„To the Constitution of the United States the term, is totally unknown.“

—  James Wilson, Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. (2 Dallas) 419 (1793), at 454.
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James Wilson
1742 - 1798
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„The United States Government has taken steps to make sure that the constitution of the United States applies to all individuals.“

—  Robert F. Kennedy American politician and brother of John F. Kennedy 1925 - 1968
Context: The Irish were not wanted there [when his grandfather came to Boston]. Now an Irish Catholic is president of the United States … There is no question about it. In the next 40 years a Negro can achieve the same position that my brother has. … We have tried to make progress and we are making progress … we are not going to accept the status quo. … The United States Government has taken steps to make sure that the constitution of the United States applies to all individuals. AP report with lead summarizing of remarks stating "Robert F. Kennedy said yesterday that the United States — despite Alabama violence — is moving so fast in race relations a Negro could be President in 40 years." "Negro President in 40 Years?" in Montreal Gazette (27 May 1961) http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1946&dat=19610527&id=y40tAAAAIBAJ&sjid=F50FAAAAIBAJ&pg=5424,5208719

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„I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That "all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people."“

—  Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826
Context: I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That "all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people." To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition. The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed by this bill, have not, in my opinion, been delegated to the United States, by the Constitution... They are not among the powers specially enumerated... Opinion against the constitutionality of a National Bank (1791), also quoted in The Writings of Thomas Jefferson "Memorial Edition" (20 Vols., 1903-04) edited by Andrew A. Lipscomb and Albert Ellery Bergh, Vol. 3, p. 146

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„The people of these United States are the rightful masters of both Congresses and courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865
Context: I say that we must not interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists, because the Constitution forbids it, and the general welfare does not require us to do so. We must not withhold an efficient Fugitive Slave law, because the Constitution requires us, as I understand it, not to withhold such a law. But we must prevent the outspreading of the institution, because neither the Constitution nor general welfare requires us to extend it. We must prevent the revival of the African slave trade, and the enacting by Congress of a Territorial slave code. We must prevent each of these things being done by either Congresses or courts. The people of these United States are the rightful masters of both Congresses and courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. Speech at Cincinnati, Ohio, September 17, 1859 http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/3/2/5/3253/3253-h/files/2657/2657-h/2657-h.htm#2H_4_0043; in "The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Volume Five, Constitutional Edition", edited by Arthur Brooks Lapsley and released as " The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Volume Five, by Abraham Lincoln http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/3/2/5/3253/3253-h/files/2657/2657-h/2657-h.htm" by Project Gutenberg on July 5, 2009

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„In such a position of things, the United States cannot exchange with Europe on equal terms,“

—  Alexander Hamilton Founding Father of the United States 1755 - 1804
Context: If the system of perfect liberty to industry and commerce were the prevailing system of nations, the arguments which dissuade a country in the predicament of the United States, from the zealous pursuits of manufactures would doubtless have great force. (...) But the system which has been mentioned, is far from characterising the general policy of Nations. The prevalent one has been regulated by an opposite spirit. The consequence of it is, that the United States are to a certain extent in the situation of a country precluded from foreign Commerce. They can indeed, without difficulty obtain from abroad the manufactured supplies, of which they are in want; but they experience numerous and very injurious impediments to the emission and vent of their own commodities. (...) In such a position of things, the United States cannot exchange with Europe on equal terms, and the want of reciprocity would render them the victim of a system, which should induce them to confine their views to Agriculture and refrain from Manufactures. A constant and increasing necessity, on their part, for the commodities of Europe, and only a partial and occasional demand for their own, in return, could not but expose them to a state of impoverishment, compared with the opulence to which their political and natural advantages authorise them to aspire.

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„The Union is a confederation of States. But in another aspect the United States constitute only one nation.“

—  William H. Seward American lawyer and politician 1801 - 1872
Context: The Union is a confederation of States. But in another aspect the United States constitute only one nation. Increase of population, which is filling the States out to their very borders, together with a new and extended network of railroads and other avenues, and an internal commerce which daily becomes more intimate, is rapidly bringing the States into a higher and more perfect social unity or consolidation. Thus, these antagonistic systems are continually coming into closer contact, and collision results. Shall I tell you what this collision means? They who think that it is accidental, unnecessary, the work of interested or fanatical agitators, and therefore ephemeral, mistake the case altogether. It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces, and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a slaveholding nation, or entirely a free-labor nation.

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„Tom Paine has almost no influence on present-day thinking in the United States because he is unknown to the average citizen.“

—  Thomas Edison American inventor and businessman 1847 - 1931
Context: Tom Paine has almost no influence on present-day thinking in the United States because he is unknown to the average citizen. Perhaps I might say right here that this is a national loss and a deplorable lack of understanding concerning the man who first proposed and first wrote those impressive words, 'the United States of America.' But it is hardly strange. Paine's teachings have been debarred from schools everywhere and his views of life misrepresented until his memory is hidden in shadows, or he is looked upon as of unsound mind. We never had a sounder intelligence in this Republic. He was the equal of Washington in making American liberty possible. Where Washington performed Paine devised and wrote. The deeds of one in the Weld were matched by the deeds of the other with his pen.

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„Resolved, That the General Assembly of Virginia, doth unequivocally express a firm resolution to maintain and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of this State, against every aggression either foreign or domestic, and that they will support the Government of the United States in all measures warranted by the former.“

—  James Madison 4th president of the United States (1809 to 1817) 1751 - 1836
Resolutions proposed to the Legislature of Virginia (21 December 1798), passed on 24 December; as published in the "Report of the Committee to whom were referred the Communications of various States, relative to the Resolutions of the last General Assembly of this State, concerning the Alien and Sedition Laws" (20 January 1800)

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„Every measure of prudence, therefore, ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States.“

—  John Adams 2nd President of the United States 1735 - 1826
Context: The turpitude, the inhumanity, the cruelty, and the infamy of the African commerce in slaves, have been so impressively represented to the public by the highest powers of eloquence, that nothing that I can say would increase the just odium in which it is and ought to be held. Every measure of prudence, therefore, ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States.

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