Best quotes by the American President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.
  • achievement

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.
  • success

We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future.
  • childhood

We, and all others who believe in freedom as deeply as we do, would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.
  • Freedom



Never underestimate a man who overestimates himself.
  • Vanity

If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.
  • Failure

A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.
  • air

Do Something. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn't, do something else.
  • Actions

It is a terrible thing to look over your shoulder when you are trying to lead -- and find no one there.
  • Leadership

Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.
  • Freedom

There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.
  • Progress

Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.
  • necessarily

Physical strength can never permanently withstand the impact of spiritual force.
  • faith

Remember, remember always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.

Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.
  • american

The ablest man I ever met is the man you think you are.
  • Self

I do not look upon these United States as a finished product. We are still in the making.
  • finished

A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs, who has never learned to walk.
  • Conservatism

Peace, like charity, begins at home.
  • Peace

No political party has exclusive patent rights on prosperity.
  • Politics

I have no expectation of making a hit every time I come to bat.
  • Expectation

It is the duty of the President to propose and it is the privilege of the Congress to dispose.
  • Government

It takes a long time to bring the past up to the present.
  • bring

A great man left a watchword that we can well repeat: There is no indispensable man.

When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike you, do not wait until he has struck before you crush him.
  • Actions

Whoever seeks to set one race against another seeks to enslave all races.
  • Prejudice

Be sincere, be brief; be seated.
  • Speeches

Too often in recent history liberal governments have been wrecked on rocks of loose fiscal policy.

This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.
  • America

Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrations and revolutionists.
  • Ancestry


Pictures quotes by Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Franklin D. Roosevelt Quotes About

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Franklin D. Roosevelt people quotes

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A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.
  • air

Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.
  • american

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.
  • cruel

In our personal ambitions we are individualists. But in our seeking for economic and political progress as a nation, we all go up or else all go down as one people.
  • down

I believe that in every country the people themselves are more peaceably and liberally inclined than their governments.
  • believe

No government can help the destinies of people who insist in putting sectional and class consciousness ahead of general weal.
  • ahead

If you treat people right they will treat you right... ninety percent of the time.
  • ninety

I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people.
  • american

The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the goverment.
  • freedom

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Franklin D. Roosevelt war quotes

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More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginnings of all wars.
  • War

War is a contagion.
  • War

Slowly, and in spite of anything we Americans do or do not do, it looks a little as if you and some other good people are going to have to answer the old question of whether you want to keep your country unshackled by taking even more definite steps to do so
  • War

I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen 200 limping, exhausted men come out of line
  • War

Yesterday, December seventh, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
  • War

More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars - yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman and thoroughly impractical method of settling the differences between governments.
  • beginning

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Franklin D. Roosevelt freedom quotes

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We, and all others who believe in freedom as deeply as we do, would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.
  • Freedom

Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.
  • Freedom

True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
  • Freedom

We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way. The third is freedom from want. The fourth is freedom from fear.
  • Freedom

The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the goverment.
  • freedom

The Truth is found when men (and Women) are free to pursue it.
  • freedom

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Franklin D. Roosevelt work quotes

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If I went to work in a factory the first thing I'd do is join a union.
  • Work

There is no indispensable man.
  • Work

Not only our future economic soundness but the very soundness of our democratic institutions depends on the determination of our government to give employment to idle men.
  • Work

Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.
  • Work

Put two or three men in positions of conflicting authority. This will force them to work at loggerheads, allowing you to be the ultimate arbiter.
  • allowing

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Franklin D. Roosevelt politics quotes

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No political party has exclusive patent rights on prosperity.
  • Politics

A radical is a man with both feet firmly planted in the air.
  • Politics

A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.
  • politics

In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.
  • accident

Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
  • america

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Taxes, are the dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society.
  • Taxation

We must lay hold of the fact that economic laws are not made by nature. They are made by human beings.
  • beings

If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships - the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.
  • relationship

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
  • Persistence



A radical is a man with both feet firmly planted in the air.
  • Politics

The truth is found when men are free to pursue it.
  • Truth

More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginnings of all wars.
  • War

War is a contagion.
  • War

If I went to work in a factory the first thing I'd do is join a union.
  • Work

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.
  • cruel

Be sincere, Be brief, Be seated.
  • brevity

We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization.

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.
  • Charity

Eternal truths will be neither true nor eternal unless they have fresh meaning for every new social situation.
  • Discovery

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself
  • Fear

No democracy can long survive which does not accept as fundamental to its very existence the recognition of the rights of minorities.
  • Minorities

We defend and we build a way of life, not for America alone, but for all mankind.
  • Power

In our personal ambitions we are individualists. But in our seeking for economic and political progress as a nation, we all go up or else all go down as one people.
  • down

I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm.
  • bad

The point in history at which we stand is full of promise and danger. The world will either move forward toward unity and widely shared prosperity - or it will move apart.
  • apart

Governments can err, Presidents do make mistakes, but the immortal Dante tells us that divine justice weighs the sins of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted in different scales. Better the occasional faults of a Government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a Government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.

If the fires of freedom and civil liberties burn low in other lands, they must be made brighter in our own. If in other lands the press and books and literature of all kinds are censored, we must redouble our efforts here to keep them free. If in other lands the eternal truths of the past are threatened by intolerance we must provide a safe place for their perpetuation.

The first theory is that if we make the rich richer, somehow they will let a part of their prosperity trickle down to the rest of us. The second theory was the theory that if we make the average of mankind comfortable and secure, their prosperity will rise upward through the ranks.

I hope your committee will not permit doubts as to constitutionality, however reasonable, to block the suggested legislation.

Let me make it clear that I do not assert that a President and the Congress must on all points agree with each other at all times. Many times in history there has been complete disagreement between the two branches of the Government, and in these disagreements sometimes the Congress has won and sometimes the President has won. But during the Administration of the present President we have had neither agreement nor a clear-cut battle.

I do not believe in communism any more than you do but there is nothing wrong with the Communists in this country; several of the best friends I have got are Communists.

The frontier of America is on the Rhine.

There are as many opinions as there are experts.

On this tenth day of June, 1940, the hand that held the dagger has struck it into the back of its neighbor.

The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.
  • Conservation

The value of love will always be stronger than the value of hate.. Any nation or group of nations which employs hatred eventually is torn to pieces by hatred...
  • Love

The forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
  • Poverty

never before have we had so little time in which to do so much.
  • Time

There is no indispensable man.
  • Work

I believe that in every country the people themselves are more peaceably and liberally inclined than their governments.
  • believe

Those newspapers of the nation which most loudly cried dictatorship against me would have been the first to justify the beginnings of dictatorship by somebody else.
  • against

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
  • fear

Self-interest is the enemy of all true affection.
  • affection

Those of you who have been there Haiti know it is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It has everything. It has everything above the ground, and everything under the ground. It is an amazing place. I strongly recommend that whenever you get a chance, if you havent been there, that you go to Haiti. I think it was a certain Queen of England who said that after her death Calais would be found written on her heart. When I die, I think that Haiti is going to be written on my heart.

Any Government, like any family, can for a year spend a little more than it earns. But you and I know that a continuation of that habit means the poorhouse.

If the Nation is living within its income, its credit is good. If, in some crises, it lives beyond its income for a year or two, it can usually borrow temporarily at reasonable rates. But if, like a spendthrift, it throws discretion to the winds, and is willing to make no sacrifice at all in spending; if it extends its taxing to the limit of the peoples power to pay and continues to pile up deficits, then it is on the road to bankruptcy.

History proves that dictatorships do not grow out of strong and successful governments, but out of weak and helpless ones. If by democratic methods people get a government strong enough to protect them from fear and starvation, their democracy succeeds; but if they do not, they grow impatient. Therefore, the only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over its government.

Our national debt after all is an internal debt owed not only by the Nation but to the Nation. If our children have to pay interest on it they will pay that interest to themselves. A reasonable internal debt will not impoverish our children or put the Nation into bankruptcy.

In time of this grave national danger, when all excess income should go to win the war, no American citizen ought to have a net income, after he has paid his taxes, of more than $25,000 a year.

We have here a human as well as an economic problem. When humane considerations are concerned, Americans give them precedence. The lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fibre. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.

And while I am talking to you mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.

The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it; if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. The millions who are in want will not stand by silently forever while the things to satisfy their needs are within easy reach.

Is the United States going to decide, are the people of this country going to decide that their Federal Government shall in the future have no right under any implied power or any court-approved power to enter into a solution of a national economic problem, but that that national economic problem must be decided only by the States? We thought we were solving it, and now it has been thrown right straight in our faces. We have been relegated to the horse-and-buggy definition of interstate commerce.

There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.

The Presidency is not merely an administrative office. Thats the least of it. It is more than an engineering job, efficient or inefficient. It is pre-eminently a place of moral leadership. All our great Presidents were leaders of thought at times when certain historic ideas in the life of the nation had to be clarified.

We are a nation of many nationalities, many races, many religionsbound together by a single unity, the unity of freedom and equality. Whoever seeks to set one nationality against another, seeks to degrade all nationalities. Whoever seeks to set one race against another seeks to enslave all races. Whoever seeks to set one religion against another, seeks to destroy all religion.

They realize that in thirty-four months we have built up new instruments of public power. In the hands of a peoples Government this power is wholesome and proper. But in the hands of political puppets of an economic autocracy such power would provide shackles for the liberties of the people.

It is said that Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo because he forgot his infantryhe staked too much upon the more spectacular but less substantial calvary. The present administration in Washington provides a close parallel. It has either forgotten or it does not want to remember the infantry of our economic army. These unhappy times call for the building of plans that rest upon the forgotten, the unorganized but the indispensable units of economic power, for plans like those of 1917 that build from the bottom up and not from the top down, that put their faith once more in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.

Perfectionism, no less than isolationism or imperialism or power politics, may obstruct the paths to international peace. Let us not forget that the retreat to isolationism a quarter of a century ago was started not by a direct attack against international cooperation but against the alleged imperfections of the peace.

I sometimes think that the saving grace of America lies in the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans are possessed of two great qualities- a sense of humor and a sense of proportion.
  • America

The barrier between success is not something which exists in the real world: it is composed purely and simply of doubts about ability.
  • Belief

It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another, but above all try something.
  • Coffee

The United States Constitution has proved itself the most marvelously elastic compilation of rules of government ever written.
  • Constitution

But while they prate of economic laws, men and women are starving. We must lay hold of the fact that economic laws are not made by nature. They are made by human beings.
  • Economics

If we can boondoggle ourselves out of this depression, that word is going to be enshrined in the hearts of the American people for years to come.
  • Economics

I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.
  • Economics

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.
  • Faith

A reactionary is a somnambulist walking backwards.
  • Fanaticism

...let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear. . .is fear itself. . .nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
  • Fear

True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
  • Freedom

We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way. The third is freedom from want. The fourth is freedom from fear.
  • Freedom

We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.
  • Future

These unhappy times call for the building of plans that build from the bottom up and not from the top down, that put their faith once more in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
  • Help

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel in order to be tough.
  • Kindness

The moment a mere numerical superiority by either states or voters in this country proceeds to ignore the needs and desires of the minority, and for their own selfish purpose or advancement, hamper or oppress that minority, or debar them in any way from equal privileges and equal rights -- that moment will mark the failure of our constitutional system.
  • Majority

An election cannot give a country a firm sense of direction if it has two or more national parties which merely have different names, but are as alike in their principals and aims as two peas in the same pod.
  • Voting

Slowly, and in spite of anything we Americans do or do not do, it looks a little as if you and some other good people are going to have to answer the old question of whether you want to keep your country unshackled by taking even more definite steps to do so
  • War

I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen 200 limping, exhausted men come out of line
  • War

Yesterday, December seventh, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
  • War

Not only our future economic soundness but the very soundness of our democratic institutions depends on the determination of our government to give employment to idle men.
  • Work

Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.
  • Work

Our national determination to keep free of foreign wars and foreign entanglements cannot prevent us from feeling deep concern when ideals and principles that we have cherished are challenged.
  • challenged

Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.
  • choice

Art is not a treasure in the past or an importation from another land, but part of the present life of all living and creating peoples.
  • another

No group and no government can properly prescribe precisely what should constitute the body of knowledge with which true education is concerned.
  • body

No government can help the destinies of people who insist in putting sectional and class consciousness ahead of general weal.
  • ahead

Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.
  • begins

It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.
  • empty

A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.
  • politics

If you treat people right they will treat you right... ninety percent of the time.
  • ninety

The virtues are lost in self-interest as rivers are lost in the sea.
  • lost

It isn't sufficient just to want - you've got to ask yourself what you are going to do to get the things you want.
  • ask

It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.
  • admit

We continue to recognize the greater ability of some to earn more than others. But we do assert that the ambition of the individual to obtain for him a proper security is an ambition to be preferred to the appetite for great wealth and great power.
  • ability

In our seeking for economic and political progress, we all go up - or else we all go down.
  • down

One thing is sure. We have to do something. We have to do the best we know how at the moment... If it doesn't turn out right, we can modify it as we go along.
  • best

Confidence... thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live.
  • confidence

More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars - yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman and thoroughly impractical method of settling the differences between governments.
  • beginning

Take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly, and try another. But by all means, try something.
  • admit

I'm not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues.
  • intelligence

Put two or three men in positions of conflicting authority. This will force them to work at loggerheads, allowing you to be the ultimate arbiter.
  • allowing

There is nothing I love as much as a good fight.
  • fight

I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.
  • ask

Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle.
  • ability

Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.
  • alien

To reach a port, we must sail - sail, not tie at anchor - sail, not drift.
  • anchor

I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people.
  • american

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.
  • history

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.
  • doubts

Be sincere; be brief; be seated.
  • brief

In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.
  • accident

The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the goverment.
  • freedom

Favor comes because for a brief moment in the great space of human change and progress some general human purpose finds in him a satisfactory embodiment.
  • brief

Are you laboring under the impression that I read these memoranda of yours? I can't even lift them.
  • impression

We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.

Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
  • america

The Truth is found when men (and Women) are free to pursue it.
  • freedom

A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward.
  • conservatives


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