Americapedia

Industry

Industry means working hard with resources that are available, as well as finding or creating the resources one needs.

The Founders considered industry and property rights critical to the happiness of society. Thomas Jefferson remarked that a good government will “leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned…” James Wilson asserted that “private industry…is the basis of public happiness.” James Madison agreed, holding that protecting “property as well as personal rights is an essential object of the laws, which encourage industry by securing the enjoyment of its fruits…”

In support of industry, Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” The Fifth Amendment requires the government to pay citizens just compensation when private property is taken for public use. These provisions demonstrate the Founders’ value for industry.

Citizens can be industrious by working hard on school and work assignments, household work, activities and hobbies, in their careers, and on any personal goals.

American individuals who exhibited industry include Abigail Adams, Benjamin FranklinRobert MorrisGeorge Washington, Frederick Douglass, and Ida B. Wells.