So Long as There Shall Remain Virtue in the People

Liberty Letters, George Washington, 1787

These powers, as the appointment of all rulers will forever arise from, and at short, stated intervals recur to, the free suffrages of the people, are so distributed among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches into which the general government is arranged, that it can never be in danger of degenerating into a monarchy, an oligarchy, an aristocracy, or any other despotic or oppressive form, so long as there shall remain any virtue in the body of the people.


Source: George Washington, Letter to Lafayette, 1787, as quoted in the Life of George Washington, by Washington Irving, Volume 2, p. 656.


The Liberty Letters are researched, and edited (with occasional commentary) by Steve Farrell. Liberty Letters as a collective project, and individual letters when edited, or accompanied by our commentary and or introductory notes: Copyright © 2012 Steve Farrell and The Moral Liberal.