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Quote 66 details Share on Google+ - Quote 66 Linked In Share Button - Quote 66 Each individual of the society has a right to be protected by it in the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and property, according to standing laws. He is obliged, consequently, to contribute his share to the expense of this protection; and to give his personal service, or an equivalent, when necessary. But no part of the property of any individual can, with justice, be taken from him, or applied to public uses, without his own consent, or that of the representative body of the people. In fine, the people of this commonwealth are not controllable by any other laws than those to which their constitutional representative body have given their consent.

John Adams: Thoughts on Government, 1776

Quote 62 details Share on Google+ - Quote 62 Linked In Share Button - Quote 62 As good government is an empire of laws, how shall your laws be made? In a large society, inhabiting an extensive country, it is impossible that the whole should assemble to make laws. The first necessary step, then, is to depute power from the many to a few of the most wise and good.

John Adams: Thoughts on Government, 1776

Quote 61 details Share on Google+ - Quote 61 Linked In Share Button - Quote 61 A constitution founded on these principles introduces knowledge among the people, and inspires them with a conscious dignity becoming freemen; a general emulation takes place, which causes good humor, sociability, good manners, and good morals to be general. That elevation of sentiment inspired by such a government, makes the common people brave and enterprising. That ambition which is inspired by it makes them sober, industrious, and frugal.

John Adams: Thoughts on Government, 1776

Quote 56 details Share on Google+ - Quote 56 Linked In Share Button - Quote 56 If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.

Thomas Jefferson: letter to Thomas Cooper, 29 November 1802

Quote 55 details Share on Google+ - Quote 55 Linked In Share Button - Quote 55 When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated."

Thomas Jefferson: letter to Charles Hammond, 1821

Quote 52 details Share on Google+ - Quote 52 Linked In Share Button - Quote 52
But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.


Quote 69 details Share on Google+ - Quote 69 Linked In Share Button - Quote 69
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.

John Adams: Thoughts on Government, 1776

Quote 70 details Share on Google+ - Quote 70 Linked In Share Button - Quote 70
Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.

John Adams: Thoughts on Government, 1776

Quote 72 details Share on Google+ - Quote 72 Linked In Share Button - Quote 72 Human government is more or less perfect as it approaches nearer or diverges farther from the imitation of this perfect plan of divine and moral government.

John Adams: draft of a Newspaper Communication, Circa August 1770

Quote 79 details Share on Google+ - Quote 79 Linked In Share Button - Quote 79 If there is a form of government, then, whose principle and foundation is virtue, will not every sober man acknowledge it better calculated to promote the general happiness than any other form?

John Adams: Thoughts on Government, 1776

Quote 81 details Share on Google+ - Quote 81 Linked In Share Button - Quote 81 It already appears, that there must be in every society of men superiors and inferiors, because God has laid in the constitution and course of nature the foundations of the distinction.

John Adams: Thoughts on Government, 1776

Quote 83 details Share on Google+ - Quote 83 Linked In Share Button - Quote 83 It is the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons, to worship the SUPREME BEING, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe. And no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping GOD in the manner most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession or sentiments; provided he doth not disturb the public peace, or obstruct others in their religious worship.

John Adams: Thoughts on Government, 1776

Quote 86 details Share on Google+ - Quote 86 Linked In Share Button - Quote 86 Laws for the liberal education of the youth, especially of the lower class of the people, are so extremely wise and useful, that, to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant.

John Adams: Thoughts on Government, 1776

Quote 94 details Share on Google+ - Quote 94 Linked In Share Button - Quote 94 Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics. There must be a positive passion for the public good, the public interest, honour, power and glory, established in the minds of the people, or there can be no republican government, nor any real liberty: and this public passion must be superior to all private passions.

John Adams: letter to Mercy Warren, April 16, 1776

Quote 96 details Share on Google+ - Quote 96 Linked In Share Button - Quote 96 That, as a republic is the best of governments, so that particular arrangements of the powers of society, or, in other words, that form of government which is best contrived to secure an impartial and exact execution of the laws, is the best of republics.

John Adams: Thoughts on Government, 1776

Quote 98 details Share on Google+ - Quote 98 Linked In Share Button - Quote 98 The dignity and stability of government in all its branches, the morals of the people, and every blessing of society depend so much upon an upright and skillful administration of justice, that the judicial power ought to be distinct from both the legislative and executive, and independent upon both, that so it may be a check upon both, and both should be checks upon that.

John Adams: Thoughts on Government, 1776

Quote 101 details Share on Google+ - Quote 101 Linked In Share Button - Quote 101 The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a great Measure, than they have it now. They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty.

John Adams: letter to Zabdiel Adams, June 21, 1776

Quote 102 details Share on Google+ - Quote 102 Linked In Share Button - Quote 102 The rich, the well-born, and the able, acquire and influence among the people that will soon be too much for simple honesty and plain sense, in a house of representatives. The most illustrious of them must, therefore, be separated from the mass, and placed by themselves in a senate; this is, to all honest and useful intents, an ostracism.

John Adams: A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, vol 1, 1787
Respectfully quoted: A dictionary of quotations...

Quote 103 details Share on Google+ - Quote 103 Linked In Share Button - Quote 103 There is no good government but what is republican. That the only valuable part of the British constitution is so; for the true idea of a republic is "an empire of laws, and not of men." That, as a republic is the best of governments, so that particular arrangement of the powers of society, or in other words, that form of government which is best contrived to secure an impartial and exact execution of the law, is the best of republics.

John Adams: Thoughts on Government, 1776

Quote 104 details Share on Google+ - Quote 104 Linked In Share Button - Quote 104 They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men.


Quote 105 details Share on Google+ - Quote 105 Linked In Share Button - Quote 105 To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, counties or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws.

John Adams: A Defense of the Constitutions of the United States, 1787-1788

Quote 106 details Share on Google+ - Quote 106 Linked In Share Button - Quote 106 Upon this point all speculative politicians will agree, that the happiness of society is the end of government, as all divines and moral philosophers will agree that the happiness of the individual is the end of man. From this principle it will follow that the form of government which communicates ease, comfort, security, or, in one word, happiness, to the greatest numbers of persons, and in the greatest degree, is the best.

John Adams: Thoughts on Government, 1776

Quote 107 details Share on Google+ - Quote 107 Linked In Share Button - Quote 107 We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

John Adams: Address to the Military, October 11, 1798

Quote 108 details Share on Google+ - Quote 108 Linked In Share Button - Quote 108 We ought to consider what is the end of government before we determine which is the best form. Upon this point all speculative politicians will agree that the happiness of society is the end of government, as all divines and moral philosophers will agree that the happiness of the individual is the end of man....All sober inquirers after truth, ancient and modern, pagan and Christian, have declared that the happiness of man, as well as his dignity, consists in virtue.

John Adams: Thoughts on Government, 1776

Quote 110 details Share on Google+ - Quote 110 Linked In Share Button - Quote 110 Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body of the people, being necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties, and as these depend on spreading the opportunities and advantages of education in the various parts of the country, and among the different orders of people, it shall be the duty of legislators and magistrates... to cherish the interest of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries of them.

John Adams: Thoughts on Government, 1776



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