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    John Adams Quotes

    American diplomat & politician

    Quotes by John Adams

    • But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.
    • Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.
    • 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.
    • I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
    • In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.
    • No man who ever held the office of president would congratulate a friend on obtaining it.
    • The proposition that the people are the best keepers of their own liberties is not true. They are the worst conceivable, they are no keepers at all; they can neither judge, act, think, or will, as a political body.
    • 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.
    • Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
      'Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials,' December 1770
    • You will never be alone with a poet in your pocket.
      Instructions to his son Johnny in the biography "John Adams" by David McCullough (p. 19)
    • 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.
      Journal, 1772
    • Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.
      Letter to Benjamin Rush, 18 April 1808
    • Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
      Letter, April 15, 1814
    If we're missing any John Adams books or quotes, do email us.

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