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

— John Adams

The most grateful John Adams quotes to get the best of your day

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.

241

Remember, democracy never lasts long.

It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.

223

But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.

186

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.

157

Power always thinks... that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws.

152

The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.

127

One useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three is a Congress.

122

There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.

110

Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.

100

Power must never be trusted without a check.

94

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

93

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.

92

About John Adams

Quotes 384 sayings
Nationality American
Profession President
Birthday October 16

In politics the middle way is none at all.

84

The government of the United States of America has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims.

82

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.

77

The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people, and must be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves.

75

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

63

July 4th ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion.

60

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

60

He is too illiterate, unread, unlearned for his station and reputation.

60

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

57

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.

54

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.

49

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.

47

There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live.

45

Because power corrupts, society's demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.

45

As the happiness of the people is the sole end of government, so the consent of the people is the only foundation of it.

43

Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.

38

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.

38

Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.

38

The longer I live, the more I read, the more patiently I think, and the more anxiously I inquire, the less I seem to know...Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly [with your God]. This is enough.

35

As unbalanced parties of every description can never tolerate a free inquiry of any kind, when employed against themselves, the license, and even the most temperate freedom of the press, soon excite resentment and revenge.

35

We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!

30

The only thing most people do better than anyone else is read their own handwriting.

29

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.

27

Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.

25

Mystery is made a convenient Cover for absurdity.

24

It will be celebrated... with pomp and parade... bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other.

24

Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion.

22

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.

22

[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.

22

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

22

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.

21

Fear is the foundation of most governments.

19

Those who trade liberty for security have neither.

19

People and nations are forged in the fires of adversity.

18

There's no such thing as a free lunch, unless you have a coupon for a free lunch...or someone gives you a lunch...never mind.

17

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.

17

Banks have done more injury to the religion, morality, tranquility, prosperity, and even wealth of the nation than they can have done or ever will do good.

17
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