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Best John Adams Quotes and Sayings

Written by QuotesLyfe | Updated on: September 14, 2021


Best John Adams Quotes and Sayings

In this article, we present to you some of the famous John Adams Quotes on Leadership, Government, Liberty, Education, Democracy, Freedom and More with their meaning.

John Adams, the second president of America, led the American Revolution and attained independence from Great Britain. He was also the first prime minister of the United States during the presidency of George Washington under the Federalist Party.

Being a Harvard pass out, he solely wrote the Massachusetts constitution, which later inspired the American constitution. Before the revolution, Adams was a lawyer and a political activist. During the infamous Boston Massacre, he stood up and gave justice to all those who were brutally murdered and firmly believed everyone deserves a fair trial.

Being an opinionated person, he heavily criticized Britain's authority on colonial America and its oppression through taxes and tariffs. He was also one of the four delegates when the Continental Congress was initially set up. He was also a diplomat in Europe and helped to initiate the Paris Treaty, which officially ended the revolutionary war. After Adams's retirement, he started working on his farm in Quincy.

Adams was a critic of the Stamp Act, Townshend Act, and supporter of the Boston Tea Party. This outspoken founder father was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, writer, and a true patriotic by heart. He was known for his extreme political independence. Below are some of the famous John Adams Quotes.

Liberty once lost is lost forever.

Once you compromise with your rights and freedom, the one in power will continue to deprive you of your rights and liberty, which is a basic human right and is granted to us by all the constitutions in the world and pursue taking advantage of us. Hence liberty once lost is dreadful.

If Conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the World are of little value.

If your conscience doesn't approve of something, then even if there are hundred people telling you to do it, there is no point in doing it. Follow your conscience, your gut feeling, do as it says even if "logically" it doesn't seem worthy of taking the risk. Do things your way, even if everyone else suggests you otherwise.

Defeat appears to me preferable to total inaction.

Keep working for your goals without regard for the outcome. Even if you fail, you will be satisfied with putting in the efforts and giving your best shot. It is always better to fail rather than not do anything. 

Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.

Just being good at something is not sufficient. You need to keep practising it to remain good at it. Just like a sword needs to be polished from time to time for it to work properly similarly your brain also needs to be exercised daily to work accurately.

Tyranny can scarcely be practiced upon a virtuous and wise people.

Tyranny of oppression on a wise person is of no use. They would know how to remove themselves from such situations. Also, a wise person who doesn't care what people say about him/her and believe in themselves can hardly be suppressed.

To believe all men honest would be folly. To believe none so is something worse.

Thinking every person you meet is genuine is idiocy, but it would be worse if you stop believing in anyone and look at them with doubt. Losing all hope in the world will do you no good. Hope and trust are the basis of human civilizations. Adams is not asking us to put blind faith in anyone but giving people a mere benefit of the doubt shall not do us any harm.

Few more John Adams Quotes...

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. 

Proven facts cannot change how much ever we want them to. However cruel or disturbing certain facts are, we cannot do anything more than to just accept them and move on, believing that certain things are out of human control.

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.

The people in power rarely think about serving people. Instead, they are ready to pounce on them any chance they get. They want to control people's freedom to think, speak and write, and whoever goes against them faces repercussions of merely speaking against the wrong. 

The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty. 

Any government that cares for its people should remove anyone in power who risks the public's rights. This single headedly should be the government's motto. The welfare of the public should be the prime target and not the assertion of power.

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

As the number of people in power increases, the need to have increased morals and virtues is found, since the possibility of having corrupt authorities will increase who will have zero regard for the public's wellbeing. There would always be people hungry for power who would want to devour taxpayers honest money.

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.

 The pen is mightier than the sword. Our spoken words hold value in the world. Nobody can suppress us if we utilize our right to read, think, speak and write. Often people unaware of their rights have high chances of being suppressed. The mere courage to speak up against the wrong can end a lot of oppression. 

Some more John Adams Quotes...

I must study Politics and War that my sons may have the liberty to study Mathematics and Philosophy.

The people in power often try to control and manipulate the public in general. Once you learn and study to become them, you will be able to gain our right to choose. Our sacrifices will benefit future generations. Here John Adams also mean in order for his son to be able to select his persuasions, he has to be the people who "grant" these rights.

Let every sluice of knowledge be opened and set a-flowing.

Hidden knowledge doesn't benefit anyone. Knowledge needs to be passed down from generations in order for it to be put to use. Knowledge is the only power that increases by giving and needs to be kept flowing. Every person contributes to the knowledge passed to them. Like money, knowledge should be kept flowing for everyone's flourishment.

One useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three is a Congress.

Here John Adam is mocking the Congress, saying it is filled with fools. One useless man would be considered a shame, but two of them making idiotic laws would be considered smart just because they possess certain education. 

Always stand on principle even if you stand alone.

If you are correct, then even if everyone is against you, you should go ahead with it. It doesn't matter who stands by you or who stands against you, until and unless you are true to yourself and stand for what you believe in, you need not fear anyone. 

Power must never be trusted without a check.

A lot of the time's people in power are given their position without a background check. They are allotted through a reference from other people in power, leading to a lack of talent in positions of power. When the unworthy feel they are privileged, power is often misused and only used in their favor.

Continue reading some more John Adams Quotes...

Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war.

Many unnecessary wars are fought at the expense of the hard-earned money of the taxpayers. These wars could be avoided at all costs. It can be avoided by just confrontation are still fought, killing masses of people. The guilt of such wars is so much more than the actual war.

Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people. 

Our rights give us liberties. Without knowledge of these rights, liberty cannot be preserved. Hence, awareness of our rights, acknowledging them from time to time, and utilizing them will preserve our liberty. Often people fail to realize their rights, and it is extremely easy to exploit someone unaware of their rights. 

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

Authorities often assume the general public to be too naïve to comprehend their views and opinions on decisions that will affect the general public. Hence they are kept in oblivion by the people in power to assert their rule which is the core violation of any democracy.

Our obligation to our country never ceases but with our lives.

Our motherland which provides us with a lot, should always be repaid. Our patriotism toward our nation should never end in any situation. Serving their nation should be a citizen's prime responsibility. Only our death should depart us from this obligation. 


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