American Minute with Bill Federer MAY 25 - 'The less government we have, the better'-Ralph Waldo Emerson
American Minute with Bill Federer
MAY 25 - 'The less government we have, the better'-Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The less government we have, the better," wrote poet Ralph Waldo Emerson.
This line was echoed in 1849 by Henry David Thoreau in Civil Disobedience:
"That government is best which governs least."
Ralph Waldo Emerson continued:
fewer laws...the less confided power. The antidote to this abuse of
formal Government, is, the influence of private character, the growth of
Born MAY 25, 1803, Ralph Waldo Emerson was a friend of writers Nathaniel Hawthorne and Louisa May Alcott.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:
is another name for opportunity. Our whole history appears like a last
effort of divine Providence in behalf of the human race."
Ralph Waldo Emerson composed some of the best loved poems in American literature, including The Concord Hymn, of which a stanza is inscribed on the base of Daniel Chester French's Minute Man Statue:
"By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled;
Here once the embattled farmers stood;
And fired the shot heard round the world."
Ralph Waldo Emerson commented on John Quincy Adams:
"No man could read the Bible with such powerful effect, even with the cracked and winded voice of old age."
1848, Ralph Waldo Emerson visited Paris between the February Revolution
and the bloody June Days. When he saw that mobs had cut down trees near
the Champ de Mars to form barricades across downtown city streets, he
wrote in his journal:
"At the end of the year we shall...see if the Revolution was worth the trees."
When abolitionist publisher Elijah Lovejoy was murdered in 1838 and his printing press destroyed, Emerson said:
is but the other day that the brave Lovejoy gave his breast to the
bullets of a mob, for the rights of free speech and opinion."
During the Civil War, Emerson lectured at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., stating:
"Emancipation is the demand of civilization."
Charles Sumner took Emerson to the White House to meet Lincoln. Emerson stated:
"I think we must get rid of slavery, or we must get rid of freedom."
In 1865, Emerson spoke at a memorial service for Lincoln:
"I doubt if any death has caused so much pain as this has caused."
September 12, 2001, the day after the fundamentalist Muslim terror
attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Congressman J.C.
Watts, Jr., quoted Emerson:
"Politics has taken the day off.
Today Congress remembers and recognizes the afflicted and the sorrowing
and those who come to the aid of their fellow man. Ralph Waldo Emerson,
in 1842, captured what we are thinking as a nation today:
'Sorrow makes us all children again, destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest knows nothing.'"
In May-Day and Other Pieces (1867), Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:
Regarding civilization, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:
true test of civilization is, not the census, nor the size of the
cities, nor the crops - no, but the kind of man the country turns out."
In Social Aims, Emerson wrote:
"Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy."
In The American Scholar (1837), Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:
how many churches, by how many prophets, tell me, is man made sensible
that he is an infinite Soul; that the earth and heavens are passing into
his mind; that he is drinking forever the soul of God?"
Ralph Waldo Emerson stated:
"All I have seen has taught me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen."