“A Republic, if you can keep it.”

Happy Independence Day, all!  Enjoy any celebrations you might attend, and please be safe.

The quote above is attributed to Benjamin Franklin.  Upon exiting the Constitutional Convention in 1787, he was asked by a bystander what form of government the delegates had created:

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

“A Republic, if you can keep it.”

His reply was documented by Dr. James McHenry, the delegate from Maryland.

The imperative implied in Franklin’s words is the same as what Thomas Jefferson expressed when he warned us that “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

 

120504-M-IX426-237

Photo credit: By U.S. Department of Defense Current Photos (120504-M-IX426-237) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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