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Thomas Jefferson on Liberty

The Quote by Thomas Jefferson on Liberty:

“The tree of liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and the blood of tyrants.” -Thomas Jefferson on Liberty

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I think that this quote is an important one for every liberty-loving American to know. Why? Because it shows Thomas Jefferson’s views on liberty and how he thinks it should be defended. Jefferson was, and through his writings still is, one of liberty’s premier defenders.

On issues from gun control to taxes, he stood up for liberty and its benefits because he understood the value of individual liberty and knew what benefits it provides to society. The revolution he unleashed was the first step of the free-market revolution, the sea shift in human affairs that unleashed capitalism and led to previously unbelievable levels of prosperity and freedom.

This quote by Thomas Jefferson on liberty and the tree of liberty was written when he was defending a tax revolt. He also vehemently defended our right to bear arms in his quote about the nonsensical nature of gun control, which I analyze in my “Thomas Jefferson quote about Gun Control” post.

Personally, I think the quote is quite radical. Even I, a strong conservative, am uncomfortable with the notion of defending unhappy Americans attacking the government. But, that was the spirit of the day. Many Americans forget that the catalysts for the American revolution were gun control and taxes.

I still don’t think violence is an acceptable form of political protest. When dealing with all but the most tyrannical governments (which ours is obviously not), political violence is unacceptable. However, this Jefferson quote on liberty is still important. It shows that liberty is a precious commodity and must be defended. While we shouldn’t defend it through violence, we can and should defend it through exercising our right to freedom of speech.

Few Americans seem to remember that anymore. They don’t respect the benefits offered by relatively unrestrained liberty because they don’t understand what makes it better than safety provided by the government. All they see if that liberty might seem more dangerous or tumultuous than whatever modicum of safety might be provided by an overbearing and intrusive government.

The Founding Fathers, however, did understand that. Hence this quote by Thomas Jefferson on liberty. He knew what life with liberty and life without liberty was like. He experienced the tyranny of the British and the freedom that came with overthrowing British rule and establishing rule by, of, and for Americans. That rule, as described in Restoring the Lost Constitution, was meant to protect the natural rights of American citizens.

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For awhile, those rights were protected as Americans remembered and understood this quote by Thomas Jefferson on liberty, however radical it might be.

In recent years, that has changed. Our rights are no longer as protected as they should be as Americans do the exact opposite of what the Founding Fathers wanted and clamor for safety rather than liberty. The restrictions placed on free speech are one of the most dangerous aspects of that as they limit our ability to criticize or speak out. Americans need to remember that liberty, especially free speech, is crucial to the survival of our way of life. That’s the point of this quote by Thomas Jefferson on liberty!

By: Gen Z Conservative

Image at top from AZ Quotes

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A great book about Jefferson and his administration:

Thomas Jefferson’s quote about gun control:

Independence Day happened because patriots agreed with men like Jefferson on the sacred nature of liberty:

More about Jefferson:

More quotes about Liberty: