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Thomas Jefferson: On Central Banking

Liberty Think | December 24 2004

"I am convinced that those societies (such as the Native American peoples) which live without government enjoy in their general mass an infinitely greater degree of happiness than those who live under the European governments. Among the former, public opinion is in the place of law, & restrains morals as powerfully as laws ever did anywhere. Among the latter, under pretence of governing they have divided their nations into two classes, wolves & sheep. I do not exaggerate."
- Thomas Jefferson

"The modern theory of the perpetuation of debt has drenched the earth with blood, and crushed its inhabitants under burdens ever accumulating."
- Thomas Jefferson

"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."
- Thomas Jefferson

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a moneyed aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power (of money) should be taken away from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs."
- Thomas Jefferson

"The system of banking we have both equally and ever reprobated. I contemplate it as a blot left in all our constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction. I sincerely believe, with you...that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."
- Thomas Jefferson

"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 [chartering the first Bank of the United States] have not, in my opinion, been delegated to the United States by the Constitution. They are not among the powers specially enumerated."
- Thomas Jefferson

"I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution - taking from the Federal government their power of borrowing (from privately-owned corporate banks)."
- Thomas Jefferson

"We are undone, my dear sir, if legislation is still permitted which makes our money, much or little, real or imaginary, as the moneyed interests shall choose to make it."
- Thomas Jefferson