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50 Founding Fathers Quotes from the first American Leaders

Here are Founding Fathers quotes that helped in shaping the country’s freedom.

There might be no United States of America if not for the great contribution of each one of the Founding Fathers. Their ideals and aspirations for a greater country have paved the way for America’s freedom. Their words and thoughts, as stated in hundreds of Founding Fathers quotes, are all given high regard up to this day.

The Founding Fathers of America consists of eight noblemen whose great contributions are also pivotal in America’s declaration of independence. They are George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay.

Together, they formed a democratic government that shaped the United States. Apart from the eight men, there were additional fathers whose roles are also essential in America’s liberation. Enjoy these Founding Fathers quotes and sayings!

Don’t forget to also check out these George Washington quotes celebrating America’s ideals.

Quotes from our Founding Fathers about Politics and Governance

1. “I agree with you that it is the duty of every good citizen to use all the opportunities, which occur to him, for preserving documents relating to the history of our country.” – Thomas Jefferson

2. “I fear that in every elected office, members will obtain an influence by noise, not sense. By meanness, not greatness. By ignorance, not learning. By contracted hearts, not large souls . . . There must be decency and respect.” – John Adams

3. “Human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net.” – John Adams

4. “The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.” – James Madison

5. “The representatives of the people, in a popular assembly, seem sometimes to fancy that they are the people themselves, and betray strong symptoms of impatience and disgust at the least sign of opposition from any other quarter; as if the exercise of its rights, by either the executive or judiciary, were a breach of their privilege and an outrage to their dignity.” – Alexander Hamilton

6. “In the main, it will be found that a power over a man’s support (salary) is a power over his will.” – Alexander Hamilton

7. “Because power corrupts, society’s demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.” – John Adams

8. “Citizens by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of ‘American’ which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.” – George Washington

Founding Fathers quotes about the constitution

9. “Our country may be likened to a new house. We lack many things, but we possess the most precious of all – liberty!” – James Monroe

10. “The emigrants although of different parties and different religious sects all flew from persecution in pursuit of liberty.” – James Monroe

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11. “Republics demanded virtue. Monarchies could rely on coercion and “dazzling splendor” to suppress self-interest or factions; republics relied on the goodness of the people to put aside private interest for public good. The imperatives of virtue attached all sorts of desiderata to the republican citizen: simplicity, frugality, sobriety, simple manners, Christian benevolence, duty to the polity. Republics called on other virtues–spiritedness, courage–to protect the polity from external threats. Tyrants kept standing armies; republics relied on free yeomen, defending their own land.” – James Monroe

12. “The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” – James Madison

13. “In Republics, the great danger is, that the majority may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority” – James Madison

14. “The proposed Constitution is, in strictness, neither a national nor a federal constitution; but a composition of both.” – James Madison

15. “The way to secure peace is to be prepared for war. They that are on their guard, and appear ready to receive their adversaries, are in much less danger of being attacked, than the supine, secure, and negligent.” – Benjamin Franklin

Famous Founding Fathers Quotes on Freedom and Liberty

16. “Of the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press; of the trial by jury of the vicinage in civil and criminal cases; of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms… If these rights are well defined and secured against encroachment, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny.” – James Monroe

17. “Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.” – John Adams

18. “Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be safer, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.” – Alexander Hamilton

19. There is a price tag on human liberty. That price is the willingness to assume the responsibilities of being free men. Payment of this price is a personal matter with each of us.” – James Monroe

20. “The liberty, prosperity, and the happiness of our country will always be the object of my most fervent prayers to the Supreme Author of All Good.” – James Monroe

21. “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” – Thomas Jefferson

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22. “Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.” – George Washington

23. “As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed.” – James Madison

24. It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising their sovereignty.” – James Monroe

Motivational Founding Fathers Quotes and Sayings

25. “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” – Alexander Hamilton

26. “Some, to make themselves considerable, pursue learning; others grasp at wealth; some aim at being thought witty, and others are only careful to make the most of a handsome person; but what is wit, or wealth, or form, or learning, when compared with virtue? It is true we love the handsome, we applaud the learned, and we fear the rich and powerful; but we even worship and adore the virtuous.” – Benjamin Franklin

27. “A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.” – Benjamin Franklin

28. “Each year one vicious habit rooted out, in time might make the worst man good throughout.” – Benjamin Franklin

29. “Having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information or fuller consideration to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise.” – Benjamin Franklin

30. “A fat kitchen makes a lean will.” – Benjamin Franklin

31. “Let frugality and industry be our virtues. Fire (our children) with ambition to be useful.” – John Adams

32. “If conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value.” – John Adams

33. “I read my eyes out and can’t read half enough neither. The more one reads the more one sees we have to read.” – John Adams

Founding Fathers Quotes About Truth

34. “It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.” – James Madison

35. “I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity, I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man.” – Alexander Hamilton

36. “Experience is the oracle of truth; and where its responses are unequivocal, they ought to be conclusive and sacred” – James Madison

37. “The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.” – James Madison

38. “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.” – Thomas Jefferson

39. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal. . . .” – Thomas Jefferson

40. “Truth will ultimately prevail where pains is taken to bring it to light.” – George Washington

41. “I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is the best policy.” – George Washington

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42. “Public business, my son, must always be done by somebody. It will be done by somebody or other. If wise men decline it, others will not; if honest men refuse it, others will not.” – John Adams

43. “Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. education & free discussion are the antidotes of both.” – Thomas Jefferson

Other Founding Fathers Quotes on Friendship

44. “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence — true friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.” – George Washington

45. “It is a common error in friends, when they would extol their friends, to make comparisons, and to depreciate the merits of others.” – Benjamin Franklin

46. “Friendship is one of the distinguishing glories of man. . . . From this I expect to receive the chief happiness of my future life.” – John Adams

47. “When one side only of a story is heard and often repeated, the human mind becomes impressed with it insensibly.” – George Washington

48. “Love is a mighty pretty thing; but like all other delicious things, it is cloying; and when the first transports of the passion begins to subside, which it assuredly will do, and yield, oftentimes too late, to more sober reflections, it serves to evince, that love is too dainty a food to live upon alone, and ought not to be considered farther than as a necessary ingredient for that matrimonial happiness which results from a combination of causes.” – George Washington

49. “To be good, and to do good, is all we have to do.” – John Adams

50. “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” – John Adams

What did you learn from these Founding Fathers Quotes?

The Founding Fathers quotes have formed and inspired a deep sense of love for country and fellowmen. As they fought to unite 13 disparate colonies and write the Declaration of Independence that led to a military victory, the United States of America has earned its name as a great country.

Their words are nothing but motivation to fight for freedom and equality and to not let other powers take control of what should be ours in the first place. If not for the Founding Fathers, America would not be the great country it is today and might have been still under the control of the British government.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these Founding Fathers quotes and sayings? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

Stephanie Kirby
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