Washington: “(The U.S.A.) can never be in danger of degenerating into a(n)… oppressive form so long as there shall remain any virtue in the body of the people.”

In a letter to Marquis De Lafayette, February 7, 1788, George Washington wrote this:

[T]he [federal] government . . . can never be in danger of degenerating into a monarchy, and 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, The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1939), Vol. XXIX, p. 410.)

 

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