It is obviously impracticable in the federal government of these States; to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all - Individuals entering into society, must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest. The magnitude of the sacrifice must depend as well on situation and circumstance, as on the object to be obtained. It is at all times difficult to draw with precision the line between those rights which must be surrendered, and those which may be reserved; and on the present occasion this difficulty was encreased by a difference among the several States as to their situation, extent, habits, and particular interests.

George Washington, to the Continental Congress, September 17, 1787

When the Constitutional Convention was over, Washington gave this short speech explaining a concept that some people do not understand to this day.

  1. liberteeny reblogged this from foundingfatherquotes and added:
    But you should never have to give up more than you need to. Once you become used to giving them up, you lose them.
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