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Home » 112 John Adams Quotes on Establishing a Great Nation Powerful Messages and Sayings

112 John Adams Quotes on Establishing a Great Nation Powerful Messages and Sayings

John Adams Quotes: You seem to be in search of some John Adams quotes, don’t you? Then you have arrived at the proper destination. In this post, we will provide you with 112 FAMOUS quotes from John Adams, the primary author of the Massachusetts Constitution, which is the oldest constitution that is still in use anywhere in the world today. In this passage, Adams places an emphasis on individual liberties such as freedom of the press and the freedom to practice one’s religion. So make certain you don’t miss out!

Have You Gotten an Insight Into What It’s Like to Carry Weighty Obligations Through the Course of This Collection? As the second President of the United States, John Adams carried the weight of the country on his shoulders, despite serving during a time when the nation was still in the process of development. During his reign, he instituted a number of ground-breaking reforms and centered the efforts of his administration on promoting educational opportunities and defending the independence of his people. John Adams is remembered as a leader who had unwavering perseverance and integrity, fighting for what was right and bringing success to America. This is something that has remained true to this day. What are your thoughts on the principles that John Adams held? What are some of your favorite quotes?


1. “The government has no right to hurt a hair on the head of an Atheist for his opinions. Let him have a care of his practices.” — John Adams

2. “Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.” — John Adams

3. “Everything in life should be done with reflection.” — John Adams

4. “Because power corrupts, society’s demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.” — John Adams

Top Quotes Of John Adams Famous Quotes And Sayings

5. “There are persons whom in my heart I despise, others I abhor. Yet I am not obliged to inform the one of my contempt, nor the other of my detestation. This kind of dissimulation is a necessary branch of wisdom, and so far from being immoral that it is a duty and a virtue.” — John Adams

6. “Regard the honor and moral character of the man more than all other circumstances.” — John Adams

7. “I wish I could lay down beside her and die too.” — John Adams

John Adams Quotes

8. “Is the jealousy of power and the envy of superiority so strong in all men, that no considerations of public or private utility are sufficient to engage their submission to rules for their own happiness?” — John Adams

9. “Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company—I mean Hell.” — John Adams

10. “This wasted time I have found by constant experience to be as indispensable as sleep.” — John Adams

Most Famous John Adams Quotes and Images

11. “I read my eyes out and can’t read half enough. The more one reads, the more one sees that we have to read.” — John Adams

12. “I must judge for myself, but how can I judge, how can any man judge, unless his mind has been opened and enlarged by reading.” — John Adams

13. “It was the general opinion of ancient nations, that the divinity alone was adequate to the important office of giving laws to men.” — John Adams

14. “If the way to do good to my country were to render myself popular, I could easily do it. But extravagant popularity is not the road to public advantage.” — John Adams

15. “Human nature, with all its infirmities and deprivation, is still capable of great things.” — John Adams

16. “I discovered books and read forever.” — John Adams

17. “The whole drama of the world is such a tragedy that I am weary of the spectacle.” — John Adams

18. “I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is a disgrace, that two become a law firm, and that three or more become a congress.” — John Adams

19. “It should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives.” — John Adams

20. “All the perplexities, confusion, and distress in America arise, not from want of honor or virtue, but from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.” — John Adams

21. “You will never be alone with a poet in your pocket.” — John Adams

22. “We think ourselves possessed, or at least, we boast that we are so, of liberty of conscience on all subjects, and of the right of free inquiry and private judgment in all cases, and yet how far are we from these exalted privileges in fact!” — John Adams

23. “Cities may be rebuilt, and a people reduced to poverty may acquire fresh property.” — John Adams

24. “A constitution of government, once changed from freedom, can never be restored.” — John Adams

25. “In general, our generals were out generalled.” — John Adams

26. “The right of a nation to kill a tyrant in case of necessity can no more be doubted than to hang a robber or kill a flea.” — John Adams

27. “If worthless men are sometimes at the head of affairs, it is, I believe, because worthless men are at the tail and the middle.” — John Adams

28. “When public virtue is gone, when the national spirit is fled, the republic is lost in essence, though it may still exist in form.” — John Adams

29. “Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it.” — John Adams

30. “If men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history.” — John Adams

31. “Individuals have conquered themselves. Nations and large bodies of men, never.” — John Adams

32. “Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly. This is enough.” — John Adams

33. “Think of no other greatness but that of the soul; no other riches but those of the heart.” — John Adams

34. “The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties.” — John Adams

35. “Power always thinks that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all his laws.” — John Adams

36. “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and converting measures in opposition to each other.” — John Adams

37. “To believe all men are honest is folly. To believe none is something worse.” — John Adams

38. “Can a free government possibly exist with the Roman Catholic religion?” — John Adams

39. “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.” — John Adams

40. “It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy.” — John Adams

41. “The liberty, the unalienable, indefeasible rights of men, the honor and dignity of human nature, the grandeur and glory of the public, and the universal happiness of individuals, were never so skillfully and successfully consulted as in that most excellent monument of human art—the common law of England.” — John Adams

42. “Admire and adore the author of the telescopic universe, love and esteem the work, do all in your power to lessen ill, and increase good, but never assume to comprehend.” — John Adams

43. “Jesuits have been a greater calamity to mankind than the French Revolution or Napoleon’s despotism or ideology. It has obstructed the progress of reformation and the improvement of the human mind in society much longer and more fatally.” — John Adams

44. “Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition and dogmatism cannot confine it.” — John Adams

45. “Our constitution is designed only for moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.” — John Adams

46. “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” — John Adams

47. “Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.” — John Adams

48. “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country—one is by the sword, the other is by debt.” — John Adams

49. “With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.” — John Adams

50. “When the legislature is corrupted, the people are undone.” — John Adams

51. “There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.” — John Adams

52. “There are only two creatures of value on the face of the earth—those with commitment, and those who require the commitment of others.” — John Adams

53. “Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.” — John Adams

54. “You will ever remember that all the end of study is to make you a good man and a useful citizen.” — John Adams

55. “Knowledge in the head and virtue in the heart, time devoted to study or business, instead of show and pleasure, are the way to be useful and consequently happy.” — John Adams

56. “Without the pen of Paine, the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain.” — John Adams

57. “The true source of our sufferings has been our timidity.” — John Adams

58. “Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society.” — John Adams

59. “Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people who have a right from the frame of their nature to knowledge.” — John Adams

60. “We shall convince France and the world, that we are not a degraded people, humiliated under a colonial spirit of fear and a sense of inferiority, fitted to be the miserable instruments of foreign influence, and regardless of national honor, character, and interest.” — John Adams

61. “I have accepted a seat in the House of Representatives, and thereby have consented to my own ruin, to your ruin, and to the ruin of our children. I give you this warning that you may prepare your mind for your fate.” — John Adams

62. “A man ought to avow his opinions and defend them with boldness.” — John Adams

63. “The virtues and powers to which men may be trained, by early education and constant discipline, are truly sublime and astonishing.” — John Adams

64. “The longer I live, the more I read and the more patiently I think; and the more anxiously I inquire, the less I seem to know.” — John Adams

65. “Power must never be trusted without a check.” — John Adams

66. “The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.” — John Adams

67. “Politeness, delicacy, and]decency are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery, and cowardice.” — John Adams

68. “I do not say that democracy has been more pernicious on the whole, and in the long run, than monarchy or aristocracy.” — John Adams

69. “Make things, rather than persons, the subjects of conversations.” — John Adams

70. “Democracy has never been and never can be as durable as aristocracy or monarchy; but while it lasts, it is more bloody than either.” — John Adams

71. “The blood upon his soul and a few others of equal delicacy, had as much weight with the people as his arguments.” — John Adams

72. “Intimacy with most people will make you acquainted with vices, and errors, and follies enough to make you despise them.” — John Adams

73. “I want to see my wife and children every day. I want to see my grass and blossoms and corn. But above all, except the wife and children, I want to see my books.” — John Adams

74. “An honest, sensible, humane man, above all the littlenesses of vanity and extravagances of imagination, labouring to do good rather than be rich, to be useful rather than make a show, living in a modest simplicity clearly within his means and free from debts or obligations, is really the most respectable man in society, makes himself and all about him the most happy.” — John Adams

75. “The foundations of national morality must be laid in private families.” — John Adams

76. “You and I ought not to die before we have explained ourselves to each other.” — John Adams

77. “A government of laws, and not of men.” — John Adams

78. “He is too illiterate, unread, and unlearned for his station and reputation.” — John Adams

79. “Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war.” — John Adams

80. “The United States is not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or Mohammedan Nation.” — John Adams

81. “We hear very often declarations on the demoralizing tendency of war; but as much as I hate war, I cannot be of the opinion that frequent wars are so corrupting to human nature as long peace.” — John Adams

82. “I cannot think of either vanity or virtue to acknowledge that the acquisition and communication of knowledge are the sole entertainment of my life.” — John Adams

83. “The national defense must be provided for as well as the support of the government, but both should be accomplished, as much as possible, by immediate taxes, and as little as possible by loans.” — John Adams

84. “I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved.” — John Adams

85. “The nation which will not adopt an equilibrium of power must adopt despotism. There is no other alternative.” — John Adams

86. “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.” — John Adams

87. “There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” — John Adams

88. “Now to what higher object, to what greater character, can any mortal aspire than to be possessed of all this knowledge, well digested and ready at command, to assist the feeble and friendless, to discountenance the haughty and lawless, to procure redress to wrongs, the advancement of rights, to assert and maintain liberty and virtue to discourage and abolish tyranny and vice.” — John Adams

89. “When a mind is raised and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman.” — John Adams

90. “ Great necessities call out great virtues.” — John Adams

91. “Laws for the liberal education of youth, especially of the lower class of people, are so extremely wise and useful that, to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant.” — John Adams

92. “Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.” — John Adams

93. “Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our constitution as a whale goes through a net.” — John Adams

94. “I shall never shine ’til some animating occasion calls forth all my powers.” — John Adams

95. “The happiness of society is the end of government.” — John Adams

96. “He wrote as a young man that God’s noblest gift was the gift of an inquiring mind.” — John Adams

97. “The United States of America has exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature.” — John Adams

98. “When the people once surrendered their share in the legislature and their right of defending the limitations upon the government, and of resisting every encroachment upon them, they can never regain it.” — John Adams

99. “There exists, I believe, throughout the whole Christian world, a law which makes it blasphemy to deny, or to doubt the divine inspiration of all the books of the Old and New Testaments, from Genesis to Revelations.” — John Adams

100. “They shall not be expected to acknowledge us until we have acknowledged ourselves.” — John Adams

101. “Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!” — John Adams

102. “Always stand on principle even if you stand alone.” — John Adams

103. “Among all the disappointments and perplexities which have fallen my share in life, nothing has contributed so much to support my mind as the choice blessing of a wife.” — John Adams

104. “Defeat appears to me preferable to total inaction.” — John Adams

105. “If innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, ‘Whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,’ and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen, that would be the end of security whatsoever.” — John Adams

106. “There is nothing in which mankind has been more unanimous; yet nothing can be inferred from it more than this—that the multitude have always been credulous, and the few artful.” — John Adams

107. “Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could.” — John Adams

108. “Property monopolized or in the possession of a few is a curse to mankind.” — John Adams

109. “It is capable of attaining to degrees of wisdom and goodness, which we have reason to believe, appear as respectable in the estimation of superior intelligences.” — John Adams

110. “The way to secure liberty is to place it in the people’s hands. That is, to give them the power at all times to defend it in the legislature and in the courts of justice.” — John Adams

111. “Those who trade liberty for security have neither.” — John Adams

112. “Education makes a greater difference between man and man, than nature has made between man and brute.” — John Adams

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