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Government John Adams Quotes


"Bill Clinton outshines John Adams in that regard." - Nat Hentoff

"[John] Adams never had an optimistic view of human nature, and his experience in the Congress and abroad only deepened his suspicion that his fellow Americans might not have the character to sustain a republican government." - Gordon S. Wood

"When he is wounded, I bleed. {page 262 of John Adams}" - Abigail Adams

"The economic answer to the world's problems is John Adams, not [Karl] Marx." - John Ringo

"[John] Adams never hid his jealousy and resentment of the other Founders, especially Benjamin Franklin." - Gordon S. Wood

"If not for John Adams leading a revolution against Great Britain...This would be the BAFTAs." - Tom Hanks

"Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives. - John Adams" - David Mccullough

"I know that John Adams has had a very hard time directing French ensembles." - Gavin Bryars

"So what's the difference between republican and democratic forms of government? John Adams captured the essence of the difference when he said, 'You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe.' Nothing in our Constitution suggests that government is a grantor of rights. Instead, government is a protector of rights." - Walter E. Williams

"All that I am my mother made me. - John Quincy Adams. Children and mothers never truly part..." - Charlotte Gray

"By 1782 [John Adams] had come to feel for [Benjamin] Franklin "no other sentiments than Contempt or Abhorrence."" - Gordon S. Wood

"As John Adams said, all democracies will eventually self-destruct. We seem to be doing it very quickly." - Rosanne Cash

"Do not shout at me, Mr. Quill," said John [Adams]. "Justice may be blind, but she is not deaf." - Orson Scott Card

"There are plenty of Minutemen. People willing to be Minutemen. Where are the people that want to be George Washington? Where are the Benjamin Franklins? Where is Sam Adams? Where is John Adams?" - Beck

"[John] Adams was the best and most colorful stylist among the Founders. Although [Tomas] Jefferson is widely regarded as the smoothest writer, Adams is by far the most engaging and imaginative." - Gordon S. Wood

"That this gentleman [President John Adams] ought not to be the object of the federal wish, is, with me, reduced to demonstration. His administration has already very materially disgraced and sunk the government. There are defects in his character which must inevitably continue to do this more and more. And if he is supported by the federal party, his party must in the issue fall with him." - Alexander Hamilton

"[John Adams] is impressed with [Tomas] Jefferson's learning, but noted his silence during the debates in the Congress: "I never heard him utter three Sentences together."" - Gordon S. Wood

"[Benjamin] Franklin may be a great philosopher, [John Adams] told his diary in 1779, but "as a Legislator in America he has done very little."" - Gordon S. Wood

"I think [John] Adams was correct when he said that his May resolutions were "an Epocha, a decisive Event," and tantamount to a declaration of independence." - Gordon S. Wood

"Americans, [John Adams] wrote in 1780, believed that their "revolution is as much for the benefit of the generality of Mankind in Europe, as for their own."" - Gordon S. Wood

"[John Adams' writings] had indicted the United States for slavishly copying the English constitution by erecting bicameral legislatures in their state constitutions, most drafted in 1776." - Gordon S. Wood

"The relationship between [John] Adams and [Tomas] Jefferson was extraordinary. They differed on every conceivable issue, except on the Revolution and the love of their country." - Gordon S. Wood

"After [Tomas] Jefferson's defeat of [John] Adams in the presidential election of 1800, they didn't communicate with one another for more than a decade." - Gordon S. Wood

"I desire no other inscription over my gravestone than: 'Here lies John Adams, who took upon himself the responsibility of peace with France in the year 1800'." - John Adams

"Every White House has had its intellectuals, but very few presidents have been intellectuals themselves - Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Woodrow Wilson, the list more or less stops there." - Jonathan Raban

"John Quincy Adams most certainly was a part of the Revolutionary War era. He was a young boy, but he was actively involved." - Michele Bachmann

"John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were political enemies, but they became fast friends. And when they passed away on the same day, the last words of one of them was, The country is safe. Jefferson still lives. And the last words of the other was, John Adams will see that things go forward." - Harry S Truman

"Influence is not government." - George Washington

"John Adams, second president of the United States, wrote that our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.... George Washington warned us never to indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion." - Joe Lieberman

"I've had the philosophy that John Adams expressed, in the kind of system that we're trying to create in this country: that this is a system for moral people. It will work for no other." - Charles Koch

"John Adams was a farmer, Abraham Lincoln a small town lawyer. Plato and Socrates were teachers. Jesus was a carpenter. To equate wisdom and judgement with occupation is at best insulting." - Mark Sheppard

"[John Adams] diary, of course, is even more revealing of his feelings. Both his letters to [his wife] Abigail and his diary tell us what he really thinks about people and events." - Gordon S. Wood

"[John Adams] always felt that his contribution to bringing about independence went unappreciated, especially after the 1790s when [Tomas] Jefferson began to be lauded as the "author" of the Declaration of Independence." - Gordon S. Wood

"By the time [John Adams] came to write his Defence of the Constitutions of the United States in 1787 he had as dark a view of the American character as that of any critic in our history." - Gordon S. Wood

"[John Adams] experience with the French philosophers only convinced him further of the need for a bicameral legislature representing the two principal social orders and, equally important, an independent executive." - Gordon S. Wood

"[John] Adams was arguing that a separate social order existed that needed to be embodied in senates and his fellow Americans could not accept this and accused him rightly of being obsessed with the English constitution." - Gordon S. Wood

"[ Massachusetts constitution] was [John Adams] attempt to justify that structure by the traditional notion of social estates - that the executive represented the monarchical estate, the senate the aristocratic estate, and the house of representatives the estate of the people." - Gordon S. Wood

"My - mine is based on the fact that Bill Clinton has done - and I'm - this sounds like hyperbole, but he has done more harm to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights than any president since John Adams." - Nat Hentoff

"Remember what John Adams said about Ben Franklin, He does not hesitate at our boldest Measures but rather seems to think us too irresolute. Well, this is the time for bold measures." - Bono

"When a friend of Abigail and John Adams was killed at Bunker Hill, Abigail's response was to write a letter to her husband and include these words, "My bursting heart must find vent at my pen." - David Mccullough

"Hyperbole has been part of elections since the days of John Adams, and there's nobody better than Joe Biden to give us a little hyperbole, as we all know." - Stephen Pagliuca

"I knew my mother was - well, her ancestry dated back to John Quincy Adams, so she was totally not Latina. She was definitely whatever you call it - white bread, shall we say?" - Raquel Welch

"You gotta be think'n Sam Adams, not drink'n Sam Adams" - Sarah Palin

"[John] Adams identified himself with the political theories of [James] Harrington, [John] Locke, and [Charles-Louis] Montesquieu, whose ideas of constitutionalism, he believed, were applicable to all peoples everywhere; they were his contribution to what he called "the divine science of politics."" - Gordon S. Wood

"I saw Ben Stiller's movie Walter Mitty [2013]; it's very beautiful. You look at some of the movies John Ford did with John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart, and then look at Remington and Ansel Adams, and I think you see a connection, certainly in the imagery of the West." - Owen Wilson

"Rather than ennobling the public mind and cementing the social fabric, applied science speedily became the chief weapon of a gross individualism, which was anathema to the frugal and righteous (John Quincy) Adams, the source of enormous fortunes divorced from duty, the instrument of unscrupulous ambition and rapacious materialism. Presently, it came to scar the very of the country which Adams loved, a disfiguring process uninterrupted since his day." - Russell Kirk

"John Boehner chose a huge gavel. I think somebody's compensating for his small government." - Stephen Colbert

"If you're looking for ways to cut waste in government, you can start with John Prescott." - George Osborne

"But we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States. ... I think it is high time that we recognize the contribution of our forbearers who worked tirelessly - men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country." - Michele Bachmann

"Hanks is a good man, and he produced the "John Adams" series as well. He does good work. But I'm more worried about a Tom Hanks when we're at war against radical Islam than I am against a caricature like Sean Penn. He's a completely marginalized soul." - Bill O'Reilly

"John Adams and Thomas Jefferson corresponded for 13 years before they died on the same day. They asked, "How can one have prosperity without commerce? How can one have commerce without luxury? How can one have luxury without corruption? How can you have corruption without the end of the Republic?" And they really didn't know the answer." - Pete Seeger

"I want to collect more records from terrorists, but less records from innocent Americans. The Fourth Amendment was what we fought the Revolution over! John Adams said it was the spark that led to our war for independence, and I'm proud of standing for the Bill of Rights, and I will continue to stand for the Bill of Rights." - Rand Paul

"Every answer he [President John Adams] gives to his addressers unmasks more and more his principles and views. His language to the young men at Philadelphia is the most abominable and degrading that could fall from the lips of the first magistrate of an independent people, and particularly from a Revolutionary patriot." - James Madison

"The ideal to which John Adams subscribed-that we would be a nation of laws, not of men-was quickly subverted when the churches forced upon everyone, through supposedly neutral and just laws, their innumerable taboos on sex, alcohol, gambling. We are now indeed a nation of laws, mostly bad and certainly antihuman." - Gore Vidal

"American history offers no parallel to the friendship between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, spanning the first half century of the Republic. . . . The publication, in full and integrated form, of the remarkable correspondence between these two eminent men is a notable event." - Dumas Malone

"Upon my return from the army to Baltimore in the winter of 1777, I sat next to John Adams in Congress, and upon my whispering to him and asking him if he thought we should succeed in our struggle with Great Britain, he answered me, "Yes-if we fear God and repent of our sins."" - Benjamin Rush

"[John Adams's] vividly descriptive prose is supremely quotable. Adams wears his heart on his sleeve and reveals all of his ambitions, doubts, and insecurities, especially in his diary, which is one of the greatest and most readable in all of American literature." - Gordon S. Wood

"I think [John Adams] developed a much deeper suspicion of France and the other European powers than he had earlier. He lost much if not all of the utopian thinking about international politics and diplomacy expressed in his Model Treaty of 1776 and became much more cynical about the world." - Gordon S. Wood

"[John] Adams's perception of Europe, and especially France, was clearly different than [Tomas] Jefferson's. For Jefferson, the luxury and sophistication of Europe only made American simplicity and virtue appear dearer. For Adams, by contrast, Europe represented what America was fast becoming - a society consumed by luxury and vice and fundamentally riven by a struggle between rich and poor, gentlemen and commoners." - Gordon S. Wood

"[John] Adams said his objective in writing his Defence of the Constitutions of the United States and his Davila essays was to counter what he thought was the unfair criticism of the American state constitutions made by the French philosophers, especially [Anne Robert Jacques] Turgot." - Gordon S. Wood

"Creating senates, the French critics said, implied that there was another social order besides the people represented in the houses of representatives. [John] Adams actually agreed with that implication and argued that the aristocracy and the people had to have separate houses; this was the only way the power of the aristocracy could be contained." - Gordon S. Wood

"A mutual friend, Benjamin Rush, brought [Tomas Jefferson and John Adams] together in 1812, and they went on to exchange letters for the rest of their lives. But in their correspondence they tended to avoid the most controversial issues, such as slavery." - Gordon S. Wood

"Deeply versed in history, [John Adams] said over and over that America had no special providence, no special role in history, that Americans were no different from other peoples, that the United States was just as susceptible to viciousness and corruption as any other nation. In this regard, at least, Jefferson's vision has clearly won the day." - Gordon S. Wood

"When John Adams - when - James Madison was writing - pretty much writing the Constitution, he got a letter from Thomas Jefferson, who was then-ambassador to France. And Jefferson said - I am paraphrasing - `Do not forget to keep habeas corpus and strengthen it.' That - in - that's the oldest English-speaking right. It goes back to the Magna Carta in 1215." - Nat Hentoff

"My first day on the set of 'John Adams', I was just supposed to fly to Virginia for a costume fitting. But the director figured, why not shoot it, too? So they threw me into a dress that didn't fit, gave me lines I hadn't seen, in a dialect I didn't know, and two screaming, arching infants." - Mamie Gummer

"John Quincy Adams ranks with Jimmy Carter on the roster of ex-presidential redemption. Instead of completing a biography of his father, he let himself be elected to the House, where he spent nine terms in Whiggish opposition to the Democrats, supporting a national bank and a protective tariff and internal improvements." - Thomas Mallon

"Look, in 1800 the sainted Thomas Jefferson arranged to hire a notorious slanderer named James Callender, who worked as a writer at a Republican newspaper in Richmond, Va. Read some of what he wrote about John Adams. This was a personal slander." - Karl Rove

"At noon, on the Fourth of July, 1826, while the Liberty Bell was again sounding its old message to the people of Philadelphia, the soul of Thomas Jefferson passed on; and a few hours later John Adams entered into rest, with the name of his old friend upon his lips." - Allen Johnson

"My favorite Founding Fathers, Christians like John Adams, were absolutely appalled by slavery, and did not own slaves. I think we're going to have to call on God's grace not only for slavery, but for what we're doing now with abortions." - Ann Coulter

"Grizzly Adams did have a beard" - Lee Trevino

"Don't pick up hitchhikers!"- D. Adams" - Robert Asprin

"There's not enough Mason Adams jokes." - Gina Barberi

"What is government but theft by consent?" - Scott Lynch

"[John Howard] led the Government. They had the numbers, and just basically automatically went along with the Americans." - Bob Hawke

"Good government could never be a substitute for government by the people themselves." - Henry Campbell-Bannerman

"We"re against the state, not government. The state just happens to monopolize the government." - Stephan Kinsella

"Popular government has not yet been proved to guarantee, always and everywhere, good government." - Walter Lippmann

"Politics is a fascinating game, because politics is government. It is the art of government." - Harry S Truman

"The right of self-government does not comprehend the government of others." - Thomas Jefferson

"Most of us think of government as them. Yet government isn't Them: It's us." - Molly Ivins

"The people will save their government, if the government itself will allow them." - Abraham Lincoln

"Since natural law was thought to be accessible to the ordinary man, the theory invited each juror to inquire for himself whether a particular rule of law was consonant with principles of higher law. This view is reflected in John Adams' statement that it would be an 'absurdity' for jurors to be required to accept the judge's view of the law, 'against their own opinion, judgment, and conscience.'" - John Adams

"Do you know what causes low voter turnout in America? It's the result of having the fate of our nation at stake. This began with the bitter presidential election of 1828, which pitted the education, cultivation, and puritan constraint of John Quincy Adams against the yahoo populism of Andrew Jackson, thereby deciding permanently whether America would become a shining city upon a hill or an overlighted strip mall along a highway." - Ozzy Osbourne

"[John Adams] letters courting Abigail Smith are especially priceless. In one of 1764 he addresses her as "Miss Adorable" and says that "By the same Token that the Bearer hereof satt up with you last night I hereby order you to give him, as many Kisses, and as many Hours of your Company after 9 O'Clock as he shall please to Demand and charge them to my Account."" - Gordon S. Wood

"As early as 1776, [John Adams] expressed his doubts about America's capacity for virtue. "I have seen all along my Life, Such Selfishness, and Littleness even in New England, that I sometimes tremble to think that, altho We are engaged in the best Cause that ever employed the Human Heart, yet the Prospect of success is doubtfull not for Want of Power or of Wisdom, but of Virtue."" - Gordon S. Wood

"This rationale, which justified the mixed constitution of Great Britain, might have made some sense in 1776, but by 1787 most American thinkers had come to believe that all parts of their balanced governments represented in one way or another the sovereign people. They had left the Aristotelian idea of mixed estates - monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy - way behind. [John] Adams had not, and his stubbornness on this point caused him no end of trouble." - Gordon S. Wood

"[John Adams and Tomas Jefferson] shared experience in 1775 - 1776 in bringing about the separation from Britain and their service in Europe cemented a friendship that in the end withstood the most serious political and religious differences that one could imagine, especially their differences over the French Revolution. It was probably Jefferson's obsession with politeness and civility that kept the relationship from becoming irreparably broken." - Gordon S. Wood

"I've chosen not to challenge the rule of law, because in our system there really is no intermediate step between a Supreme Court decision and violent revolution. When the Supreme Court makes a decision, no matter how strongly one disagrees with it, one faces a choice are we, in John Adams' phrase, a nation of laws, or is it a contest made on raw power?" - Al Gore

"Abigail Adams could become my favorite historical sleuth." - Sharon Kay Penman

"Glenda Adams has written a wicked and witty novel." - Diane Johnson

"Adams first law of survival: Get even first." - Randall Dale Adams

"John Ashcroft - John Ashcrack - ibid." - Jello Biafra

"That putt had more breaks than a government job." - Brian Weiss

"Self-government requires qualities of self-denial and restraint." - John F Kennedy

"Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence." - Thomas Paine

"We are all imperfect. We cannot expect perfect government." - William Howard Taft

"We have the best government that money can buy." - Mark Twain

"If you present good government, then elections look after themselves." - Jay Weatherill

"People are afraid of an unorganized, wasteful government." - Hill Harper

"John Prescott has made the government look greedy and ridiculous. Labour is seen as the corrupt party. The government has been fulfilling the old rule that oppositions do not win elections, governments lose them." - William Rees-Mogg

"Our government rests in public opinion. Whoever can change public opinion, can change the government, practically just so much." - Abraham Lincoln

"If you are to stand up for your Government you must be able to stand up to your Government." - Lord Harold Caccia

"Uncritical reverence for the Founding Fathers was less ubiquitous while they actually lived. . . . "The Reign of Terror that raged in America during the latter end of the Washington Administration, and the whole of that of Adams, is enveloped in mystery to me. That there were men in the Government hostile to the representative system, was once their toast, though it is now their overthrow, and therefore the fact is established against them."" - Thomas Paine

"We are redeemed one man at a time. There is no family pass ticket or park hopping pass to life. One ticket - one at a time. Man doesn't vanquish hatred or bigotry. The target keeps moving. From the blacks to the Irish; atheists to Christians. But as always there are a few leaders: Ben Franklin, John Quincy Adams, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abraham Lincoln, Fredrick Douglas, Booker T Washington, Ghandi and Martin Luther King. They know that the march toward freedom never ends, man must be ever vigilant and pray less with his lips and more with his legs." - Glenn Beck

"John Keats / John Keats / John / Please put your scarf on." - J D Salinger

"I will never sit down with Gerry Adams . . . he'd sit with anyone. He'd sit down with the devil. In fact, Adams does sit down with the devil." - Ian Paisley

"I would rather turn my head and cough than see any part of 'Patch Adams' again. The title of this movie should have been 'Punch Adams!'" - Gene Siskel

"The proper role of government is exactly what John Stuart Mill said in the middle of the nineteenth century in On Liberty. The proper role of government is to prevent other people from harming an individual. Government, he said, never has any right to interfere with an individual for that individual's own good." - Milton Friedman

"In his 16 years in the Senate, John Kerry has fought against government waste and worked hard to bring some accountability to Washington. Early in his Senate career in 1986, John signed on to the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Bill, and he fought for balanced budgets before it was considered politically correct for Democrats to do so. John has worked to strengthen our military, reform public education, boost the economy and protect the environment." - Zell Miller

"If we advert to the nature of republican government, we shall find that the censorial power is in the people over the government, and not in the government over the people." - James Madison

"Throughout the world, the very moment a legitimate government starts fascist implementations, it loses its legitimacy! When a government becomes illegitimate, it is no longer a government but an outlaw!" - Mehmet Murat Ildan

"Those who suppress freedom always do so in the name of law and order." - John V. Lindsay "No government power can be abused long. Mankind will not bear it." - Samuel Johnson

"You have to be careful about what you do, about what you say, and that is more dangerous than what was happening with [John] McCarthy, but the technology the government now possesses is so much more insidious." - Nat Hentoff

"Well, no one knows for sure. There are now two competing governments and various armed militias, tribes and clans. Secretary John Kerry and others have said they're hopeful a single government can be formed soon maybe in the coming weeks." - Tom Bowman

"[Of Governor-General Sir John Kerr, who had dismissed the Labor Government headed by Whitlam:] Well may he say 'God Save the Queen.' But after this nothing will save the Governor-General." - Gough Whitlam

"John F. Kennedy asked us what we could do for America. This Democratic Party asks what can government give you. Don't worry about paying the bill, it's on your kids and grandkids." - Artur Davis

"John Kerry's newfound interest in fiscal discipline is a political gimmick that defies his 20-year record in the Senate and stands in stark contrast to his reckless and expansive promises of new government spending on the campaign trail." - Steve Schmidt

"The fact that John Prescott is being paid large sums of money to do little or nothing adds to the general malaise surrounding this government and the feeling that ministers are incapable of tackling serious issues." - Vince Cable

"In the Soviet Union, government controls industry. In the United States, industry controls government. That is the principal structural difference between the two great oligarchies of our time." - Edward Abbey

"We exist, and are quoted, as standing proofs that a government, so modeled as to rest continually on the will of the whole society, is a practicable government." - Thomas Jefferson

"the separation of church and state grew out of a desire, not so much to protect government from religion, but to protect religion from government." - Anna Quindlen

"It is a government of the people by the people for the people no longer it is a government of corporations by corporations for corporations" - Rutherford B Hayes

"Government doesn't have to be the enemy, but too much government has produced a new kind of inequality in America: opportunity inequality." - Marco Rubio

"When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening, foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us." - Barack Obama

"Many people consider the things which government does for them as social progress, but they consider the things government does for others as socialism." - Earl Warren

"John Kerry, windsurfing dilettante" - Eleanor Clift

"John Toshack hates me." - Robbie Savage

"Godspeed, John Glenn." - Scott Carpenter

"Listen John-' 'Who's John?' 'You're John.' 'I'm John?' 'Yeah, I changed your name." - Dave Eggers

"John Hughes loved improvisers." - Edie Mcclurg

"You have overburdened your argument with ostentatious erudition." Spoken by Abigail Adams" - David Mccullough

"Mike Adams, you are simply the sexiest man alive. You have my vote in ." - Jessica Alba

"If Ansel Adams gets a thousand dollars a print, I want ten thousand." - Paul Strand

"There's no way the future's over for Martin Keown, Tony Adams or David Seaman." - Alan Shearer

"I would rather turn my head and cough than see any part of 'Patch Adams' again." - Gene Siskel

"It was [John's Adams] Massachusetts constitution if anything that influenced people." - Gordon S. Wood

"Amy Adams is the wish your heart makes...she's wicked good." - Peter Travers

"What about Broadway? Yes, I'm involved with a new musical based on 'The Adams Family.'" - Nathan Lane

"The biggest lesson I learned from Vietnam is not to trust [our own] government statements." - J William Fulbright

"Well, fancy giving money to the Government! Might as well have put it down the drain." - A P Herbert

"The uses of government should be to foster, protect and promote the possession of equality." - Victoria Woodhull

"Freedom exists only where the people take care of the government." - Woodrow Wilson

"There's no trick to being humorous when you have the whole government working for you." - Will Rogers

"The Federal Government is the people and the budget is a reflection of their need." - John F Kennedy

"Democracy is the form of government in which the free are rulers." - Aristotle

"Good laws, if they are not obeyed, do not constitute good government." - Aristotle

"Government lasts as long as the under-taxed can defend themselves against the over-taxed." - Bernard Berenson

"It will be said that great societies cannot exist without government." - Thomas Jefferson

"Ignorance and bigotry, like other insanities, are incapable of self-government." - Thomas Jefferson

"The opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction." - Thomas Jefferson



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