Famous Quotes By Thomas Jefferson

Famous Quotes By Thomas Jefferson
Famous Quotes By Thomas Jefferson
  1.  Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.
  2. An association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which has never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry.
  3. As our enemies have found we can reason like men, so now let us show them we can fight like men also.
  4. Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital.
  5. But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.
  6. Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.
  7. Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.
  8. Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a Censor - over each other.
  9. Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
  10. Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.
  11. Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor.
  12. Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
  13. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.
  14. For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.
  15. Friendship is but another name for an alliance with the follies and the misfortunes of others. Our own share of miseries is sufficient: why enter then as volunteers into those of another?
  16. Happiness is not being pained in body or troubled in mind.
  17. He who knows best knows how little he knows.
  18. He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
  19. History, in general, only informs us of what bad government is.
  20. Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
  21. I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind.
  22. I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.
  23. I find that he is happiest of whom the world says least, good or bad.
  24. I have no ambition to govern men it is a painful and thankless office.
  25. I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.
  26. I have seen enough of one war never to wish to see another.
  27. I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
  28. I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.
  29. I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
  30. I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
  31. I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.
  32. I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.
  33. I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just that his justice cannot sleep forever.
  34. I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.
  35. If God is just, I tremble for my country.
  36. If we can but prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy.
  37. Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong.
  38. In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to Liberty.
  39. In truth, politeness is artificial good humor, it covers the natural want of it, and ends by rendering habitual a substitute nearly equivalent to the real virtue.
  40. It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.
  41. It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.
  42. It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
  43. It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.
  44. It is neither wealth nor splendor but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.
  45. It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good.
  46. Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.
  47. Money, not morality, is the principle commerce of civilized nations.
  48. My only fear is that I may live too long. This would be a subject of dread to me.
  49. My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
  50. My theory has always been, that if we are to dream, the flatteries of hope are as cheap, and pleasanter, than the gloom of despair.
  51. Never spend your money before you have earned it.
  52. No government ought to be without censors and where the press is free no one ever will.
  53. Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
  54. Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.
  55. One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them.
  56. One man with courage is a majority.
  57. One travels more usefully when alone, because he reflects more.
  58. Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.
  59. Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.
  60. Peace and abstinence from European interferences are our objects, and so will continue while the present order of things in America remain uninterrupted.
  61. Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.
  62. Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations entangling alliances with none.
  63. Politics is such a torment that I advise everyone I love not to mix with it.
  64. Power is not alluring to pure minds.
  65. Question with boldness even the existence of a God because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.
  66. So confident am I in the intentions, as well as wisdom, of the government, that I shall always be satisfied that what is not done, either cannot, or ought not to be done.
  67. Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.
  68. That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part.
  69. The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.
  70. The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people that... it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.
  71. The Creator has not thought proper to mark those in the forehead who are of stuff to make good generals. We are first, therefore, to seek them blindfold, and then let them learn the trade at the expense of great losses.
  72. The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money.
  73. The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.
  74. The good opinion of mankind, like the lever of Archimedes, with the given fulcrum, moves the world.
  75. The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory.
  76. The most successful war seldom pays for its losses.
  77. The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.
  78. The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind.
  79. The second office in the government is honorable and easy the first is but a splendid misery.
  80. The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.
  81. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
  82. There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.
  83. There is not a truth existing which I fear... or would wish unknown to the whole world.
  84. Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.
  85. To penetrate and dissipate these clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by education.
  86. Truth is certainly a branch of morality and a very important one to society.
  87. Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast.
  88. War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.
  89. We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
  90. Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.
  91. When a man assumes a public trust he should consider himself a public property.
  92. When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.
  93. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.
  94. Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.
  95. Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.
  96. Wisdom I know is social. She seeks her fellows. But Beauty is jealous, and illy bears the presence of a rival.

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