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John Adams quotes

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

The happiness of society is the end of government.

In politics the middle way is none at all.

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

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

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.

Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Genius is sorrow's child.

My country has contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.

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.

As much as I converse with sages and heroes, they have very little of my love and admiration. I long for rural and domestic scene, for the warbling of birds and the prattling of my children.