John Adams Quotes & Wallpapers

John Adams
Total Quotes: 473


We may please ourselves with the prospect of free and popular governments. But there is great danger that those governments will not make us happy. God grant they may. But I fear that in every assembly, members will obtain an influence by noise, not sense. By meanness, not greatness. By ignorance, not learning. By contracted hearts, not large souls. John Adams
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No man who ever held the office of president would congratulate a friend on obtaining it. John Adams
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I agree with you, that in Politicks the Middle Way is none at all. John Adams
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Amidst your Ardor for Greek and Latin I hope you will not forget your mother Tongue. Read Somewhat in the English Poets every day.... You will never be alone, with a Poet in your Poket. You will never have an idle Hour. John Adams
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Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish with my country. John Adams
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While all other Sciences have advanced, that of Government is at a stand; little better understood; little better practiced now than three or four thousand years ago. John Adams
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Government has no right to hurt the hair of an Atheist for his Opinions. Let him have a care of his Practices. John Adams
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Negro Slavery is an evil of Colossal magnitude and I am utterly averse to the admission of Slavery into the Missouri Territories. John Adams
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Let every sluice of knowledge be opened and set a-flowing. John Adams
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Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. John Adams
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Politics are a labyrinth without a clue. John Adams
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It will be celebrated... with pomp and parade... bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other. John Adams
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I drink no cider, but feast on Philadelphia beer. John Adams
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Let the pulpit resound with the doctrine and sentiments of religious liberty. Let us hear of the dignity of man's nature, and the noble rank he holds among the works of God . . . . Let it be known that British liberties are not the grants of princes and parliaments. John Adams
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Liberty, according to my metaphysics, is an intellectual quality, an attribute that belongs not to fate nor chance. Neither possesses it, neither is capable of it. There is nothing moral or immoral in the idea of it. The definition of it is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. It implies thought and choice and power; it can elect between objects, indifferent in point of morality, neither morally good nor morally evil. John Adams
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The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. John Adams
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[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue. John Adams
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The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity. John Adams
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It is not only the juror's right, but his duty to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment and conscience, though in direct opposition to the instruction of the court. John Adams
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There is nothing I dread so much as the division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our constitution. John Adams
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A constitution founded on these principles introduces knowledge among the people, and inspires them with a conscious dignity becoming freemen; a general emulation takes place, which causes good humor, sociability, good manners, and good morals to be general. That elevation of sentiment inspired by such a government, makes the common people brave and enterprising. That ambition which is inspired by it makes them sober, industrious, and frugal. John Adams
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Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics. There must be a positive passion for the public good, the public interest, honour, power and glory, established in the minds of the people, or there can be no republican government, nor any real liberty: and this public passion must be superiour to all private passions. John Adams
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We must not then depend alone upon the love of liberty in the soul of man for its preservation. John Adams
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A single assembly is liable to all the vices, follies, and frailties of an individual; subject to fits of humor, starts of passion, flights of enthusiasm, partialities, or prejudice, and consequently productive of hasty results and absurd judgments. And all these errors ought to be corrected and defects supplied by some controlling power. John Adams
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The deliberate union of so great and various a people in such a place, is without all partiality or prejudice, if not the greatest exertion of human understanding, the greatest single effort of national deliberation that the world has ever seen. John Adams
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I am quite content to come home and go to Farming, be a select Man, and owe no Man any Thing but good Will. There I can get a little health and teach my Boys to be Lawyers. John Adams
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There is but one element of government, and that is THE PEOPLE. From this element spring all governments. "For a nation to be free, it is only necessary that she wills it." For a nation to be slave, it is only necessary that she wills it. John Adams
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I didn't grow up imagining myself as an opera composer. Only once in my entire adolescence did I attend an opera. I went and saw Aida at the old Met, didn't understand a thing about it, and thought it was pretty awful. But I think I had it in my genes without even realising it. John Adams
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We should begin by setting conscience free. When all men of all religions shall enjoy equal liberty, property, and an equal chance for honors and power we may expect that improvements will be made in the human character and the state of society. John Adams
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I never engaged in public affairs for my own interest, pleasure, envy, jealousy, avarice or ambition, or even the desire of fame John Adams
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Public affairs go on pretty much as usual: perpetual chicanery and rather more personal abuse than there used to be. John Adams
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It would be an absurdity for jurors to be required to accept the judge's view of the law, against their own opinion, judgment, and conscience. John Adams
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I Pray Heaven to Bestow The Best of Blessing on THIS HOUSE, and on All that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under This Roof! John Adams
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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. John Adams
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When annual elections end, there slavery begins. John Adams
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What is to become of an independent statesman, one who will bow the knee to no idol, who will worship nothing as a divinity but truth, virtue, and his country? I will tell you; he will be regarded more by posterity than those who worship hounds and horses; and although he will not make his own fortune, he will make the fortune of his country. John Adams
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If there is ever an amelioration of the condition of mankind, philosophers, theologians, legislators, politicians and moralists will find that the regulation of the press is the most difficult, dangerous and important problem they have to resolve. Mankind cannot now be governed without it, nor at present with it. John Adams
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Set before us the conduct of our own British ancestors, who defended for us the inherent rights of mankind against foreign and domestic tyrants and usurpers, against arbitrary kings and cruel priests; in short against the gates of earth and hell. John Adams
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A single assembly will never be a steady guardian of the laws, if Machiavel is right, when he says, Men are never good but through necessity: on the contrary, when good and evil are left to their choice, they will not fail to throw every thing into disorder and confusion. Hunger and poverty may make men industrious, but laws only can make them good; for, if men were so of themselves, there would be no occasion for laws; but, as the case is far otherwise, they are absolutely necessary. John Adams
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If the empire of superstition and hypocrisy should be overthrown, happy indeed will it be for the world; but if all religion and morality should be over-thrown with it, what advantage will be gained? John Adams
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Life is probation: mortal man was made To solve the solemn problem - right or wrong. John Adams
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I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. John Adams
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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. John Adams
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Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. John Adams
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Fear is the foundation of most governments. John Adams
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Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak. John Adams
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The Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation. If I were an atheist, and believed blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations. John Adams
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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. John Adams
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Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society. John Adams
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The right of a nation to kill a tyrant in case of necessity can no more be doubted than to hang a robber, or kill a flea. John Adams
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Let justice be done though the heavens should fall. John Adams
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Let us dare to read, think, speak and write. John Adams
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Always stand on principle....even if you stand alone. John Adams
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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. John Adams
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To be good, and to do good, is all we have to do. John Adams
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Did you ever see a portrait of a great man without perceiving strong traits of pain and anxiety? John Adams
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Courage and perseverance have a magic talisman, before which difficulties and obstacles vanish into air. John Adams
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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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You bid me burn your letters. But I must forget you first. John Adams
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As long as Property exists, it will accumulate in Individuals and Families. As long as Marriage exists, Knowledge, Property and Influence will accumulate in Families. John Adams
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Can a free government possibly exist with the Roman Catholic religion? John Adams
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Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood. John Adams
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Grief drives men into habits of serious reflection, sharpens the understanding, and softens the heart John Adams
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But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed? John Adams
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Every measure of prudence, therefore, ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States ... I have, throughout my whole life, held the practice of slavery in ... abhorrence. John Adams
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Power in any Form . . . when directed only by human Wisdom and Benevolence is dangerous. John Adams
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We electors have an important constitutional power placed in our hands: we have a check upon two branches of the legislature, as each branch has upon the other two; the power I mean of electing at stated periods, one branch, which branch has the power of electing another. It becomes necessary to every subject then, to be in some degree a statesman: and to examine and judge for himself of the tendencies of political principles and measures. John Adams
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Religion and virtue are the only foundations, not of republicanism and of all free government, but of social felicity under all government and in all the combinations of human society. John Adams
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It has ever been my hobby-horse to see rising in America an empire of liberty, and a prospect of two or three hundred millions of freemen, without one noble or one king among them. You say it is impossible. If I should agree with you in this, I would still say, let us try the experiment, and preserve our equality as long as we can. A better system of education for the common people might preserve them long from such artificial inequalities as are prejudicial to society, by confounding the natural distinctions of right and wrong, virtue and vice. John Adams
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What other form of government, indeed, can so well deserve our esteem and love? John Adams
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