John Jay: Own Country, Rule Country

Posted by admin on Sunday, September 22, 2013

John Jay Money Quotation as First Chief Justice of the Supreme Court he reflected the prevailing view of moneyed men with a belief that owning more should mean ruling over more. John Jay said:
The people who own the country ought to govern it Quote

“The people who own the country ought to govern it” — John Jay


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In this quote, John Jay is expressing a view that was common among some of the founding fathers – that those who own substantial property have the greatest stake in stable governance and should therefore hold political power.

Jay seems to be suggesting that the “people who own the country” through land ownership and wealth have the most to gain or lose depending on policies enacted, and so it is reasonable for them to “govern it” and determine laws and leadership.

However, the quote also reflects the prevailing attitudes of Jay’s time towards limiting voting rights based on property ownership, which modern democratic principles have largely rejected in favor of universal suffrage. Overall, Jay appears to believe the economically enfranchised members of society who have tangible assets at risk should be those directing the affairs of state.

Birthday December 12, 1745 – Died May 17, 1829


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