Best 60 John Adams Quotes to Deepen your Political Awareness
A passionate patriot and strong advocate of independence from Britain, John Adams played a crucial role to the success of the American Revolution by inspiring and rallying his fellow countrymen to challenge the British government’s authority on colonial America. Intensely combative as a character and a great political thinker, he signed a treaty with France and also traveled abroad to secure alliances as well as funding for the war effort. The following John Adams quotes will reveal several interesting sides of his personality and political legacy.
Born in 1735, in Massachusetts, John Adams was one of the Founding Fathers and the second president of the United States. A law graduate of Harvard College, an attorney, diplomat and writer, he was the principal author of the Massachusetts Constitution, the oldest constitution in the world, which served as a model for the U.S. Constitution.
Well known for his uncompromising values and principles, Adams believed in the rule of law and the right of a defendant to legal counsel and a fair trial. Nowhere is this more evident than in what became known as the Boston Massacre, a case where he defended the British soldiers who had fired on a Boston crowd, a decision that hurt his popularity but marked him as a man of his word. John Adams passed away in 1826, in Massachusetts. His legacy is one of thoughtful leadership and a rational but dynamic foreign policy that managed to steer the nascent United States clear from the war between France and Britain, and thus safeguard the country’s national interests in the most effective way.
As a tribute to this great statesman and fervent patriot, here we have curated for you his most inspirational quotes, to share with friends and loved ones in order to enlighten them, but also to reflect upon and broaden your perspective of life for the better!
Table of Contents
- Famous John Adams Quotes to Motivate and Inspire you
- Popular Quotes by John Adams about Morality and Ethical Attitude in Life
- John Adams Quotes on Government, Leadership and Power
- John Adams Quotes about Religion and God’s Essence
- John Adams Quotes on the Two-Party System, Democracy and the Constitution
- John Adams Quotes on Liberty, Freedom and Human Rights
- July 2 Quote by John Adams for the Independence Day National Holiday
Famous John Adams Quotes to Motivate and Inspire you
According to Adams, love, justice and modesty are key virtues for happiness and peace. These inspirational quotes will help you change your life to the better!
- Go on and improve in everything worthy. John Adams
- Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly. This is enough. John Adams
- To be good, and to do good, is all we have to do. John Adams
- Defeat appears to me preferable to total inaction. John Adams
- You will never be alone with a poet in your pocket. John Adams
- Above all, except the wife and children, I want to see my books. John Adams
- To believe all men honest is folly. To believe none is something worse. John Adams
- Move or die is the language of our Maker in the constitution of our bodies. John Adams
- If conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value. John Adams
- Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order. John Adams
- Let frugality and industry be our virtues. Fire (our children) with ambition to be useful. John Adams
- The smell of the midnight lamp is very unwholesome. Never defraud yourself of sleep, nor your walk. John Adams
- I read my eyes out and can’t read half enough neither. The more one reads the more one sees we have to read. John Adams
Popular Quotes by John Adams about Morality and Ethical Attitude in Life
The following quotes have influenced many generations to this day!
- Virtue is not always amiable. John Adams
- Everything in life should be done with reflection. John Adams
- The foundations of national morality must be laid in private families. John Adams
- You and I ought not to die, before we have explained ourselves to each other. John Adams
- A taste for literature and a turn for business, united in the same person, never fails to make a great man. John Adams
- Politeness, delicacy [and] decency … are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery, and cowardice. John Adams
- Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society. John Adams
- 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
- 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
- Friendship is one of the distinguishing glorys of man… From this I expect to receive the chief happiness of my future life. John Adams
- You will ever remember that all the end of study is to make you a good man and a useful citizen. This will ever be the sum total of the advice of your affectionate father. John Adams
John Adams Quotes on Government, Leadership and Power
The ultimate goal of any form of leadership is the happiness of the people. Being a lawful stateman, Adams set the paradigm in politics; here are some of his most important quotes on political practice.
- A government of laws, and not of men. John Adams
- The happiness of society is the end of government. John Adams
- …I say, that Power must never be trusted without a check. John Adams
- Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war. John Adams
- The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty. John Adams
- No man who ever held the office of president would congratulate a friend on obtaining it. John Adams
- Because power corrupts, society’s demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases. John Adams
- 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
- 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
- I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is a disgrace, that two become a lawfirm, and that three or more become a congress. John Adams
- Public business, my son, must always be done by somebody. It will be done by somebody or other. If wise men decline it, others will not; if honest men refuse it, others will not. John Adams
John Adams Quotes about Religion and God’s Essence
Adams’ free spirit and independent thinking is reflected in these quotes about the role of religion throughout history. They will surely inspire you!
- Can a free government possibly exist with the Roman Catholic religion? John Adams
- Twenty times in the course of my late reading have I been on the point of breaking out, ‘This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!!!’ John Adams
- God is an essence that we know nothing of. Until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there never will be any liberal science in the world. John Adams
- 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
- But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed? John Adams
John Adams Quotes on the Two-Party System, Democracy and the Constitution
While Democracy is proved to be the best political system, yet it has its flaws. Read these wise quotes by Adams where he explains about the dangers of the two-party system and the necessary conditions for welfare in a democratic society.
- There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution. John Adams
- Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives. We ought to do all we can. John Adams
- 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
- Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. John Adams
- Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. John Adams
- Tyranny can scarcely be practiced upon a virtuous and wise people. John Adams
- Human passions unbridled by morality and religion… would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. John Adams
- It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy… Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty. John Adams
John Adams Quotes on Liberty, Freedom and Human Rights
Here are some insightful quotes about freedom, the reasons it is compromised and the ways to securely preserve it in modern society.
- Liberty, once lost, is lost forever. John Adams
- Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people. John Adams
- Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition and dogmatism cannot confine it. John Adams
- 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
- Negro Slavery is an evil of Colossal magnitude and I am utterly averse to the admission of Slavery into the Missouri Territories. John Adams
- The true source of our suffering has been our timidity. We have been afraid to think… Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write. John Adams
- 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
- Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood. John Adams
July 2 Quote by John Adams for the Independence Day National Holiday
In the letter he wrote to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776, John Adams mentioned that July 2 would be marked as a national holiday for generations to come. Actually, that was the day when the Continental Congress voted on independence from Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence document, which was meant to accompany the resolution, wasn’t ready until two days later and was approved by the Continental Congress on July 4.
Adams’ letter has been used by many who doubt the validity of the selected date to celebrate the Independence Day in the U.S.A. Yet, what we find intriguing is the paragraph following (and the last one in the letter) where Adams prophetically foreshadowed the struggles that the nation would have to fight to preserve their independence. He ended instilled in passionate optimism that “Posterity will tryumph…” To our viewpoint, these last thoughts are of even greater significance, as they form a timeless material for political reflection that any nation (or individual) can identify with.
- 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.
You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not. John Adams
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