John Adams

1735 - 1826

A Quote by John Adams on america, constitution, honor, ignorance, nature, and virtue

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.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: letter to Thomas Jefferson, August 25, 1787.—The Works of John Adams, ed. Charles Francis Adams, vol. 8, p. 447 (1853).

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A Quote by John Adams on life, nature, society, and violence

Resistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs, and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: John Adams, Boston Gazette, Sept. 5, 1763,reprinted in 3 The Works of John Adams 438 (Charles F. Adams ed., 1851).

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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.

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