John Adams

1735 - 1826

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 america, debate, decisions, independence, men, questions, and resolution

Yesterday the greatest question was decided which ever was debated in America; and a greater perhaps never was, nor will be, decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, that those United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: Letter to Mrs. Adams, July 3, 1776.

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A Quote by John Adams on laws, liberty, meaning, and power

I would define liberty to be a power to do as we would be done by. The definition of liberty to be the power of doing whatever the law permits, meaning the civil laws, does not seem satisfactory.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: To J. H. Tiffany, March 31, 1819.

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A Quote by John Adams on choice, liberty, power, and thought

Liberty, according to my metaphysics . . . is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. It implies thought and choice and power.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: Letter to John Taylor.

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A Quote by John Adams on body, judgment, people, and politics

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.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: Defence of the Constitution. (Quoted by W. W. Woodward in his Tom Paine:

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A Quote by John Adams on country, cowardice, freedom, hypocrisy, laws, liberty, names, and suffering

Be not intimidated, therefore, by any terrors, from publishing with the utmost freedom whatever can be warranted by the laws of your country; nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberty by any pretenses of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery, and cowardice.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

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

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A Quote by John Adams on certainty, life, and presidency

Had I been chosen President again, I am certain I could not have lived another year.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

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A Quote by John Adams on awareness, gloom, glory, god, posterity, support, trust, and worth

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.-Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will triumph in that Days Transaction, even although We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: letter to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776.—Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield, vol. 2, p. 31 (1963).

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