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50 Alexander Hamilton Quotes That Remain True Today

Published on February 9, 2020 7:00 AM EST

Interested in reading the wise words of one of our founding fathers? The Alexander Hamilton quotes listed below will deliver overflowing knowledge on society, government, and more. 

What did you learn about Alexander Hamilton in school?

Alexander Hamilton was a multi-hyphenate, much like many of our founding fathers. Some of the many roles he took on included politician, economist, statesman, and military commander. He was most well known for writing the Federalist papers and being the first secretary of the United States.

Alexander Hamilton Quotes That Remain True Today

Due largely to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s popular musical Hamilton, fascination around the life of Alexander Hamilton has grown in recent years. Here, you can learn about Hamilton’s eventful life through his words. 

Check out these Alexander Hamilton quotes from one of America’s brightest minds. 

Don’t forget to also read our list of Benjamin Franklin quotes or these Thomas Jefferson quotes that will inspire you to find your power within.

Relatable Alexander Hamilton quotes

1. “A well-adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous.” – Alexander Hamilton

2. “I never expect a perfect work from an imperfect man.” – Alexander Hamilton

3. “Those who stand for nothing fall for everything.” – Alexander Hamilton

4. “Hard words are very rarely useful. Real firmness is good for every thing. Strut is good for nothing.” – Alexander Hamilton

5. “Experience is the oracle of truth; and where its responses are unequivocal, they ought to be conclusive and sacred.” – Alexander Hamilton

6. “We must make the best of those ills which cannot be avoided.” – Alexander Hamilton

7. “Men give me credit for some genius. All the genius I have is this. When I have a subject in mind. I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. My mind becomes pervaded with it… the effort which I have made is what people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.” – Alexander Hamilton

8. “I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be.” – Alexander Hamilton

9. “Nobody expects to trust his body overmuch after the age of fifty.” – Alexander Hamilton

10. “You should not have taken advantage of my sensibility to steal into my affections without my consent.” – Alexander Hamilton

11. “I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value.” – Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton quotes on government

12. “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

13. “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

14. “Here, sir, the people govern; here they act by their immediate representatives.” – Alexander Hamilton

15. “Vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty.” – Alexander Hamilton

16. “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

17. “Dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the forbidden appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government.” – Alexander Hamilton

18. “Unless your government is respectable, foreigners will invade your rights; and to maintain tranquillity, it must be respectable – even to observe neutrality, you must have a strong government.” – Alexander Hamilton

19. “Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.” – Alexander Hamilton

20. “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

21. “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.” – Alexander Hamilton

22. “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

23. “The very aim and intention of the democratical part, or the house of commons, is to secure the rights of the people. Its very being depends upon those rights. Its whole power is derived from them, and must be terminated by them.” – Alexander Hamilton

24. “The rights of neutrality will only be respected, when they are defended by an adequate power. A nation, despicable by its weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral.” – Alexander Hamilton

25. “Government implies the power of making laws. It is essential to the idea of a law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience.” – Alexander Hamilton

26. “A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing.” – Alexander Hamilton

27. “The system, though it may not be perfect in every part, is, upon the whole, a good one; is the best that the present views and circumstances of the country will permit; and is such an one as promises every species of security which a reasonable people can desire.” – Alexander Hamilton

28. “The government is frequently and aptly classed under two descriptions – a government of force, and a government of laws; the first is the definition of despotism- the last, of liberty.” – Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton quotes on society

29. “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

30. “There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.” – Alexander Hamilton

31. “Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike.” – Alexander Hamilton

32. “The honor of a nation is its life.” – Alexander Hamilton

33. “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 the divinity itself; and can never be erased.” – Alexander Hamilton

34. “The passions of a revolution are apt to hurry even good men into excesses.” – Alexander Hamilton

35. “Men are rather reasoning than reasonable animals, for the most part governed by the impulse of passion.” – Alexander Hamilton

36. “In the general course of human nature, A power over a man’s subsistence amounts to a power over his will.” – Alexander Hamilton

37. “There are seasons in every country when noise and impudence pass current for worth; and in popular commotions especially, the clamours of interested and factious men are often mistaken for patriotism.” – Alexander Hamilton

38. “I consider civil liberty, is a genuine, unadulterated sense, as the greatest of terrestrial blessing. I am convinced that the whole human race is entitled to it. And, that it can be wrested from no part of them, without the blackest and most aggravated guilt.” – Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton quotes on war

39. “A powerful, victorious ally is yet another name for master.” – Alexander Hamilton

40. “A strong body makes the mind strong… I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind.” – Alexander Hamilton

41. “The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.” – Alexander Hamilton

42. “Nature of war to increase the executive at the expense of the legislative authority.” – Alexander Hamilton

43. “When the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation.” – Alexander Hamilton

44. “Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates.” – Alexander Hamilton

45. “Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others.” – Alexander Hamilton

46. “The militia is a voluntary force not associated or under the control of the States except when called out; a permanent or long-standing force would be entirely different in make-up and call.” – Alexander Hamilton

47. “A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. “ – Alexander Hamilton

48. “The President, and government, will only control the militia when a part of them is in the actual service of the federal government, else, they are independent and not under the command of the president or the government.” – Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton quotes on the constitution

49. “To all general purposes we have uniformly been one people each individual citizen everywhere enjoying the same national rights, privileges, and protection.” – Alexander Hamilton

50. “Constitutions should consist only of general provisions; the reason is that they must necessarily be permanent, and that they cannot calculate for the possible change of things.” – Alexander Hamilton

What is Alexander Hamilton’s significance from your perspective?

Although Alexander Hamilton died centuries ago, many of his quotes can be applied to modern-day events. He often discussed the effect of revolution, giving power back to the people, and the importance of checks and balances. 

Quotes from past prominent figures, like Hamilton, show that societal and governmental issues are often repeated from the past. No matter how our society has grown over the past 400 years, many things have stayed the same. When you jump back in time, you can find quotes that will help you better understand the tumultuous events of today.

Did we forget your favorite Alexander Hamilton quote? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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