John Adams Quotes & Wallpapers

John Adams
Total Quotes: 473


The history of our Revolution will be one continued lie from one end to the other. The essence of the whole will be that Dr. Franklin's electrical rod smote the earth and out sprang General Washington. That Franklin electrified him with his rod - and thenceforward these two conducted all the policies, negotiations, legislatures, and war. John Adams
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I have examined all religions, as well as my narrow sphere, my straightened means, and my busy life, would allow; and the result is that the Bible is the best Book in the world. It contains more philosophy than all the libraries I have seen. John Adams
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Have you considered that system of holy lies and pious frauds that has raged and triumphed for 1,500 years? John Adams
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The people "have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge- I mean of the character and conduct of their rulers." John Adams
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When economic power became concentrated in a few hands, then political power flowed to those possessors and away from the citizens, ultimately resulting in an oligarchy or tyranny. John Adams
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My History of the Jesuits is in four volumes.... This society has been a greater calamity to mankind than the French Revolution, or Napoleon's despotism or ideology. It has obstructed progress of reformation and the improvement of the human mind in society much longer and more fatally. John Adams
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Let us tenderly and kindly cherish therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write. John Adams
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My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office 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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Be not intimidated...nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice. John Adams
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If the Christian religion, as I understand it, or as you understand it, should maintain its ground, as I believe it will, yet Platonic, Pythagoric, Hindoo, and cabalistical Christianity, which is Catholic Christianity, and which has prevailed for 1500 years, has received a mortal wound, of which the monster must finally die. Yet so strong is his constitution, that he may endure for centuries before he expires. John Adams
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Admit that the press transferred the pontificate of Rome to Henry VIII-Admit that the press demolished in some sort the feudal system, and set the serfs and villains free; admit that the press demolished the monasteries, nunneries, and religious houses; into whose hands did all these alienated baronies, monasteries, and religious houses and lands fall? Into the hands of the democracy? Into the hands of serfs and villains? Serfs and villains were the only real democracy in those time. No. They fell into the hands of other aristocrats. . . . John Adams
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By the former of these (canon law), the most refined, sublime, extensive, and astonishing constitution of policy that ever was conceived by the mind of man was framed by the Romish clergy for the aggrandizement of their own order. John Adams
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Those who trade liberty for security have neither. John Adams
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Every problem is an opportunity in disguise. John Adams
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You are a Virginian, and a Virginian ought to appear at the head of this business. I am obnoxious, suspected and unpopular; you are very much otherwise. And you can write ten times better than I can. John Adams
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The happiness of man, as well as his dignity, consists in virtue. John Adams
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Conclude not from all this that I have renounced the Christian religion. . . . Far from it. I see in every page something to recommend Christianity in its purity, and something to discredit its corruptions. . . . The ten commandments and the sermon on the mount contain my religion. John Adams
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If it be the pleasure of Heaven that my country shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready, at the appointed hour of sacrifice, come when that hour may. But while I do live, let me have a country, and that a free country! John Adams
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My God! This is a revolution! We have to offend someone! John Adams
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The public negotiations and secret intrigues of the English (Jews) and the French (Jews) have been employed for centuries in every court and country in Europe. Look back to the history of Spain, Holland, Germany, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Prussia, Italy and Turkey for the last hundred years...all the power of Europe will be continually maneuvering with us to work us into the real or imaginary balance of power. John Adams
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When I was young, and addicted to reading, I had heard about dancing on the points of metaphysical needles; but, by mixing in the world, I found the points of political needles finer and sharper than the metaphysical ones. John Adams
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...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. John Adams
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[L]iberty 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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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. John Adams
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Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty. John Adams
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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. John Adams
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Liberty, according to my metaphysics is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. It implies thought and choice and power. John Adams
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The whole drama of the world is such tragedy that I am weary of the spectacle. John Adams
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We cannot insure success, but we can deserve it. John Adams
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And liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people who have a right from the frame of their nature to knowledge, as their great Creator who does nothing in vain, has given them understandings and a desire to know. But besides this they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible divine right to the most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean of the characters and conduct of their rulers. John Adams
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You may have the bishop pair but I have the ultimate advantage; I am the better player! John Adams
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But all provisions that He (God) has made for the gratification of our senses...are much inferior to the provision, the wonderful provision that He has made for the gratification of our nobler powers of intelligence and reason. He has given us reason to find out the truth, and the real design and true end of our existence. John Adams
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There is something very unnatural and odious in a government a thousand leagues off. A whole government of our own choice, managed by persons whom we love, revere, and can confide in, has charms in it for which men will fight. 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. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it. John Adams
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Metaphysicians and politicians may dispute forever, but they will never find any other moral principle or foundation of rule or obedience, than the consent of governors and governed. John Adams
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The law, in all vicissitudes of government, fluctuations of the passions, or flights of enthusiasm, will preserve a steady undeviating course; it will not bend to the uncertain wishes, imaginations, and wanton tempers of men.... On the one hand it is inexorable to the cries and lamentations of the prisoners; on the other it is deaf, deaf as an adder to the clamors of the populace. 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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Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics. John Adams
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I request that they may be considered in confidence, until the members of Congress are fully possessed of their contents, and shall have had opportunity to deliberate on the consequences of their publication; after which time, I submit them to your wisdom. John Adams
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Fear is the foundation of most government. John Adams
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Government is nothing more than the combined force of society, or the united power of the multitude, for the peace, order, safety, good and happiness of the people. John Adams
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It is weakness rather than wickedness which renders men unfit to be trusted with unlimited power. John Adams
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We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus! John Adams
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The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God. John Adams
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In vain are Schools, Academies, and Universities instituted, if loose Principles and licentious habits are impressed upon Children in their earliest years . . . . The Vices and Examples of the Parents cannot be concealed from the Children. How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers. John Adams
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This is my religion ... joy and exaltation in my own existence ... so go ahead and snarl ... bite ... howl, you Calvinistic divines and all you who say I am no Christian. I say you are not Christian. John Adams
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A militia law, requiring all men, or with very few exceptions besides cases of conscience, to be provided with arms and ammunition... is always a wise institution, and, in the present circumstances of our country, indispensable. John Adams
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That the desires of the majority of the people are often for injustice and inhumanity against the minority, is demonstrated by every page of the history of the world. John Adams
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Objects of the most stupendous magnitude, and measure in which the lives and liberties of millions yet unborn are intimately interested, are now before us. We are in 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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Upon this point all speculative politicians will agree, that the happiness of society is the end of government, as all divines and moral philosophers will agree that the happiness of the individual is the end of man. From this principle it will follow that the form of government which communicates ease, comfort, security, or, in one word, happiness, to the greatest numbers of persons, and in the greatest degree, is the best. 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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It already appears, that there must be in every society of men superiors and inferiors, because God has laid in the constitution and course of nature the foundations of the distinction. John Adams
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The people, when they have been unchecked, have been as unjust, tyrannical, brutal, barbarous, and cruel, as any king or senate possessed of uncontrollable power. The majority has eternally, and without one exception, usurped over the rights of the minority. John Adams
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Modesty is a virtue that can never thrive in public. John Adams
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It is an observation of one of the profoundest inquirers into human affairs that a revolution of government is the strongest proof that can be given by a people of their virtue and good sense. John Adams
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One useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three is a Congress. John Adams
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Twenty times, in the course of my late reading, have I been on the point of breaking out, 'this would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!' But in this exclamation, I should have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in public company-I mean hell. John Adams
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Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it. John Adams
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I would define liberty to be a power to do as we would be done by. The definition of liberty to be the power of doing whatever the law permits, meaning the civil laws, does not seem satisfactory. John Adams
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. . . Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind. John Adams
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Numberless have been the systems of iniquity contrived by the great for the gratification of this passion in themselves; but in none of them were they ever more successful than in the invention and establishment of the canon and the feudal law. John Adams
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I desire no other inscription over my gravestone than: 'Here lies John Adams, who took upon himself the responsibility of peace with France in the year 1800'. John Adams
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This is a revolution, damn it! We're going to have to offend somebody! John Adams
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Rulers are no more than attorneys, agents, and trustees, for the people; and if the cause, the interest and trust, is insidiously betrayed, or wantonly trifled away, the people have a right to revoke the authority that they themselves have deputed, and to constitute abler and better agents, attorneys, and trustees. John Adams
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During the whole time I sat with him in Congress, I never heard him utter three sentences together. John Adams
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It is much easier to pull down a government, in such a conjuncture of affairs as we have seen, than to build up, at such a season as the present. John Adams
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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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Our whole system of banks is a violation of every honest principle of banks. There is no honest bank but a bank of deposit. A bank that issues paper at interest is a pickpocket or a robber. But the delusion will have its course. ... An aristocracy is growing out of them that will be as fatal as the feudal barons if unchecked in time. John Adams
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Each individual of the society has a right to be protected by it in the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and property, according to standing laws. John Adams
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Mr. Jefferson has reason to reflect upon himself. How he will get rid of his remorse in his retirement, I know not. He must know that he leaves the government infinitely worse than he found it, and that from his own error or ignorance. John Adams
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Borrowed eloquence, if it contains as good stuff, is as good as own eloquence John Adams
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