Skip to content
Home » 115 George Washington Quotes on Life Perspective and Knowledge

115 George Washington Quotes on Life Perspective and Knowledge

George Washington Quotes on Life: George Washington had a crystal clear vision of what he hoped the United States of America would become in the future, and a significant number of the precedents he set are still being used as guides today. As a result, he is known as the General of the United States Armies, the highest rank in the history of the United States Armed Forces. These quotes by George Washington contain nuggets of wisdom about leadership and politics that are just as relevant today as they were when he first said them. Our collection of 115 quotations on topics such as patriotism, independence, and the common good is something that you won’t want to miss out on.

George Washington Quotes on Life Perspective and Knowledge

Have Any of These Quotes from George Washington Inspired You to Live Your Life Based on Values? In our minds, history is a story that is told through a series of facts, figures, numbers, and dates. In reality, however, history is much more varied and extensive than that. It teaches us valuable lessons that can help us improve the way we live our lives, and we can use those lessons. The life of George Washington, a significant figure in history, can serve as a source of inspiration and instruction for people of all ages who wish to lead lives filled with meaning and direction. He reminds us that living a life based on virtue and having a strong moral character will eventually lead to accomplishments and respect. What do you take away from these quotes by George Washington that resonates with you?

1. “If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” — George Washington

2. “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.” — George Washington

3. “In no instance have the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.” — George Washington

4. “The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels the government to war, contrary to the best calculations of policy.” — George Washington

george washington quotes on truth and friendship

5. “Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough.” — George Washington

6. “No punishment, in my opinion, is too great for the man who can build his greatness upon his country’s ruin.” — George Washington

7. “I’ll die on my feet before I’ll live on my knees!” — George Washington

George Washington Quotes

8. “Envious of none, I am determined to be pleased with all, and this, my dear friend, being the order for my march, I will move gently down the stream of life until I sleep with my fathers.” — George Washington

9. “Speak not injurious words neither in jest or earnest; scoff at none although they give occasion.” — George Washington

10. “To encourage literature and the arts is a duty which every good citizen owes to his country.” — George Washington

george washington quotes on leadership and intelligence

11. “Things in life will not always run smoothly.” — George Washington

12. “Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply.” — George Washington

13. “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong—because someday in life you will have been all of these.” — George Washington

14. “My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.” — George Washington

15. “If to please the people we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair. The rest is in the hands of God.” — George Washington

16. “The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations has been the victim.” — George Washington

17. “Motives of public virtue may, for a time, or in particular instances, actuate men to the observance of a conduct purely disinterested; but they are not of themselves sufficient to produce persevering conformity to the refined dictates and obligations of social duty.” — George Washington

18. “True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to appellation.” — George Washington

19. “A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government.” — George Washington

20. “Paper money has had the effect in your state that it will ever have—to ruin commerce, oppress the honest, and open the door to every species of fraud and injustice.” — George Washington

21. “We have probably had too good an opinion of human nature in forming our confederation.” — George Washington

22. “Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge.” — George Washington

23. “The government sometimes participates in the national propensity and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times, it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives.” — George Washington

24. “Harmony—liberal intercourse with all nations—is recommended by policy, humanity, and interest.” — George Washington

25. “I conceive a knowledge of books is the basis upon which other knowledge is to be built.” — George Washington

26. “Everyday, the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more—that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome.” — George Washington

27. “Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation.” — George Washington

28. “Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession.” — George Washington

29. “The independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.” — George Washington

30. “To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.” — George Washington

31. “Be not hasty to believe flying reports to the disparagement of any.” — George Washington

32. “The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government.” — George Washington

33. “A man ought not to value himself of his achievements or rare qualities of wit, much less of his riches, virtue or kindred.” — George Washington

34. “Death—the abyss from where no traveler is permitted to return.” — George Washington

35. “Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by individuals.” — George Washington

36. “Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.” — George Washington

37. “My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.” — George Washington

38. “Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.” — George Washington

39. “Sad alternative! But can a virtuous man hesitate in his choice?” — George Washington

40. “Those who have committed no faults want no pardon. We are only defending what we deem our indisputable rights.” — George Washington

41. “The hour is fast approaching on which the honor and success of this army and the safety of our bleeding country depend.” — George Washington

42. “Make sure you are doing what God wants you to do, then do it with all your strength.” — George Washington

43. “One of the expedients of a party to acquire influence, within particular districts, is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts.” — George Washington

44. “We began a contest for liberty, ill provided with the means for the war, relying on our patriotism to supply the deficiency.” — George Washington

45. “Nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated.” — George Washington

46. “Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be deprecated.” — George Washington

47. “I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs—that honesty is always the best policy.” — George Washington

48. “Faith, as well-intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction—faith in fiction is a damnable false hope”. — George Washington

49. “Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts. No recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.” — George Washington

50. “The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.” — George Washington

51. “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.” — George Washington

52. “Overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty.” — George Washington

53. “I had hoped that liberal and enlightened thought would have reconciled the Christians so that their religious fights would not endanger the peace of society.” — George Washington

54. “Real men despise battle, but will never run from it.” — George Washington

55. “Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that freeman, contending for liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.” — George Washington

56. “The reflection upon my situation and that of this army produces many an uneasy hour when all around me are wrapped in sleep. Few people know the predicament we are in.” — George Washington

57. “The nation, which indulges towards another habitual hatred, or habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave.” — George Washington

58. “Men may speculate as they will; they may talk of patriotism; they may draw a few examples from ancient stories of great achievements performed by its influence; but whoever builds upon it as a sufficient basis for conducting a long and bloody war can never be supported on this principle alone.” — George Washington

59. “The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government.” — George Washington

60. “If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.” — George Washington

61. “It is better to be alone than in bad company.” — George Washington

62. “There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature.” — George Washington

63. “A bad war is fought with a good mind.” — George Washington

64. “Much was to be done by prudence, much by conciliation, much by firmness.” — George Washington

65. “Experience has taught us that men will not adopt and carry into execution measures best calculated for their own good, without the intervention of a coercive power.” — George Washington

66. “Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone.” — George Washington

67. “The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible.” — George Washington

68. “Individuals entering into society must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest.” — George Washington

69. “Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause; and I was not without hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy of the present age would have put an effective stop to contentions of this kind.” — George Washington

70. “Happiness depends more upon the internal frame of a person’s own mind, than on the externals in the world.” — George Washington

71. “Decision making, like coffee, needs a cooling process.” — George Washington

72. “It is impossible to reason without arriving at a supreme being.” — George Washington

73. “They came with a Bible and their religion, stole our land, crushed our spirit, and now, tell us we should be thankful to the ‘Lord’ for being saved.” — George Washington

74. “The real crises are often concealed in occurrences so trivial in appearance that they pass unobserved.” — George Washington

75. “Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; this is all we can expect.” — George Washington

76. “The animosities of elections should have no place in our government, for the government must concern itself alone with the common weal.” — George Washington

77. “Few men are capable of making a continual sacrifice of all views of private interest, or advantage, to the common good.” — George Washington

78. “Be not glad at the misfortune of another, though he may be your enemy.” — George Washington

79. “My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am, I owe to my mother. I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I received from her.” — George Washington

80. “As mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government.” — George Washington

81. “Speak not evil of the absent, for it is unjust.” — George Washington

82. “Remember, officers and soldiers, that you are free men, fighting for the blessings of Liberty—that slavery will be your portion, and that of your posterity, if you do not acquit yourselves like men.” — George Washington

83. “Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” — George Washington

84. “Strive not with your superiors in argument, but always submit your judgment to others with modesty.” — George Washington

85. “The bosom of America is open to receive not only the opulent and respectable strangers, but the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions; whom we shall wellcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.” — George Washington

86. “Let your conversation be without malice or envy, for it is a sign of a tractable and commendable nature; and in all cases, of passion admit reason to govern.” — George Washington

87. “It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection—either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.” — George Washington

88. “The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.” — George Washington

89. “Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pain to bring it to light.” — George Washington

90. “A sensible woman can never be happy with a fool.” — George Washington

91. “Wherein you reprove another, be unblameable yourself, for example, is more prevalent than precepts.” — George Washington

92. “System to all things is the soul of business. To execute properly and act maturely is the way to conduct it to your advantage.” — George Washington

93. “Knowledge is in every country, the surest basis of public happiness.” — George Washington

94. “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” — George Washington

95. “If the cause is advanced, indifferent is it to me where or in what quarter it happens.” — George Washington

96. “The great mass of our citizens require only to understand matters rightly to form right decisions.” — George Washington

97. “If Christ were here now, there is one thing he would not be—a Christian.” — George Washington

98. “To persevere in one’s duty and be silent is the best answer to calumny.” — George Washington

99. “All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency.” — George Washington

100. “We expected to encounter many wants and distresses. We must bear the present evils and fortitude.” — George Washington

101. “Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.” — George Washington

102. “There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet the enemy.” — George Washington

103. “I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.” — George Washington

104. “In proportion, as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.” — George Washington

105. “The eyes of all our countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings and praises if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the tyranny meditated against them.” — George Washington

106. “We must consult our means rather than our wishes.” — George Washington

107. “Unhappy it is, though, to reflect that a brother’s sword has been sheathed in a brother’s breast, and that the once happy plains of America are either to be drenched with blood or inhabited by slaves.” — George Washington

108. “I hope to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality.” — George Washington

109. “Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.” — George Washington

110. “It is vain to exclaim against the depravity of human nature on this account. The fact is so, the experience of every age and nation has proved it and we must in a great measure, change the constitution of man, before we can make it otherwise.” — George Washington

111. “Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.” — George Washington

112. “Nature still offers her bounty, and human efforts have multiplied it.” — George Washington

113. “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military supplies.” — George Washington

114. “I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own— a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty.” — George Washington

115. “Sometimes, we will be rising toward the heights—then all will seem to reverse itself and start downward.” — George Washington

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *