John Adams

1735 - 1826

A Quote by John Adams on day, independence, and survival

Thomas Jefferson still survives . . . (Actually, Jefferson had died earlier that same day, Independence Day, July 4, 1826)

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

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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 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 citizenship, constitution, defense, direction, discretion, government, individuality, laws, liberty, military, privacy, and support

To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, countries or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. 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 (1735 - 1826)

Source: A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States 475 (1787-1788)

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A Quote by John Adams on atheism, belief, blindness, eternity, fate, men, and nations

The Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation. If I were an atheist, and believed in 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 (1735 - 1826)

Source: Letter to F. A. Van der Kamp, February 16, 1809.

Contributed by: Zaady

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