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John Adams quotes

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.

In politics the middle way is none at all.

I must not write a word to you about politics, because you are a woman.

I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.

The essence of a free government consists in an effectual control of rivalries.

While all other sciences have advanced, that of government is at a standstill - little better understood, little better practiced now than three or four thousand years ago.

Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.

Power always thinks... that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws.

Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.

Because power corrupts, society's demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.

Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.

The happiness of society is the end of government.

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.

Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.

A government of laws, and not of men.

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

Genius is sorrow's child.

Here is everything which can lay hold of the eye, ear and imagination - everything which can charm and bewitch the simple and ignorant. I wonder how Luther ever broke the spell.

All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.

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.