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John Adams Quotes


The first Vice President of the United States, and the second President of the United States.
(1789 - 1797)

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...a revolution of government is the strongest proof that can be given by a people of their virtue and good sense.
 

A desire to be observed, considered, esteemed, praised, beloved, and admired by his fellows is one of the earliest as well as the keenest dispositions discovered in the heart of man.
 

A government of laws, and not of men.
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Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society.
 

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.
[America]
 

Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion... in private self-defense.
 

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.
 

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

But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.
 

By my physical constitution I am but an ordinary man... Yet some great events, some cutting expressions, some mean hypocracies, have at times thrown this assemblage of sloth, sleep, and littleness into rage like a lion.
 

Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.
 

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.
 

Every man in it is a great man, an orator, a critic, a statesman; and therefore every man upon every question must show his oratory, his criticism, and his political abilities.
[Congress]
 

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.
[Alter]
 

Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.
[Government]
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Genius is sorrow's child.
 

Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war.
 

Had I been chosen president again, I am certain I could not have lived another year.
 

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.
 

I agree with you that in politics the middle way is none at all.
[Politics]
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