Quotations by John Adams

38 Found
Displaying 1 through 38


Born: Sunday, October 30, 1735
Died: Tuesday, July 4, 1826 (90 years old)
Profession: President
Nationality: American


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
(Keywords: Heart, Desire, Man)

A government of laws, and not of men.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Government, Men, Laws)

Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Society, Abuse, Party, Words)

All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Nature, Virtue, America, Confusion, Constitution, Credit, Honor, Ignorance, Want)

As much as I converse with sages and heroes, they have very little of my love and admiration. I long for rural and domestic scene, for the warbling of birds and the prattling of my children.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Love, Admiration, Birds, Children, Heroes)

Because power corrupts, society's demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Power, Society, Character, Authority, Importance)

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
(Keywords: Aristocracy, Democracy, Suicide)

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
(Keywords: Facts, May, State, Wishes)

Fear is the foundation of most governments.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Fear)

Genius is sorrow's child.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Genius, Sorrow)

Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war.
- John Adams
(Keywords: War, Guilt)

Here is everything which can lay hold of the eye, ear and imagination - everything which can charm and bewitch the simple and ignorant. I wonder how Luther ever broke the spell.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Imagination, Charm, Eye, Wonder)

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.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Design, America, Earth, Mankind, Providence, Wonder)

I have accepted a seat in the House of Representatives, and thereby have consented to my own ruin, to your ruin, and to the ruin of our children. I give you this warning that you may prepare your mind for your fate.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Children, Fate, May, Mind, Ruin)

I must not write a word to you about politics, because you are a woman.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Politics, Woman, Word)

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Politics, War, Liberty, Mathematics, May, Philosophy, Sons, Study)

If we do not lay out ourselves in the service of mankind whom should we serve?
- John Adams
(Keywords: Mankind, Service)

In politics the middle way is none at all.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Politics)

Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Knowledge)

Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.
- John Adams
(Keywords: People, Knowledge, Liberty)

Liberty, according to my metaphysics is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. It implies thought and choice and power.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Power, Thought, Choice, Liberty, Metaphysics, Self)

My country has contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Imagination, Country, Invention, Man, Office)

Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Exercise, Horses, Old, Order)

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Government, People, Constitution, Religious)

Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Power, Soul)

Power always thinks... that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Power, God, Laws, Service)

Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Liberty, Mankind, Property, Right)

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Democracy, Suicide)

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
(Keywords: Effect, Independence, Glory)

The essence of a free government consists in an effectual control of rivalries.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Government, Control)

The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Law, Laws, Support)

The happiness of society is the end of government.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Government, Happiness, Society, End)

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
(Keywords: Men, Blind, Fate, Nation, Nations)

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
(Keywords: Nation, Necessity, Right)

There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Living)

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.
- John Adams
(Keywords: Government, Power, Trust, Danger, Liberty, Living, Man, Maxim, Public)

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
(Keywords: People, Hope, Freedom, Now, Talk, Thinking, Will, Writing, Years)

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
(Keywords: Government, Now, Years)







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