Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson, (1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President

Thomas Jefferson Quote

“Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.”

Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson
~ Thomas Jefferson

Ratings and Comments

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Werner    7/12/05

Both the Greek and Roman Empires collapsed - too many wars, too much militarism and soldiering!

Joe, Rochester, MI

Citizen = Militia, as in "A well regulated Militia, ... the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." The 2nd Amendment

Anon, Michigan

Too much militarism & soldiering, Werner (you Socialist)? Yes! Get the U.S. out of the U.N. Protect our country, but stop invading others (i.e. Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.).

A HREF="" target="_tab", Vancouver, GVRD(Paine County), BC/Lower Mainland (State of Neo Sumer), US of Eh!(USoA)

With pen, voice or sword the American Revolution must be sustained and even repaired. The enemies of the Constitution like that Governor General who calls himself a President (Bush Jr.) is a greater threat and terrorist than Bin Laden, after all who is trying to scare Americans into surrendering their freedoms for a little security the most? Well they live in Washington and take orders from number 10 in London, they must be.

--Gölök Zoltán Leenderdt Franco [Mes(-)Van Dongen] Buday

  • Reply
CAP    8/18/05

I agree with Jefferson.Every American citizen Must be a soldier if we are to recusitate the Bill of Rights and keep the US Constitution alive for our posterity.All American Patriots must come together.For it is the true American Patriot who is responsible for securing the blessings of liberty for all Americans and for our posterity.

anony, mous

By this quote, Jefferson seems to imply that every citizen should contribute to society. He is just using the examples of Greece and Rome for when citizens contributed -- not saying every citizen ought join the militia...

Logan, Memphis, TN

This quote is in reference to the militia-- all males over the age of 18 were part of the local militia-- if you decided to not be a part of the militia or to not own a gun for your own protection, you had to pay a special tax for someone else to protect you. Societies of the past have not crumbled because they have all been able to personally protect themselves-- but crumble when only a few select are allowed to "protect" society (police, cia, fbi, military, etc.) while the rest are helpless. Criminals will always have a gun-- even if all the laws in the world are passed against such-- that's what a criminal IS: someone who flaunts society's laws. Arms-controlling laws only make honest people honest, while disabling them to protect themselves from the dishonest.

helorat, Milton

Jefferson does't imply squat! He meant exactly what he said. Anony, mous is an idiot, and a moral welfare recipient, like Gook head from fantasyland, and Werner. It is the ignorant fools like you three who twist the meaning of words to suit their own agendas who seek to destroy this country. Joe, CAP, & Logan you are quite right. The collapse of our country will not be just because of too many economic welfare recipients, but the number of moral welfare recipients. Jefferson invaded the Islamic Fascists and we must continue to take the fight to others. The alternative is to fight here. I choose to fight in their yard not mine. The IRS infringes on more rights in a day than the President and the Patriot Act their collective existences. Get real, get a life and accept the fact you get to say the stupid things you do only because of people like me who carry your water for you.

Eric Engstrom, Wichita, KS

Bang on Helorat!! (Even if you are an aviator.) I am an Infantryman, currently in the employ of the US Army - but I was an Infantryman before I was in the US Army and I will be one after I retire. And I am busily engaged in my spare time in educating and training the next generation of Infantrymen. Greater love has no man then he who would lay down his life for his buddy.

Joe, Rochester, MI

I'd love to see a law requiring adult to carry at least a handgun. I believe violent crime would decrease. If violent crime skyrockets, then abolish the second amendment and take all guns away, even from police, FBI, etc.

Jack, Green, OH

I have always tried to be a law abiding citizen, but when a handgun is required of all adults I will become a lawbreaker. I have not needed one since WWII as a soldier.

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

"Every citizen should be a soldier...." is pretty clear, join the "well regulated milita" if you want to run aound with guns, but don't expect to just be a cowboy with your six shooter or play spy with your hidden gun, be a man and join the army... nothing here says private joes get to play their little boy games... its time for you to grow up and face the real world. (An helorat, you don't carry my water at all little boy... thankfully men like Jack have done so in our past, and continue to today!) This quote makes sense, but gets a thumb down due to the twisting and misinterpretation that little boys put it to today.

Jack, Ulster Park, NY

Joe from MI has a good point.

mar, wisconsin

Every citizen should be a soldier means that they should be prepared and capable of defense. There was no regulated militia. I don't think everyone should be required to carry a weapon, but I believe that weapons training should be available as an elective at our schools, like hunter's safety, not required but an available option. But giving guns to people to protect themselves doesn't work very well if they aren't properly trained in handling them.

daniel, az.

Jefferson was very smart. When every citizen IS a soldier , there is NO need for a mercenary army ( read: paid soldiers ) which were then , and are now, used by the wealthy to further their moneyed interests . Every citizen fights for protection of his rights and property ( he freely does this ), paid soldiers fight for the men or corporations which pay them.

Currahee, Biloxi

I have dedicated a web page to this quote. Every American should have rudimentary soldier skills and materials. Even if you pile layers of laws and protection over it power ultimately resides with those that have guns, in America that is supposed to be the people. This is the ONLY way for us to be free. visit

Mike, Norwalk

Yep ! ! !

cal, lewisville, tx

Jefferson was not fond of keeping a professional army. This could give the government too much power as he favored a weak central government.

Robert, Somewhere in Europe

"Absolute power corrupts absolutely" The greatest weapon of all is not the gun but compassion... The US has been totally desensitized towards killing through Hollywood and it's own imperial invasion of other sovereignty's. It's time to stop the abuse and name calling and start to love each other. Nothing will change unless we do - GUNS do not work and history has proven this time, and time again. Those then who retort with yes, but, "how will we defend ourselves" If you are at that stage in life then it's to late. The only way to go back to the natural life is to have compassion, then there will be no need to defend your country and your family. The Gun mentality will always end up with self destruction. OK call me a flaming Liberal, socialist, or whatever, but it will be us that will rescue you from yourselves and recover you from the killing fields....

jim k, Austin

Jack, Green,Oh, I haven't needed fire insurance on my home but it will come in handy if I ever need it. And I don't plan on dropping it any time soon.

jim k, Austin

Anon, you are right .

Ronw13, Yachats Or

A show of force " When needed " deters aggression. Not all are of the household of faith. Nor do some wish to live a peaceful honest life. This is the account throughout history. It is the bleeding heart that sometimes dies first. For lack of commonsense ! Robert.

Mike, Norwalk

Robert, it is precisely the combined religions of humanism, socialism and other like cults (fascism to communism - usurpation, political correctness etc.) that have caused the greatest atrocities this world has ever experienced. In history's more recent past, Gandhi's success can be directly limited to a courageous and charismatic leader of a society that would accept a non-violent path against the violent socialist minority. The general helot body of socialists are most often violent but cowards - they choose others, such as the police state to enforce their religion's dogmas of political correctness and sacred canons (thus the need for gun removal from a once land of liberty with inalienable rights being inherent in individual sovereigns). I also preach of non-violence, compassion, service to our fellow man and love unrestrained. That is consistent with inalienable rights as the ultimate in man's nobility. It is also a right to choose how best to order the administration of law, justice, liberty and rights and to defend one's self and, who one chooses to associate with. "Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

Warrdoc, Elk Grove,

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" Patrick Henry.


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