John Adams Quotes & Wallpapers

John Adams
Total Quotes: 473


There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country. One is by the sword. The other is by debt. John Adams
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There are persons whom in my heart I despise, others I abhor. Yet I am not obliged to inform the one of my contempt, nor the other of my detestation. This kind of dissimulation...is a necessary branch of wisdom, and so far from being immoral...that it is a duty and a virtue. John Adams
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The foundations of national morality must be laid in private families. John Adams
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Ideology is the science of idiots. John Adams
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A government of laws, and not of men. John Adams
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Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom. John Adams
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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. John Adams
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I read my eyes out and can't read half enough.... The more one reads the more one sees we have to read. John Adams
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You are afraid of the one-I, of the few. We agree perfectly that the many should have a full fair and perfect Representation.-You are Apprehensive of Monarchy; I, of Aristocracy. I would therefore have given more Power to the President and less to the Senate. John Adams
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As the happiness of the people is the sole end of government, so the consent of the people is the only foundation of it. John Adams
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All sober inquirers after truth, ancient and modern, pagan and Christian, have declared that the happiness of man, as well as his dignity, consists in virtue. John Adams
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The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooist brutality, is patently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with the dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes. John Adams
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A native of America who cannot read or write is . . . as rare as a comet or an earthquake. John Adams
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When the Congress first met, Mr. Cushing made a motion that it should be opened with prayer . . . Mr. Samuel Adams arose and said he was no bigot, and could hear a prayer from a gentleman of piety and virtue, who was at the same time a friend to his country. He . . . had heard that Mr. Duche . . . deserved that character and therefore he moved that Mr. Duche . . . might be desired to read prayers to the Congress . . . . After (he read several prayers), Mr. Duche, unexpected to everybody, struck out into an extemporary prayer, which filled the bosom of every man present. John Adams
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The Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation: The doctrine of a supreme, intelligent sovereign of the universe, I believe to be the great essential principle of all morality, and consequently of all civilization. John Adams
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Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom. Aristotle speaks plainly to this purpose, saying, 'that the institution of youth should be accommodated to that form of government under which they live; forasmuch as it makes exceedingly for the preservation of the present government, whatsoever it be. John Adams
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Individuals have conquered themselves. Nations and large bodies of men, never. John Adams
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If we do not lay out ourselves in the service of mankind whom should we serve? John Adams
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The dons, the bashaws, the grandees, the patricians, the sachems, the nabobs, call them by what names you please, sigh and groan and fret, and sometimes stamp and foam and curse, but all in vain. The decree is gone forth, and it cannot be recalled, that a more equal liberty than has prevailed in other parts of the earth must be established in America. John Adams
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Have you ever found in history, one single example of a nation, thoroughly corrupted, that was afterwards restored to virtue? And without virtue there can be no political liberty. John Adams
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In general, our generals were outgeneralled. John Adams
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We may... affirm that the balance of power in a society accompanies the balance of property in land. The only possible way, then, of preserving the balance of power on the side of liberty and public virtue is to make the acquisition of land easy to every member of society; to make a division of the land into small quantities, so that the multitude may be possessed of landed estates. John Adams
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The Christian Religion as I understand it is the best. John Adams
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They shall not be expected to acknowledge us until we have acknowledged ourselves. John Adams
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Property monopolized or in the possession of a few is a curse to mankind. John Adams
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Admire and adore the Author of the telescopic universe, love and esteem the work, do all in your power to lessen ill, and increase good, but never assume to comprehend. John Adams
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I am determined to control events, not be controlled by them. John Adams
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Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order. John Adams
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Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. John Adams
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Genius is sorrow's child. John Adams
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The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws. John Adams
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I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine. (12 May 1780) John Adams
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The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing. John Adams
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Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition and dogmatism cannot confine it. John Adams
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But America is a great, unwieldy Body. Its Progress must be slow. It is like a large Fleet sailing under Convoy. The fleetest Sailors must wait for the dullest and slowest. Like a Coach and six-the swiftest Horses must be slackened and the slowest quickened, that all may keep an even Pace. John Adams
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The new Government has my best Wishes and most fervent Prayers, for its Success and Prosperity: but whether I shall have any Thing more to do with it, besides praying for it, depends on the future suffrages of Freemen. John Adams
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All the perplexities, confusions, 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. John Adams
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Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide. John Adams
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The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.-I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. John Adams
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But my Country has in its Wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant Office [the vicepresidency] that ever the invention of Man contrived or his Imagination conceived: and as I can do neither good nor Evil, I must be borne away by Others and meet the common Fate. John Adams
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A boy of fifteen who is not a democrat is good for nothing, and he is no better who is a democrat at twenty. John Adams
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The universal object and idol of men of letters is reputation. John Adams
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One sailor will do us more good than two soldiers. John Adams
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They worry one another like mastiffs, scrambling for rank and pay like apes for nuts. John Adams
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But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations ... This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution. John Adams
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Ambition is the subtlest beast of the intellectual and moral field. It is wonderfully adroit in concealing itself from its owner. John Adams
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To believe all men honest is folly. To believe none is something worse. John Adams
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The form of government which communicates ease, comfort, security, or, in one word, happiness, to the greatest number of persons, and in the greatest degree, is the best. John Adams
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Riches attract attention, consideration, and congratulations of mankind. John Adams
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Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body of the people being necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties; and as these depend on spreading the opportunities and advantages of education in various parts of the country, and among the different orders of the people, it shall be the duty of legislators and magistrates in all future periods of this commonwealth to cherish the interests of literature and the sciences... John Adams
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Honor is truly sacred, but holds a lower rank in the scale of moral excellence than virtue. Indeed the former is part of the latter, and consequently has not equal pretensions to support a frame of government productive of human happiness. John Adams
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I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved - the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! John Adams
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The question before the human race is, Whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether Priests and Kings shall rule it by fictitious Miracles? Or, in other words, whether authority is originally in the People? Or whether it has descended for 1800 Years in a succession of Popes and Bishops, or brought down from Heaven by the Holy Ghost in the form of a Dove, in a Phial of holy Oil? John Adams
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Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it. John Adams
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[T]he liberty, the unalienable, indefeasible rights of men, the honor and dignity of human nature, the grandeur and glory of the public, and the universal happiness of individuals, were never so skillfully and successfully consulted as in that most excellent monument of human art, the common law of England. John Adams
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National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman. John Adams
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Thomas Jefferson survives. John Adams
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Your Letters concerning Miss N. have given me as much Concern as they ought-not knowing the Character nor what to advise, but feeling all a Fathers Tenderness, longing to be at home that I might enquire and consider and take the Care I ought. John Adams
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There is no good government but what is republican. That the only valuable part of the British constitution is so; for the true idea of a republic is "an empire of laws, and not of men." That, as a republic is the best of governments, so that particular arrangement of the powers of society, or in other words, that form of government which is best contrived to secure an impartial and exact execution of the law, is the best of republics. John Adams
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A question arises whether all the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judicial, shall be left in this body? I think a people cannot be long free, nor ever happy, whose government is in one Assembly. John Adams
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The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. John Adams
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It's of more importance to community that innocence should be protected than it is that guilt should be punished John Adams
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Public business must always be done by somebody. It will be done by somebody or other. If wise man decline, others will not; if honest man refuse it, others will not. John Adams
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We are in the the very midst of a revolution, the most complete, unexpected and remarkable of any in the history of nations. John Adams
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The Constitution is ...the greatest single effort of national deliberation that the world has ever seen John Adams
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We should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our Liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections. If an election is to be determined by a majority of a single vote, and that can be procured by a party through artifice or corruption, the Government may be the choice of a party for its own ends, not of the nation for the national good. John Adams
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If we take a survey of the greatest actions...in the world...we shall find the authors of them all to have been persons whose Brains had been shaken out of their natural position. John Adams
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There's no such thing as a free lunch, unless you have a coupon for a free lunch...or someone gives you a lunch...never mind. John Adams
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There never was yet a people who must not have somebody or something to represent the dignity of the state. John Adams
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The idea of infidelity [a disbelief in the inspiration of the Scriptures or the divine origin of Christianity] cannot be treated with too much resentment or too much horror. The man who can think of it with patience is a traitor in his heart and ought to be execrated [denounced] as one who adds the deepest hypocrisy to the blackest treason. John Adams
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