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   Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations.  1989.
 
 
NUMBER:774
AUTHOR:Edmund Burke (1729–97)
QUOTATION:If any ask me what a free government is, I answer, that, for any practical purpose, it is what the people think so,—and that they, and not I, are the natural, lawful, and competent judges of this matter.
ATTRIBUTION:EDMUND BURKE, letter to the sheriffs of Bristol, April 3, 1777.—The Works of the Right Honorable Edmund Burke, vol. 2, p. 227 (1899).
SUBJECTS:Government—definition of
 
 
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