John Adams Quotes & Wallpapers

John Adams
Total Quotes: 473

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. John Adams

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

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. John Adams

Fear is the foundation of most governments. John Adams

Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak. John Adams

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

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

Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society. John Adams

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

To be good, and to do good, is all we have to do. John Adams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to God that he gave me stubbornness when I know I am right. John Adams

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

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

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

We shall, by and by, want a world of hemp more for our own consumption. John Adams

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

Liberty, once lost, is lost forever. John Adams

Without religion this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean Hell. John Adams

[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

Mankind will in time discover that unbridled majorities are as tyrannical and cruel as unlimited despots. John Adams

Slavery is a foul contagion in the human character. John Adams

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

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

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

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

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

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

Politics are the divine science, after all. John Adams

The destiny of America is to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ to all men everywhere. John Adams

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

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

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

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

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

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

A taste for literature and a turn for business, united in the same person, never fails to make a great man. John Adams

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

I read my eyes out and cant read half enough. The more one reads the more one sees we have to read. John Adams

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

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

In politics the middle way is none at all. John Adams

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

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

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

[I] never understood [what a republican government was and] I believe no other man ever did or ever will. John Adams

No truth is more clearly taught in the Volume of Inspiration, nor any more fully demonstrated by the experience of all ages, than that a deep sense and a due acknowledgment of the governing providence of a Supreme Being and the accountableness of men to Him as the searcher of hearts and righteous distributor of rewards and punishments are conducive equally to the happiness and rectitude of individuals and to the well being of communities. John Adams

The study and practice of law ... does not dissolve the obligations of morality or of religion. John Adams

Since natural law was thought to be accessible to the ordinary man, the theory invited each juror to inquire for himself whether a particular rule of law was consonant with principles of higher law. This view is reflected in John Adams' statement that 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

The ten commandments and the sermon on the mount contain my religion. John Adams

The arts and sciences, in general, during the three or four last centuries, have had a regular course of progressive improvement. The inventions in mechanic arts, the discoveries in natural philosophy, navigation and commerce, and the advancement of civilization and humanity, have occasioned changes in the condition of the world and the human character which would have astonished the most refined nations of antiquity. A continuation of similar exertions is everyday rendering Europe more and more like one community, or single family. John Adams

The truth is that neither then nor at any former time, since I had attained my maturity in Age, Reading and reflection had I imbibed any general Prejudice against Kings, or in favour of them. It appeared to me then as it has done ever since, that there is a State of Society in which a Republican Government is the best, and in America the only one... John Adams

There is not an enemy so stout, as to storm and take the fortress of the mind, Unless its infirmity turn traitor, and Fear unbar the gates. John Adams

My best wishes, in the joys, and festivities, and the solemn services of that day on which will be completed the fiftieth year from its birth, of the independence of the United States: a memorable epoch in the annals of the human race, destined in future history to form the brightest or the blackest page, according to the use or the abuse of those political institutions by which they shall, in time to come, be shaped by the human mind. John Adams

Suppose a nation, rich and poor, high and low, ten millions in number, all assembled together; not more than one or two millions will have lands, houses, or any personal property; if we take into the account the women and children, or even if we leave them out of the question, a great majority of every nation is wholly destitute of property, except a small quantity of clothes, and a few trifles of other movables. John Adams

Let us hear the dangers of thralldom to our consciences from ignorance, extreme poverty, and dependence; in short, from civil and political slavery. Let us see delineated before us the true map of man. Let us hear the dignity of his nature, and the noble rank he holds among the works of God-that consenting to slavery is a sacrilegious breach of trust, as offensive in the sight of God as it is derogatory from our own honor or interest or happiness-and that God Almighty has promulgated from heaven liberty, peace, and goodwill to man! John Adams

The true source of our sufferings has been our timidity. John Adams

There is no greater guilt than the unneccessary war. John Adams

A Pen is certainly an excellent Instrument, to fix a Mans Attention and to inflame his Ambition. John Adams

The divine science of government is the science of social happiness, and the blessings of society depend entirely on the constitutions of government. John Adams

Riches attract the attention, consideration, and congratulations of mankind. John Adams

Liberty can not be preserved without a general knowledge among the people. John Adams

Yesterday the greatest question was decided which ever was debated in America; and a greater perhaps never was, nor will be, decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States. John Adams

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