John Adams

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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.

John Adams

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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.

John Adams

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

John Adams

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Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty.

John Adams

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The happiness of society is the end of government.

John Adams

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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

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A government of laws, and not of men.

John Adams

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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.

John Adams

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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

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I, poor creature, worn out with scribbling for my bread and my liberty, low in spirits and weak in health, must leave others to wear the laurels which I have sown, others to eat the bread which I have earned. A common case.

John Adams

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John Adams — quotes and aphorisms

When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking or thinking I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.

John Adams

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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

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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.

John Adams

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The Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation. If I were an atheist, and believed blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations.

John Adams

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

John Adams

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Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society.

John Adams

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Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak.

John Adams

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Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

John Adams

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

John Adams

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

John Adams

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