The growth of modern constitutional government compels for its successful practice the exercise of reason and considerate judgment by the individual citizens who constitute the electorate.

— Elihu Root

The most heartwarming Elihu Root quotes that may be undiscovered and unusual

Cruelty to men and to the lower animals as well, which would have passed unnoticed a century ago, now shocks the sensibilities and is regarded as wicked and degrading.

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Prejudice and passion and suspicion are more dangerous than the incitement of self-interest or the most stubborn adherence to real differences of opinion regarding rights.

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The mere assemblage of peace loving people to interchange convincing reasons for their common faith, mere exhortation and argument to the public in favor of peace in general fall short of the mark.

18

About half the practice of a decent lawyer is telling would-be clients that they are damned fools and should shut up.

12

Honest people, mistakenly believing in the justice of their cause, are led to support injustice.

12

It is not uncommon in modern times to see governments straining every nerve to keep the peace, and the people whom they represent, with patriotic enthusiasm and resentment over real or fancied wrongs, urging them forward to war.

10

Moral disarmament is to safeguard the future;

material disarmament is to save for the present, that there may be a future to safeguard.

5

The limitation upon this mode of promoting peace lies in the fact that it consists in an appeal to the civilized side of man, while war is the product of forces proceeding from man's original savage nature.

5

To deal with the true causes of war one must begin by recognizing as of prime relevancy to the solution of the problem the familiar fact that civilization is a partial, incomplete, and, to a great extent, superficial modification of barbarism.

4

Claims of right and insistence upon obligations may depend upon treaty stipulations, or upon the rules of international law, or upon the sense of natural justice applied to the circumstances of a particular case, or upon disputed facts.

4

The theoretical postulate of all diplomatic discussion between nations is the assumed willingness of every nation to do justice.

4

In the first place, when there is a policy of intentional aggression, inspired by a desire to get possession of the territory or the trade of another country, right or wrong, a pretext is always sought.

4

About Elihu Root

Quotes 37 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Lawyer
Birthday October 16

There is so much of good in human nature that men grow to like each other upon better acquaintance, and this points to another way in which we may strive to promote the peace of the world.

4

Human nature must have come much nearer perfection than it is now, or will be in many generations, to exclude from such a control prejudice, selfishness, ambition, and injustice.

4

The attractive idea that we can now have a parliament of man with authority to control the conduct of nations by legislation or an international police force with power to enforce national conformity to rules of right conduct is a counsel of perfection.

4

Nothing is more important in the preservation of peace than to secure among the great mass of the people living under constitutional government a just conception of the rights which their nation has against others and of the duties their nation owes to others.

4

The methods of peace propaganda which aim at establishing peace doctrine by argument and by creating a feeling favorable to peace in general seem to fall short of reaching the springs of human action and of dealing with the causes of the conduct which they seek to modify.

3

The point of departure of the process to which we wish to contribute is the fact that war is the natural reaction of human nature in the savage state, while peace is the result of acquired characteristics.

3

The line of least resistance in the progress of civilization is to make that theoretical postulate real by the continually increasing force of the world's public opinion.

3

It is not a question of religion, or of creed, or of party;

it is a question of declaring and maintaining the great American principle of eternal separation between Church and State.

3

Gradually, everything that happens in the world is coming to be of interest everywhere in the world, and, gradually, thoughtful men and women everywhere are sitting in judgment upon the conduct of all nations.

3

The worst, the hardest, the most disagreeable thing that you may have to do may be the thing that counts most, because it is the hard discipline, and it alone, that makes possible the highest efficiency.

3

Human life is held in much higher esteem, and the taking of it, whether in private quarrel or by judicial procedure, is looked upon much more seriously than it was formerly.

3

War was forced upon mankind in his original civil and social condition.

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The law of the survival of the fittest led inevitably to the survival and predominance of the men who were effective in war and who loved it because they were effective.

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The framers of the Constitution realized that .

. . there needed to be some guardian of the sober second thought, and so they created the Senate to fulfill that high and vitally important duty.

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Men do not fail; they give up trying.

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I guess you will have to go to jail. If that is the result of not understanding the Income Tax Law, I will meet you there. We shall have a merry, merry time, for all our friends will be there. It will be an intellectual center, for no one understands the Income Tax Law except persons who have not sufficient intelligence to understand the questions that arise under it.

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Nobody knows through how many thousands of years fighting men have made a place for themselves while the weak and peaceable have gone to the wall.

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No nation now sets forth to despoil another upon the avowed ground that it desires the spoils.

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It is only through the power of association that those of any calling exercise due influence in their communities.

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It is to be observed that every case of war averted is a gain in general, for it helps to form a habit of peace, and community habits long continued become standards of conduct.

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Politics is the practical exercise of the art of self-government, and somebody must attend to it if we are to have self-government; somebody must study it, and learn the art, and exercise patience and sympathy and skill to bring the multitude of opinions and wishes of self-governing people into such order that some prevailing opinion may be expressed and peaceably accepted. Otherwise, confusion will result either in dictatorship or anarchy. The principal ground of reproach against any American citizen should be that he is not a politician. Everyone ought to be, as Lincoln was.

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The wolf always charges the lamb with muddying the stream.

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I observe that there are two entirely different theories according to which individual men seek to get on in the world. One theory leads a man to pull down everybody around him in order to climb up on them to a higher place. The other leads a man to help everybody around him in order that he may go up with them.

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Secretary of War Stanton used to get out of patience with Lincoln because he was all the time pardoning men who ought to be shot.

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