Jefferson on the Inevitable Failure of Injustice
No nation however powerful, any more than an individual, can be unjust with impunity. Sooner or later, public opinion, an instrument merely moral in the beginning, will find occasion physically to inflict its sentences on the unjust… The lesson is useful to the weak as well as the strong.
—Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to James Madison (1804), in: The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 8, p. 300 (P.L. Ford ed. 1899).