John Adams

1735 - 1826

A Quote by John Adams on inventions, laws, passion, and success

Numberless have been the systems of iniquity contrived by the great for the gratification of this passion in themselves; but in none of them were they ever more successful than in the invention and establishment of the canon and the feudal law.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law, 1765.

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A Quote by John Adams on christianity, citizenship, good, and men

This oration will be read five hundred years hence with as much rapture as it was heard. It ought to be read at the end of every century, and indeed at the end of every year, forever and ever. (Regarding: Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.)

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: Speech at Plymouth, Dec. 22, 1820.

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A Quote by John Adams

Let us dare to read, think, speak and write.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law, 1765.

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A Quote by John Adams on alienation, democracy, religion, and time

Admit that the press transferred the pontificate of Rome to Henry VIII-Admit that the press demolished in some sort the feudal system, and set the serfs and villains free; admit that the press demolished the monasteries, nunneries, and religious houses; into whose hands did all these alienated baronies, monasteries, and religious houses and lands fall? Into the hands of the democracy? Into the hands of serfs and villains? Serfs and villains were the only real democracy in those time. No. They fell into the hands of other aristocrats. . . .

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: Letter to John Taylor, The Life and Works of John Adams, Boston, 1851, v. 6,

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A Quote by John Adams on government, happiness, morality, people, and reason

As the happiness of the people is the sole end of government, so the consent of the people is the only foundation of it, in reason, morality, and the natural fitness of things.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

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A Quote by John Adams on catholicism, government, and religion

Can free government possible exist with the Roman Catholic religion?

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: To Jefferson, May 19, 1821.

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A Quote by John Adams on america, aristocracy, art, democracy, destruction, influence, and wealth

Shall we have recourse to the art of printing? But this has not destroyed property or aristocracy or corporations or paper wealth in England or America, or diminished the influence of either; on the contrary, it has multiplied aristocracy and diminished democracy.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: Letter to John Taylor, The Life and Works of John Adams, Boston, 1851, v. 6,

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A Quote by John Adams on fiction, god, laws, miracles, nature, questions, and world

The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: To Jefferson, June 20, 1815

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A Quote by John Adams on belief, power, principles, and trust

You ask, how has it happened that all Europe has acted on the principle, "that Power was Right".... Power always sincerely, conscientiously, de tres bon foi, believes itself right.... Power must never be trusted without a check.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: To Jefferson, February 2, 1816.

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A Quote by John Adams on government, nations, people, and slavery

There is but one element of government, and that is THE PEOPLE. From this element spring all governments. "For a nation to be free, it is only necessary that she wills it." For a nation to be slave, it is only necessary that she wills it.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: To John Taylor, 1814.

Contributed by: Zaady

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