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[ Also see America Bachelors Democracy Dependence Fourth of July Freedom Government Liberty Obstinacy Party Patriotism Politics Rebellion Right Rights Self-reliance Slavery War ]

The word "independence" is united to the accessory ideas of dignity and virtue. The word "dependence" is united to the ideas of inferiority and corruption.
      - Jeremy Bentham

Men say they love independence in a woman, but they don't waste a second demolishing it brick by brick.
      - Candice Bergen

For my own private satisfaction, I had rather be master of my own time than wear a diadem.
      - Bishop George Berkeley

To drive men from independence to live on alms, is itself great cruelty.
      - Edmund Burke

Gather gear by ev'ry wile
  That's justified by honor;
    Not for to hide it in a hedge,
      Nor for a train attendant;
        But for the glorious privilege
          Of being independent.
      - Robert Burns

I never thrust my nose into other men's porridge. It is no bread and butter of mine: Every man for himself and God for us all.
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra),
        Don Quixote (pt. I, bk. III, ch. XI)

It is not the greatness of a man's means that makes him independent, so much as the smallness of his wants.
      - William Cobbett

All we ask is to be let alone.
      - Jefferson Davis,
        First Message to the Confederate Congress

There is often as much independence in not being led as in not being driven.
      - Tryon Edwards

Can anything be so elegant as to have few wants, and to serve them one's self.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am lord of myself, accountable to none.
      - Benjamin Franklin

The greatest of all human benefits, that at least without which no other benefit can be truly enjoyed, is independence.
      - Parke Godwin

The king is the least independent man in his dominions; the beggar the most so.
      - A.W. Hare and J.C. Hare

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
  We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness--That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such Principles and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. . . .
      - Thomas Jefferson,
        Declaration of Independence of the United States of America,
        beginning of

The whole trouble is that we won't let God help us.
      - George MacDonald, The Marquis of Lossie
         (ch. XXVII)

Independence, like honor, is a rocky island, without a beach.
      - Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon I)

Voyager upon life's sea:--
  To yourself be true,
    And whate'er you lot may be,
      Paddle your own canoe.
      - Dr. Edward P. Philpots,
        Paddle your own Canoe,
        written for Harry Clifton, appeared in "Harper's Monthly", May, 1854

Let fortune do her worst, whatever she makes us lose, so long as she never makes us lose our honesty and our independence.
      - Alexander Pope

To be truly and really independent is to support ourselves by our own exertions.
      - Jane Porter

The man is best served who has no occasion to put the hands of others at the end of his own arms.
      - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

I'll never
  Be such a gosling to obey instinct, but stand
    As is a man were author of himself
      And knew no other kin.
      - William Shakespeare, Coriolanus
         (Coriolanus at V, iii)

If you can look into the seeds of time
  And say which grain will grow and which will not,
    Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear
      Your favors nor your hate.
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Banquo at I, iii)

Thy spirit, Independence, let me share!
  Lord of the lion-heart and eagle-eye,
    Thy steps I follow with my bosom bare,
      Nor heed the storm that howls along the sky.
      - Tobias George Smollett,
        Ode to Independence (l. 1)

. . . but while
  I breathe Heaven's air, and Heaven looks down on me,
    And smiles at my best meanings, I remain
      Mistress of mine own self and mine own soul.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, The Foresters
         (act IV, sc. 1)

Hail! Independence, hail! Heaven's next best gift,
  To that of life and an immortal soul!
      - James Thomson (1), Liberty (pt. V, l. 124)

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