John Adams

John Adams, Jr. (October 30 [O.S. October 19] 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American lawyer, author, statesman, and diplomat. He served as the second President of the United States (1797–1801), the first Vice President (1789–97), and as a Founding Father was a leader of American independence from Great Britain. Adams was a political theorist in the Age of Enlightenment who promoted republicanism and a strong central government. His innovative ideas were frequently published. He was also a dedicated diarist and correspondent, particularly with his wife and key advisor Abigail. He collaborated with his cousin, revolutionary leader Samuel Adams, but he established his own prominence prior to the American Revolution. After the Boston Massacre, despite severe local anti-British sentiment, he provided a successful though unpopular legal defense of the accused British soldiers, driven by his d... More


John Adams Quotes

John Adams #Age

Old minds are like old horses you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.
John Adams #Government

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 #Knowledge

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

Fear is the foundation of most governments.
John Adams #Freedom #Knowledge

Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.
John Adams #God #Power

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

The essence of a free government consists in an effectual control of rivalries.
John Adams #Government #Men

A government of laws, and not of men.
John Adams #Great #Power

Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak.
John Adams #Great #War

Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war.
John Adams #Nature

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 #Imagination

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

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

I must not write a word to you about politics, because you are a woman.
John Adams #Government #Men #Power #Trust

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.
John Adams #Politics

In politics the middle way is none at all.
John Adams #Government #Happiness #Society

The happiness of society is the end of government.
John Adams #Power #Society

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

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

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

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 #Imagination

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.
John Adams #Power

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

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 #Men

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.