Frederick DouglassFrederick Douglass, [Frederick Baily] (1818-1895), escaped slave, Abolitionist, author, editor of the North Star and later the New National Era

Frederick Douglass Quote

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they have resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they suppress.”

Frederick DouglassFrederick Douglass
~ Frederick Douglass

Ratings and Comments

  • 4
  • Reply
Anon    2/26/09

True, and the tyrants are pushing their injustice pretty damn hard today aren't they?

Waffler, Smith

Of course he was talking about slavery primarily and so are the othes quoted today, the slavery imposed by the rich and wealthy. The slavery of caste etcetera. The people hanging together via their various governments are the only way to maintain a balance of power. Our forefathers came to this country to escape the power of church, European caste systems based on nobility rather then merit etc. Let us not revert to that old system but stay vigilant to protect all of our God given rithts.

  • 8
  • Reply
    AL, DC    2/26/09

    This quote was about "POWER" not ONE of its forms: slavery!

    M.Brown, Florida

    I agree Al.

    Mike, Norwalk

    "... all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." (Declaration of Independence)

    jim k, austin

    I agree with AL.

    E Archer, NYC

    I wish I could give this quote 100 stars. This is absolutely golden. "The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they suppress." Another reason that the solution to our ills lies simply with taking a personal stand against them. "I'm mad as hell, and I am not going to take it any more!"

    Waffler, Smith

    Frederick Douglass was a freed slave. He obviously knew something suppression and subjegation by others.

    E Archer, NYC

    Frederick Douglass was an ESCAPED slave -- he was not 'freed' by any one. There is a difference, and Douglass makes the distinction above.

    Shorty, GA

    This quote is precious -- I'm going to send this to all the people I know --- Amen! "The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they suppress."

    Ronw13, 0regon

    A fact of reality, " When liberty and freedom must be bought at the price of gold and silver, then one comes to understand Tyranny rules your household." this the state of affairs for 153 years. The ongoing siege of our Republicanism and the sake of that which " good is." Douglass, Just another slave allowed to walk freely without liberty.

    Denise, Durango

    Tho' he was more than likely speaking of the oppression of slavery...that applies to every people who, by force, subjection, deliberate starvation or genocide, have been enslaved. One reason so many are fighting tooth and nail against gun control. Tyrants are sensitive to arms in the hands of the people...Unarmed people are subjects, armed people are citizens.
    One of the first things given to freed black slaves was a firearm.

    E Archer, NYC
    • Reply
    E Archer, NYC Denise, Durango 11/24/22

    Actually Douglas is speaking about Statism, the supremacy of the State.  America was founded upon individual liberty, personal responsibility, and a representative republican government.  Learn the difference, and you will understand what servitude actually is.

    Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

    I have to agree with Mr Douglas on this, because I have a negative idea of the concept of power. However, it is the Social being in me that believes in the future it will not be a dominant power that guides us, but a strong conciliatory wise authority that's open to all opinions, options, and ideas. This is the guidance of a democratic social arrangement. Life is not powerful. I serve life. Life is not associated with power. Life is in association with the characteristics of growth. Growth is not powerful, but it grows stronger and stronger. We want a strong governing facility because that's what describes us and our struggling life process.

    Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown
    • Reply
    Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown 11/26/22

    I have a change of heart after further considerations of Frederick Douglass's assertion of the components of power. I don't observe any specific examples of what is saying so I simply don't understand it. I simply don't know what he means by demanding from power. Sorry.

    Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown
    • Reply
    Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown 11/27/22

    I'm sorry but I've some time to digest this quote and being the social man we don't make demands. People in power are typically mentally deranged and we must use time warranted reason and diplomacy to be attain our concession.  I'm very sorry I didn't read this very carefully for violence is never an option. I'm sorry I only surmised it partially and did not thoroughly analyze it. This quote I have to say I disagree with, on full recognition of it's content.

    Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown
    • Reply
    Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown 11/27/22

    Correction:Im sorry, but I believe I made a significant blunder in my examination of this quote. I was too brief in my examination. I had to go back into experience files and take a look. Those in power are typically mentally deranged.  You must resort to time warranted reason and diplomacy. You may have to flee hastily at times and resume negotiations later. Tyrants typically hold a numerical and supply advantage and getting violent with them would be futility. Again I apologize. I simply need more information on this quote to understand it properly.


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