John Adams quotes - some of the greatest quotes from American history! Read some John Adams quotations and you can learn a little more about this Founding Father and former president. Adams sometimes gets lost in the shuffle between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, but he was indeed a great man and Patriot for the American revolution!
"Liberty, according to my metaphysics is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. It implies thought and choice and power."
"The way to secure liberty is to place it in the people's hands, that is, to give them the power at all times to defend it in the legislature and in the courts of justice."
"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty."
"Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty."
"...Cities may be rebuilt, and a People reduced to Poverty, may acquire fresh Property: But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty once lost is lost forever. When the People once surrendered their share in the Legislature, and their Right of defending the Limitations upon the Government, and of resisting every Encroachment upon them, they can never regain it."
"Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people."
"I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is a disgrace, that two become a lawfirm, and that three or more become a congress."
"A government of laws, and not of men."
"Fear is the foundation of most governments."
"While all other sciences have advanced, that of government is at a standstill - little better understood, little better practiced now than three or four thousand years ago."
"The happiness of society is the end of government."
"You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. - I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. - Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not."
"The Declaration of Independence I always considered as a theatrical show. Jefferson ran away with all the stage effect of that... and all the glory of it."
"All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation."
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
"Human passions unbridled by morality and religion...would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net."
"Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide."
"Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom."
"I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth."
"When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking or thinking I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more."
"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."
"Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it."
"There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country. One is by the sword. The other is by debt."
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
"Thanks to God that he gave me stubborness when I know I am right."
"Always stand on principle....even if you stand alone."
"There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
"A desire to be observed, considered, esteemed, praised, beloved, and admired by his fellows is one of the earliest as well as the keenest dispositions discovered in the heart of man."
"My country has contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived."
"Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society."
"Because power corrupts, society's demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases."
"I read my eyes out and can't read half enough...the more one reads the more one sees we have to read."
"Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak."
"Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order."
"Power must never be trusted without a check."
"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy."
"As much as I converse with sages and heroes, they have very little of my love and admiration. I long for rural and domestic scene, for the warbling of birds and the prattling of my children."
"I have accepted a seat in the House of Representatives, and thereby have consented to my own ruin, to your ruin, and to the ruin of our children. I give you this warning that you may prepare your mind for your fate."
"I want to see my wife and children every day, I want to see my grass and blossoms and corn ... But above all, except the wife and children, I want to see my books."
"I wish I could lay down beside her and die too."
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