John Adams

1735 - 1826

A Quote by John Adams on america, belief, day, generations, god, history, sports, and time

The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.-I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this Continent to the other from this time forward forever more.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: letter to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776.—Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield, vol. 2, p. 30 (1963).

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A Quote by John Adams on country, knowledge, and men

The preservation of the means of knowledge among the lowest ranks is of more importance to the public than all the property of all the rich men in the country.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

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

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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 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 america, christianity, government, and religion

The government of the United States is not in any sense founded upon the Christian religion.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

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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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