Constitutional Convention Quotes

Constitutional Convention Quotes by Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, William E. Gladstone, Benjamin Rush, George Washington, Larry Sabato and many others.

The voice of the people has been said to be the voice o

The voice of the people has been said to be the voice of God; and, however generally this maxim has been quoted and believed, it is not true to fact. The people are turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right.
Alexander Hamilton
We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it’ I firmly believe this; by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a by word down to future ages.
Benjamin Franklin
The United States Constitutional Convention, except for three or four persons, thought prayers unnecessary.
Benjamin Franklin
As the British Constitution is the most subtle organism which has proceeded from progressive history, so the American Constitution is the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.
William E. Gladstone
‘Tis done. We have become a nation.
Benjamin Rush
The business being thus closed . . . dined together and took a cordial leave of each other After which I returned to my lodgings, did some business with and received the papers from the secretary of the Convention, and retired to meditate on the momentous work which had been executed.
George Washington
If we really want to make progress and achieve greater fairness as a society, it is time for elemental change. And we should start by looking at the Constitution, with the goal of holding a new Constitutional Convention.
Larry Sabato
I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men.
Benjamin Franklin
I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning.
Benjamin Franklin
Jealousy, and local policy mix too much in all our public councils for the good government of the Union. In a words, the confederation appears to me to be little more than a shadow without the substance . . . .
George Washington
You give me a credit to which I have no claim in calling me “the writer of the Constitution of the United States.” This was not, like the fabled Goddess of Wisdom, the offspring of a single brain. It ought to be regarded as the work of many heads and many hands.
James Madison
I consider the difference between a system founded on
the legislatures only, and one founded on the people, to be the true difference between a league or treaty and a constitution.
James Madison
Whilst the last members were signing it Doctr. Franklin looking towards the Presidents chair, at the back of which a rising sun happened to be painted, observed to a few members near him, that Painters had found it difficult to distinguish in their art a rising from a setting sun.
James Madison
[The Federal Convention] is really an assembly of demigods.
Thomas Jefferson
Presented memorial to [Constitutional Convention] committee on sufferage. Was very courteously treated. We all felt it a great day in the history of Utah. The committee informed us they had passed on W[oman] S[uffrage] being ten to five in favor.
Ruth May Fox
For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise.
Benjamin Franklin
A lady asked Dr. Franklin Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy – “A republic,” replied the Doctor, “if you can keep it.”
Benjamin Franklin
When a Cabinet Minister who is sacked for telling lies is re-appointed, in the face of every constitutional convention, only for the same man to be sacked again from the same Cabinet for the same offence by the same Prime Minister В– no wonder the public are cynical about politics.
William Hague
I am exceedingly distressed at the proceedings of the Convention-being … almost sure, they will … lay the foundation of a Civil War.
Elbridge Gerry
The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge right or make good decision.
Alexander Hamilton
A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.
James Madison
In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.
James Madison
My political curiosity, exclusive of my anxious solicitude for the public welfare, leads me to ask who authorized them (the framers of the Constitution) to speak the language of ‘We, the People,’ instead of ‘We, the States’?
Patrick Henry
It is too probable that no plan we propose will be adopted. Perhaps another dreadful conflict is to be sustained. If, to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God.
George Washington
Outside Independence Hall when the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ended
Benjamin Franklin
[M]y wish is, that the Convention may adopt no temporizing expedient, but probe the defects of the Constitution [i.e., the Articles of Confederation] to the bottom, and provide radical cures.
George Washington
There never was an assembly of men, charged with a great and arduous trust, who were more pure in their motives, or more exclusively or anxiously devoted to the object committed to them.
James Madison
It appears to me, then, little short of a miracle, that the Delegates from so many different States . . . should unite in forming a system of national Government, so little liable to well founded objections.
George Washington
Let our government be like that of the solar system. Let the general government be like the sun and the states the planets, repelled yet attracted, and the whole moving regularly and harmoniously in several orbits.
John Dickinson