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A Constitution is not the act of a Government, but of a people constituting a government, and a government without a constitution is a power without right.

–Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791
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[A] wise and frugal government … shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.

—Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, 1801