Archive for January 7th, 2013

2013

an age of progress

We live in an age of progress, and ours is emphatically a country of progress…The inventive talent of our country is excited to the highest pitch, and the numerous applications for patents for valuable improvements distinguish this age and this people from all others. The genius of one American has enabled our commerce to move against wind and tide and that of another has annihilated distance in the transmission of intelligence. The whole country is full of enterprise…This is in part owing to our peculiar position, to our fertile soil and comparatively sparse population; but much of it is also owing to the popular institutions under which we live, to the freedom which every man feels to engage in any useful pursuit according to his taste or inclination, and to the entire confidence that his person and property will be protected by the laws. But whatever may be the cause of this unparalleled growth in population, intelligence, and wealth, one tiring is clear–that the Government must keep pace with the progress of the people. It must participate in their spirit of enterprise, and while it exacts obedience to the laws and restrains all unauthorized invasions of the rights of neighboring states, it should foster and protect home industry and lend its powerful strength to the improvement of such means of intercommunication as are necessary to promote our internal commerce and strengthen the ties which bind us together as a people.

Millard Fillmore, State of the Union (1852)

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2013

liberty & law

Liberty unregulated by law degenerates into anarchy, which soon becomes the most horrid of all despotisms.

Millard Fillmore, State of the Union (1852)

Note: Today is the 213th anniversary of Millard Fillmore’s birthday. I’ve never really researched this, but if I had to guess, I would bet that Fillmore would make the short-list for the “President Most Americans Never Heard Of” Award. If such an award existed. I know almost nothing about Fillmore’s life. Except that he said this quote. And the one I’m posting later today 🙂

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