945
Context: It may now be easily seen how great the difference is between the institution of government, as understood by Paine and the Declaration of Independence, and the institution of the State. … The nature and intention of government … are social. Based on the idea of natural rights, government secures those rights to the individual by strictly negative intervention, making justice costless and easy of access; and beyond that it does not go. The State, on the other hand, both in its genesis and by its primary intention, is purely anti-social. It is not based on the idea of natural rights, but on the idea that the individual has no rights except those that the State may provisionally grant him. It has always made justice costly and difficult of access, and has invariably held itself above justice and common morality whenever it could advantage itself by so doing. p. 49

Calvin Coolidge фото

„That these ideas were prevalent in Virginia is further revealed by the Declaration of Rights, which was prepared by George Mason and presented to the general assembly on May 27, 1776. This document asserted popular sovereignty and inherent natural rights, but confined the doctrine of equality to the assertion that "All men are created equally free and independent." It can scarcely be imagined that Jefferson was unacquainted with what had been done in his own Commonwealth of Virginia when he took up the task of drafting the Declaration of Independence. But these thoughts can very largely be traced back to what John Wise was writing in 1710. He said, "Every man must be acknowledged equal to every man." Again, "The end of all good government is to cultivate humanity and promote the happiness of all and the good of every man in all his rights, his life, liberty, estate, honor, and so forth…". And again, "For as they have a power every man in his natural state, so upon combination they can and do bequeath this power to others and settle it according as their united discretion shall determine." And still again, "Democracy is Christ's government in church and state." Here was the doctrine of equality, popular sovereignty, and the substance of the theory of inalienable rights clearly asserted by Wise at the opening of the eighteenth century, just as we have the principle of the consent of the governed stated by Hooker as early as 1638.“

—  Calvin Coolidge American politician, 30th president of the United States (in office from 1923 to 1929) 1872 - 1933

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„We no longer petition legislature or Congress to give of the right to vote, but appeal to women everywhere to exercise their too long neglected "citizen's right" … We assert the province of government to be to secure the people in the enjoyment of their unalienable rights. We throw to the winds the old dogma that governments can give rights.“

—  Susan B. Anthony American women's rights activist 1820 - 1906
Context: We no longer petition legislature or Congress to give of the right to vote, but appeal to women everywhere to exercise their too long neglected "citizen's right" … We assert the province of government to be to secure the people in the enjoyment of their unalienable rights. We throw to the winds the old dogma that governments can give rights. The Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution the constitutions of the several states … propose to protect the people in the exercise of their God-given rights. Not one of them pretends to bestow rights. … One half of the people of this Nation today are utterly powerless to blot from the statute books an unjust law, or to write a new and just one. The women, dissatisfied as they are with this form of government, that enforces taxation without representation — that compels them to obey laws to which they have never given their consent — that imprisons and hangs them without a trial by a jury of their peers — that robs them, in marriage of the custody of their own persons, wages, and children—are this half of the people left wholly at the mercy of the other half. Address given in towns of Ontario county, prior to her trial, quoted in "An account of the proceedings on the trial of Susan B. Anthony, on the charge of illegal voting, at the presidential election in Nov. 1872, and on the trial of Beverly W. Jones, Edwin T. Marsh and William B. Hall, the inspectors of election by whom her vote was received." (1873) http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/naw:@field(DOCID+@lit(rbnawsan2152div13)); also quoted in Great American Trials: 201 Compelling Courtroom Dramas (1994) by Edward W. Knappman, p. 167

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„The Declaration of Independence announces the sublime truth, that all power comes from the people. This was a denial, and the first denial of a nation, of the infamous dogma that God confers the right upon one man to govern others.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll Union United States Army officer 1833 - 1899
Context: The Declaration of Independence announces the sublime truth, that all power comes from the people. This was a denial, and the first denial of a nation, of the infamous dogma that God confers the right upon one man to govern others. It was the first grand assertion of the dignity of the human race. It declared the governed to be the source of power, and in fact denied the authority of any and all gods. Through the ages of slavery — through the weary centuries of the lash and chain, God was the acknowledged ruler of the world. To enthrone man, was to dethrone God. Individuality http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/individuality.html (1873).

Gerald Ford фото

„The founding of our Nation was more than a political event; it was an act of faith, a promise to Americans and to the entire world. The Declaration of Independence declared that people can govern themselves, that they can live in freedom with equal rights, that they can respect the rights of others.“

—  Gerald Ford American politician, 38th President of the United States (in office from 1974 to 1977) 1913 - 2006
Context: The founding of our Nation was more than a political event; it was an act of faith, a promise to Americans and to the entire world. The Declaration of Independence declared that people can govern themselves, that they can live in freedom with equal rights, that they can respect the rights of others. In the two centuries that have passed since 1776, millions upon millions of Americans have worked and taken up arms when necessary to make that dream a reality. We can be extremely proud of what they have accomplished. Today, we are the world's oldest republic. We are at peace. Our Nation and our way of life endure. We are free. Memorial Day address, Arlington National Cemetery (31 May 1976) http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=6071

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„Its constitution the glittering and sounding generalities of natural right which make up the Declaration of Independence.“

—  Rufus Choate American politician 1799 - 1859
Letter to the Maine Whig Committee (1856). Six years earlier, Choate gave a lecture in Providence which was reviewed by Franklin J. Dickman in the Journal of December 14, 1849. Unless Choate used the words "glittering generalities", and Dickman made reference to them, it would seem as if Dickman must have the credit of originating the catchword. Dickman wrote: "We fear that the glittering generalities of the speaker have left an impression more delightful than permanent". Reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).

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„But liberty is no negation. It is a substantive, tangible reality. It is the realization of those imperishable truths of the Declaration 'that all men are created equal', that the sanction of all just government is 'the consent of the governed'. Can these truths be realized until each man has a right be to heard on all matters relating to himself?“

—  James A. Garfield American politician, 20th President of the United States (in office in 1881) 1831 - 1881
Context: Have we done it? Have we given freedom to the black man? What is freedom? Is it mere negation? Is it the bare privilege of not being chained, of not being bought and sold, branded and scourged? If this is all, then freedom is a bitter mockery, a cruel delusion, and it may well be questioned whether slavery were not better. But liberty is no negation. It is a substantial, tangible reality. It is the realization of those imperishable truths of the Declaration, 'that all men are created equal'; that the sanction of all just government is 'the consent of the governed.' Can these be realized until each man has a right to be heard on all matters relating to himself? Context: In the great crisis of the war, God brought us face to face with the mighty truth, that we must lose our own freedom or grant it to the slave. In the extremity of our distress, we called upon the black man to help us save the Republic; and, amid the very thunders of battle, we made a covenant with him, sealed both with his blood and with ours, and witnessed by Jehovah, that, when the nation was redeemed, he should be free, and share with us its glories and its blessings. The Omniscient Witness will appear in judgment against us if we do not fulfill that covenant. Have we done it? Have we given freedom to the black man? What is freedom? Is it mere negation? Is it the bare privilege of not being chained, of not being bought and sold, branded and scourged? If this is all, then freedom is a bitter mockery, a cruel delusion, and it may well be questioned whether slavery were not better. But liberty is no negation. It is a substantial, tangible reality. It is the realization of those imperishable truths of the Declaration, 'that all men are created equal'; that the sanction of all just government is 'the consent of the governed.' Can these be realized until each man has a right to be heard on all matters relating to himself? The plain truth is, that each man knows his own interest best It has been said, 'If he is compelled to pay, if he may be compelled to fight, if he be required implicitly to obey, he should be legally entitled to be told what for; to have his consent asked, and his opinion counted at what it is worth. There ought to be no pariahs in a full-grown and civilized nation, no persons disqualified except through their own default.' I would not insult your intelligence by discussing so plain a truth, had not the passion and prejudice of this generation called in question the very axioms of the Declaration.

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