Alexander HamiltonAlexander Hamilton, (1757-1804) American statesman, Secretary of the Treasury

Alexander Hamilton Quote

“If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense...”

Alexander HamiltonAlexander Hamilton
~ Alexander Hamilton

The Federalist Papers, No. 28

Ratings and Comments

  • Reply
Dan    7/8/08

Interesting in the sense that those perverting the constitution are on the attack and using arms to protect it is considered self defense. Very good quote.

Mike, Norwalk

An expansive concept, not surprisingly, narrowed (leaving out all together defense against betraying representatives) by the most recent Supreme Court decision on the subject.

  • Reply
RobertSRQ    7/8/08

At what point of betrayal do I have the right of self defense - I always love it when people say "Guns don't kill people do". Out of interest I ask a question of our learned fellows herein: What are the key principles for peace and how are they attained?

jim k, austin

It's interesting that the left in this country is always working to disarm the citizens. It's always the "progressives" trying to take away your right to own a gun. Of course, the BATF,The DEA, the IRS and other criminals will still be well armed, all except law abiding citizens.It's enough to make one wonder.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Representatives are always or at least often torn between taking a poll of their constitutents or in voting their own conscience. Once elected he or she has that option. The constitutents can vote them out at the next election or maybe their is a recall petition possible for representatives. It is very unclear what else Hamilton is talking about. Representatives are leaders also and not just monkeys to do what their constituents say.

E Archer, NYC

Representatives betray their constituents when they break their oath of office -- "to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic." Unfortunately we do have a bunch of monkeys in government, and since there is little recourse to make them stay in their constitutionally mandated box, they run willy nilly. Once a government has become this corrupt, we would do better to withdraw and start all over. That is why each state and each sovereign in the states should continue to exercise their sovereign rights, be armed, have ready militias, and other forms of protection so that we are not dependent upon a bunch of addicted monkeys in Washington. If Oregon decides to take care of themselves for a while, why shouldn't we let them? What, we would go in and force them to bend their knee to the rest of us? The power to boycott is one of the most powerful forces a people can have -- if you don't like what a company is doing, you stop supporting them. When we are forced to support them and held captive by their claims of being the master instead of the servant, we have tyranny and oppression. If corporations can merge and split, then so can government corporations.

R.C.M., Olympia

This could be misleading. Are we to assume the point of this statement? If it's only about an armed citizenry, then is he advocating using arms against elected officials? I find that hard to believe. I would like to see the rest of this quote. I respect Hamilton and the rest of the founding fathers of our country. From their quotes, they really anticipated all of what is going on in government today!

Me Again
  • Reply
    Me Again    7/8/08

    I agree with this quote.Also,there are many forms of self-defense.Be reminded:When you change the way you look at things,the things you look at change.

    Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

    Archer Oregon is a Federal Land state. 50.3% of the land still belongs to the citizens of the United States through ownership by the legal entitiy known as "the United States of America" headquarted in Washington, DC. It was the visionaries in that fair city that made possible the inclusion of the western half of middle north america, (the portion between Mexico and Canada) part of the nation. If they want to go let them pay the rest of us a nice rebate or refund for this land. Could be a nice piece of change for each of us. Whadda ya say! Have a little respect for the property owner here the USA.

    E Archer, NYC

    When a state joins the union, the President signs the land patents for every square mile in the state. It is sovereign. The federal government does not 'own' the country. What you are talking about is a monarchy or feudal system. Americans are among the only people in the world who can actually hold freehold title to land. Waffler is just making this stuff up as he goes -- or maybe he got this from his Funk & Wagnalls. Those still in possession of their original land patents know exactly what they have -- just because you haven't secured yours doesn't mean it isn't so. Land patents are grants from a sovereign to another sovereign -- the British Crown has issued many in its history and the US incorporated the practice into Land Management. The land patent is the highest form of title to land, and those that still have them have land free and clear with no property taxes even possible. The only reason you pay property taxes is because the land is not yours. Of course, if you used bills of credit to 'purchase' your property, you have been duped -- you have not 'paid' for anything, thus until you do, you cannot have the patent updated in your name. Another lesson about American History they stopped teaching in school.

    Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

    Ever hear of the Louisiana Purchase. Wasington bought it from Paris. Washington created territories and sold and gave away some of the land to homesteaders and when the territories had sufficient population they voted for state hood. Most of the land in the west still belong to Washington. You said you believe the union is divisible not indivisible. You are a traitor to the Union Archer.

    Mike, Norwalk

    Waffler, can you show me what land the Federal government can own from the Constitution? As the Constitutional Republic lawfully goes, it can hold no other land legally. hmm You have that traitor thing mixed up.

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    Dan    7/9/08

    At what point of betrayal do I have the right of self defense - I always love it when people say "Guns don't kill people do". Out of interest I ask a question of our learned fellows herein: What are the key principles for peace and how are they attained? -- RobertSRQ The Declaration of Independence can answer your first question. Read it in detail. The key principles for peace are not engraved in stone. The whole history of mankind has been a search for those principles and when our founding fathers wrote the constitution they were closer to understanding and attaining those key principles than man had ever come. They were no fools though and recognized what they were protecting in the document were "ideals" and not some "thing" you could put your hands on. This is why they warned their posterity to be ever diligent in watching over the constitution and protect it from abuse. They knew they didn't have a perfect system and that the search for the "key principles for peace" were not attainable at that time so as to be written down on a piece of paper. Are they attainable? Who knows. That is why men continue to search. If you desire to answer your own question I recommend starting with the ancient philosophers and study the writings of our forefathers explaining what they were trying to accomplish with the constitution. With your understanding maybe you can help to attain peace. After all, isn't that what man truly wants. I hope this helps and have a nice day.

    Andrew Sherr, Garden City

    I do not own a gun but will defend the 2nd amendment and the constitution as an originalist. 

    I never thought of even having a gun. With events of the day happening the idea has become more and more appealing as local governments under certain political leaders has forced me to rethink ownership


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