John Adams Quotes & Wallpapers

John Adams
Total Quotes: 473


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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Let justice be done though the heavens should fall. 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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As to the history of the revolution, my ideas may be peculiar, perhaps singular. What do we mean by the revolution? The war? That was no part of the revolution; it was only an effect and consequence of it. The revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected from 1760 to 1775, in the course of fifteen years, before a drop of blood was shed at Lexington. 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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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. 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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In politics the middle way is none at all. John Adams
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If worthless men are sometimes at the head of affairs, it is, I believe, because worthless men are at the tail and the middle John Adams
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We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other. John Adams
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We shall, by and by, want a world of hemp more for our own consumption. John Adams
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The only way to form an army to be confided in, was a systematic discipline, by which means all men may be made heroes. John Adams
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Liberty, once lost, is lost forever. John Adams
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Without religion this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean Hell. John Adams
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[You have Rights] antecedent to all earthly governments: Rights, that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; Rights, derived from the Great Legislator of the universe. John Adams
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Mankind will in time discover that unbridled majorities are as tyrannical and cruel as unlimited despots. John Adams
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Slavery is a foul contagion in the human character. John Adams
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Tom, had you and I been 40 days with Moses, and beheld the great God, and even if God himself had tried to tell us that three was one ... and one equals three, you and I would never have believed it. We would never fall victims to such lies. John Adams
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But before any great things are accomplished, a memorable change must be made in the system of Education and knowledge must become so general as to raise the lower ranks of Society nearer to the higher. The Education of a Nation, instead of being confined to a few schools & Universities, for the instruction of the few, must become the National Care and expence, for the information of the Many. John Adams
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I was very strenuous for retaining and insisting on it [law of nature], as a resource to which we might be driven by Parliament much sooner than we were aware. John Adams
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I am well pleased with what I hear of you: The principal Satisfaction I can expect in Life, in future will be in your good Behavior and that of my other Children. My Hopes from all of you are very agreable. God grant, I may not be disappointed. John Adams
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If my superiors shall permit me to come home, I hope it will be soon; if they mean I should stay abroad, I am not able to say what I shall do, until I know in what capacity. One thing is certain, that I will not live long without my family. John Adams
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The human understanding is a revelation from its maker, which can never be disputed or doubted. There can be no scepticism, Pyrrhonism, or incredulity or infidelity here. No prophecies, no miracles are necessary to prove this celestical communication. This revelation has made it certain that two and one make three, and that one is not three nor can three be one. We can never be so certain of any prophecy, or the fulfilment of any prophecy, or of any miracle, or the design of any miracle, as we are from the revelation of nature, that is, nature's God, that two and two are equal to four. John Adams
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Politics are the divine science, after all. John Adams
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The destiny of America is to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ to all men everywhere. John Adams
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Oh! the wisdom, the foresight and the hindsight and the rightsight and the leftsight, the northsight and the southsight, and the eastsight and the westsight that appeared in that august assembly. John Adams
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In every society where property exists there will ever be a struggle between rich and poor. Mixed in one assembly, equal laws can never be expected; they will either be made by the member to plunder the few who are rich, or by the influence to fleece the many who are poor. John Adams
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Several country towns, within my observation, have at least a dozen taverns. Here the time, the money, the health and the modesty, of most that are young and of many old, are wasted. Here diseases, vicious habits, bastards and legislators are frequently spawned. John Adams
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National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman, and that there is an obligation to perform such a duty absolutely irrespective of party politics or factional differences. 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. When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers and destroyers press upon them so fast that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachments is to, grow every day more encroaching; like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. John Adams
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This oration will be read five hundred years hence with as much rapture as it was heard. It ought to be read at the end of every century, and indeed at the end of every year, forever and ever. John Adams
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A taste for literature and a turn for business, united in the same person, never fails to make a great man. John Adams
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By my physical constitution I am but an ordinary man ... Yet some great events, some cutting expressions, some mean hypocracies, have at times thrown this assemblage of sloth, sleep, and littleness into rage like a lion. 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, the majesty of the people, call it what you will - a doge, an avoyer, an archon, a president, a consul, a syndic; this becomes at once an object of ambition and dispute, and, in time, of division, faction, sedition, and rebellion. John Adams
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Tacitus appears to have been as great an enthusiast as Petrarch for the revival of the republic and universal empire. He has exerted the vengeance of history upon the emperors, but has veiled the conspiracies against them, and the incorrigible corruption of the people which probably provoked their most atrocious cruelties. Tyranny can scarcely be practised upon a virtuous and wise people. John Adams
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If the way to do good to my country were to render myself popular, I could easily do it. But extravagant popularity is not the road to public advantage. John Adams
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Thanks to God that he gave me stubbornness when I know I am right. John Adams
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All the perplexities, confusions, and distresses in America arise, not from defects in their constitution or confederation, not from a want of honor or virtue, so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation. John Adams
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By my physical constitution I am but an ordinary man... Yet some great events, some cutting expressions, some mean hypocracies, have at times thrown this assemblage of sloth, sleep, and littleness into rage like a lion. John Adams
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The proposition, that the people are the best keepers of their own liberties, is not true; they are the worst conceivable; they are no keepers at all; they can neither judge, act, think, or will, as a political body. John Adams
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It was reserved for the first settlers of New England to perform achievements equally arduous, to trample down obstructions equally formidable, to dispel dangers equally terrific, under the single inspiration of conscience. John Adams
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The jaws of power are always opened 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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I am but an ordinary Man. The Times alone have destined me to Fame-and even these have not been able to give me, much.... Yet some great Events, some cutting Expressions, some mean Hypocrisies, have at Times, thrown this Assemblage of Sloth, Sleep, and littleness into Rage a little like a Lion. John Adams
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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 triumph in that Days Transaction, even although We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not. John Adams
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I read my eyes out and cant read half enough. The more one reads the more one sees we have to read. John Adams
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This wasted time I have found by constant experience to be as indispensable as sleep. It cannot be employed in reading, nor even in thinking upon any serious subject. It must be wasted on trifles - doing nothing. The string of the bow must be slackened, and the bow itself laid aside. John Adams
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It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, "whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection," and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever. John Adams
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Power must never be trusted without a check. John Adams
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I must judge for myself, but how can I judge, how can any man judge, unless his mind has been opened and enlarged by reading. John Adams
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Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. John Adams
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The true source of our sufferings has been our timidity. John Adams
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Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people. John Adams
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Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. John Adams
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My country has contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived. John Adams
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Before any great things are accomplished, a memorable change must be made in the system of education...to raise the lower ranks of society nearer to the higher. John Adams
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As the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims] ... it is declared ... that no pretext arising from religious opinion shall ever product an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.... The United States is not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or a Mohammedan nation. John Adams
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The proposition that the people are the best keepers of their own liberties is not true. They are the worst conceivable, they are no keepers at all; they can neither judge, act, think, or will, as a political body. John Adams
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The real fabric of American society is not all those flags you see on people's cars...it's in the Bill of Rights and in our constitutional form of government. 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! President Franklin D. Roosevelt had this lettered in gold in the marble over the fireplace in the State Dining Room of the White House. The quotation above follows the capitalization used in the inscription. John Adams
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The consequences of these institutions (The towns or districts, the congregations, the schools,and the militia.) have been, that the inhabitants, having acquired from their infancy the habit of discussing, of deliberating, and of judging of public affairs, it was in these assemblies of towns or districts that the sentiments of the people were formed in the first place, and their resolutions were taken from the beginning to the end of the disputes and the war with Great Britain. John Adams
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Resistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs, and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would. John Adams
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Thus, experience has ever shown, that education, as well as religion, aristocracy, as well as democracy and monarchy, are, singly, totally inadequate to the business of restraining the passions of men, of preserving a steady government, and protecting the lives, liberties, and properties of the people . . . . Religion, superstition, oaths, education, laws, all give way before passions, interest, and power, which can be resisted only by passions, interest, and power. John Adams
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The consequences arising from the continual accumulation of public debts in other countries ought to admonish us to prevent their growth in our own. John Adams
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The fundamental article of my political creed is that despotism, or limited sovereignty, or absolute power is the same [whether] in a majority of a popular assembly; an aristocratic council; or oligarchical junto and a single emperor - equally arbitrary, cruel, bloody and in every respect diabolical. John Adams
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Historically, usury was defined as any interest whatever on an unproductive loan.Our whole banking system I have ever abhorred, I continue to abhor, and I shall die abhorring. John Adams
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