Memorable Quotations from John Adams

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A continuation of similar exertions is everyday rendering Europe more and more like one community, or single family. It implies thought and choice and power. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States. 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 Quotes: Facts are stubborn thingsā€¦

It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. Follow Quoteland on twitter:. The Science of Government it is my Duty to study, more than all other Sciences: the Art of Legislation and Administration and Negotiation, ought to take Place, indeed to exclude in a manner all other Arts. But America is a great, unwieldy Body. 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.

John Adams Quotations | Page 2

The rich, the well-born, and the able, acquire an influence among the people that will soon be too much for simple honesty and plain sense, in a house of representatives. 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. You say that at the time of the Congress, in , The great mass of the people were zealous in the cause of America. As to the history of the revolution, my ideas may be peculiar, perhaps singular.

I read my eyes out and cant read half enough.

Quote of the moment: John Adams, celebrating the 2nd of July

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. I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth. As much as I converse with sages and heroes, they have very little of my love and admiration. There are only two creatures of value on the face of the earth: those with the commitment, and those who require the commitment of others.

Remember, democracy never lasts long.


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  • John Adams Quotes :: Quoteland :: Quotations by Author.

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. There are two educations.

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Enlightenment, The. The arts and sciences, in general, during the three or four last centuries, have had a regular course of progressive improvement. 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. Liberty, according to my metaphysics is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. Yesterday the greatest question was decided which ever was debated in America; and a greater perhaps never was, nor will be, decided among men. When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking or thinking I cannot choose but laugh.

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. Genius is sorrow's child. Fear is the foundation of most government. Quoteland would like to thank Quotations Book for its extensive contribution to our database Follow Quoteland on twitter:. I say, that Power must never be trusted without a check. Aristotle speaks plainly to this purpose, saying, 'that the institution of youth should be accommodated to that form of government under which they live; forasmuch as it makes exceedingly for the preservation of the present government, whatsoever it be. Presidents Series. It must be loose.

It will be loose. Superstition and dogmatism cannot confine it. Is the jealousy of power, and the envy of superiority, so strong in all men, that no considerations of public or private utility are sufficient to engage their submission to rules for their own happiness? Or is the disposition to imposture so prevalent in men of experience, that their private views of ambition and avarice can be accomplished only by artifice? The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature: and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history.

Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or labouring in merchandize or agriculture: it will for ever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. Called without expectation, and compelled without previous inclination, though undoubtedly at the best period of time both for England and America, to erect suddenly new systems of laws for their future government, they adopted the method of a wise architect, in erecting a new palace for the residence of his sovereign.

They determined to consult Vitruvius, Palladio, and all other writers of reputation in the art; to examine the most celebrated buildings, whether they remain entire or in ruins; compare these with the principles of writers; and enquire how far both the theories and models were founded in nature, or created by fancy: and, when this should be done, as far as their circumstances would allow, to adopt the advantages, and reject the inconveniences, of all.

Unembarrassed by attachments to noble families, hereditary lines and successions, or any considerations of royal blood, even the pious mystery of holy oil had no more influence than that other of holy water: the people universally were too enlightened to be imposed on by artifice; and their leaders, or more properly followers, were men of too much honour to attempt it. Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favour of the rights of mankind.

You will see them represented, with all the Charms which Language and Imagination can exhibit, and Vice and Folly painted in all their Deformity and Horror. You will ever remember that all the End of study is to make you a good Man and a useful Citizen.

Let him have a care of his Practices. There exists, I believe, throughout the whole Christian world, a law which makes it blasphemy to deny, or to doubt the divine inspiration of all the books of the Old and New Testaments, from Genesis to Revelations. In most countries of Europe it is punished by fire at the stake, or the rack, or the wheel.

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In England itself, it is punished by boring through the tongue with a red-hot poker. In America it is not much better; even in our Massachusetts, which, I believe, upon the whole, is as temperate and moderate in religious zeal as most of the States, a law was made in the latter end of the last century, repealing the cruel punishments of the former laws, but substituting fine and imprisonment upon all those blasphemies upon any book of the Old Testament or New.

Now, what free inquiry, when a writer must surely encounter the risk of fine or imprisonment for adducing any arguments for investigation into the divine authority of those books? Who would run the risk of translating Volney 's Recherches Nouvelles? Who would run the risk of translating Dupuis?

But I cannot enlarge upon this subject, though I have it much at heart. I think such laws a great embarrassment, great obstructions to the improvement of the human mind.

Books that cannot bear examination, certainly ought not to be established as divine inspiration by penal laws I wish they were repealed. To believe none is something worse. Turn our thoughts, in the next place, to the characters of learned men. The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning. Read over again all the accounts we have of Hindoos, Chaldeans, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Celts, Teutons, we shall find that priests had all the knowledge, and really governed all mankind. Examine Mahometanism, trace Christianity from its first promulgation; knowledge has been almost exclusively confined to the clergy.

And, even since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate a free inquiry? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your legs and hands, and fly into your face and eyes. The Presidential election has given me less anxiety than I myself could have imagined.

The next administration will be a troublesome one, to whomsoever it falls, and our John has been too much worn to contend much longer with conflicting factions. I call him our John, because, when you were at the Cul de sac at Paris, he appeared to me to be almost as much your boy as mine.

Incision-knives will never discover the distinction between matter and spirit, or whether there is any or not.

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John Adams Quotes - BrainyQuote

That there is an active principle of power in the universe, is apparent; but in what substance that active principle resides, is past our investigation. The faculties of our understanding are not adequate to penetrate the universe. Let us do our duty, which is to do as we would be done by; and that, one would think, could not be difficult, if we honestly aim at it.

Your university is a noble employment in your old age, and your ardor for its success does you honor; but I do not approve of your sending to Europe for tutors and professors. I do believe there are sufficient scholars in America, to fill your professorships and tutorships with more active ingenuity and independent minds than you can bring from Europe. The Europeans are all deeply tainted with prejudices, both ecclesiastical and temporal, which they can never get rid of.

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