Monday, November 06, 2006

John Lansing, June 24th, 1788. The Debates in the Several State Conventions, (New York), on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution...

"...The gentlemen, in their reasoning on the subject of corruption, seem to set aside experience, and to consider the Americans as exempt from the common vices and frailties of human nature. It is unnecessary to particularize the numerous ways in which public bodies are accessible to corruption. The poison always finds a channel, and never wants an object. Scruples would be impertinent, arguments would be in vain, checks would be useless, if we were certain our rulers would be good men; but for the virtuous government is not instituted: its object is to restrain and punish vice; and all free constitutions are formed with two views--to deter the governed from crime, and the from tyranny."
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[Elliot's Debates, Volume 2] THE DEBATES IN THE CONVENTION OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, ON THE ADOPTION OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION.

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