Here are Founding Fathers’ quotes that helped shape 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.
Tell us which Founding Fathers’ quotes you liked the most in the comment section below.
What are the benefits of reading these Founding Fathers’ quotes?
Their words and thoughts, as stated in hundreds of Founding Fathers’ quotes, are highly regarded to this day.
The Founding Fathers of America comprise 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.
These quotes will help you:
- better understand what the beginning hope for the United States
- find some motivation for everyday life
- learn more about politics and governance
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 check out these George Washington quotes celebrating America’s ideals.
Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.
Our inspirational quotes category page has all of our motivational quotes for all the different areas of life.
Motivational Founding Fathers’ Quotes and Sayings
1. “I never expect a perfect work from an imperfect man.” – Alexander Hamilton
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2. “Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” – Benjamin Franklin
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3. “A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.” – Benjamin Franklin
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4. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal…” – Thomas Jefferson
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5. “Truth will ultimately prevail where pains is taken to bring it to light.” – George Washington
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6. “A fat kitchen makes a lean will.” – Benjamin Franklin
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7. “Let frugality and industry be our virtues. Fire (our children) with ambition to be useful.” – John Adams
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8. “If conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value.” – John Adams
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9. “My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.” – George Washington
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10. “Those who stand for nothing fall for everything.” – Alexander Hamilton
Quotes from our Founding Fathers about Politics and Governance
11. “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
12. “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
13. “Human passions unbridled by morality and religion… would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net.” – John Adams
14. “The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.” – James Madison
15. “We must go home to be happy, and our home is not in this world. Here we have nothing to do but our duty.” – John Jay
16. “In the main, it will be found that a power over a man’s support (salary) is a power over his will.” – Alexander Hamilton
17. “Because power corrupts, society’s demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.” – John Adams
18. “The wise and the good never form the majority of any large society and it seldom happens that their measures are uniformly adopted…” – John Jay
Founding Fathers’ quotes about the constitution
19. “Our country may be likened to a new house. We lack many things, but we possess the most precious of all – liberty!” – James Monroe
20. “The emigrants although of different parties and different religious sects all flew from persecution in pursuit of liberty.” – James Monroe
21. “The best form of government is that which is most likely to prevent the greatest sum of evil.” – James Monroe
22. “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
23. “In Republics, the great danger is, that the majority may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority.” – James Madison
24. “The proposed Constitution is, in strictness, neither a national nor a federal constitution; but a composition of both.” – James Madison
25. “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
26. “As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights.”― James Madison
27. “Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.” – John Adams
28. “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
29. “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
30. “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” – Thomas Jefferson
31. “Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.” – George Washington
32. “As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed.” – James Madison
33. “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
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. “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance.”― James Madison
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. “Each year one vicious habit rooted out, in time might make the worst man good throughout.” – Benjamin Franklin
40. “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
41. “I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is the best policy.” – George Washington
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. “Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as by the abuses of power.”― James Madison
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
Thought-provoking founding fathers quotes
51. “Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives. We ought to do all we can.” – John Adams
52. “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
53. “I think the first duty of society is justice.” – Alexander Hamilton
54. “Well done is better than well said.” – Benjamin Franklin
55. “A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people.” – James Madison
56. “No power on earth has a right to take our property from us without our consent.” ― John Jay
57. “Those who own the country ought to govern it.” – John Jay
58. “Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.” ― Thomas Jefferson
59. “In politics the middle way is none at all.” – John Adams
60. “No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” – James Madison
Other Founding Fathers’ quotes
61. “It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company.” – George Washington
62. “Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.” John Adams
63. “A promise must never be broken.” – Alexander Hamilton
64. “Among the many objects to which a wise and free people find it necessary to direct their attention, that of providing for their safety seems to be the first.” – John Jay
65. “It is the knowledge that all men have weaknesses and that many have vices that makes government necessary.” – James Monroe
66. “Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.” – John Adams
67. “The rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted.” – James Madison
68. “A pure democracy is a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person.” – James Madison
69. “The furnace of affliction produces refinement, in states as well as individuals.” – John Adams
70. “A government of laws, and not of men.” – John Adams
Inspiring Founding Fathers’ quotes
71. “Observe good faith and justice toward all nations.” – George Washington
72. “The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded.” – James Madison
73. “Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country.” – George Washington
74. “Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.” – John Adams
75. “Honesty is the best policy.” – Benjamin Franklin
76. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
77. “I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.” – Benjamin Franklin
78. “The equal rights of man, and the happiness of every individual, are now acknowledged to be the only legitimate objects of government.” – Thomas Jefferson
79. “The only thing that is more expensive than education is ignorance.” – Benjamin Franklin
80. “If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” ― James Madison
More Founding Fathers’ Quotes And Sayings
81. “Our unalterable resolution should be to be free.” — Sam Adams
82. “Wear none of thine own chains; but keep free, whilst thou art free.” — William Penn
83. “You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve YOUR freedom. I hope you will make a good use of it.” — John Adams
84. “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive.” — Thomas Jefferson
85. “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” — Thomas Jefferson
86. “Freedom and not servitude is the cure of anarchy; as religion, and not atheism, is the true remedy for superstition.” — Edmund Burke
87. “Those that can give up essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” — Benjamin Franklin
88. “Law is whatever is boldly asserted and plausibly maintained.” — Aaron Burr
89. “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” — Benjamin Franklin
90. “Any government is free to the people under it where the laws rule and the people are a party to the laws.” — William Penn
Founding Fathers’ Quotes That Embrace Patriotism
91. “Without the pen of Paine, the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain.” ― John Adams
92. “The U.S. didn’t achieve its liberty or prosperity by mistake. It was by design, and the architects were the Founding Fathers. Don’t mess with the Constitution. The Constitution matters.” ― A.E. Samaan
93. “…Defeat appears to me preferable to total Inaction.” ― John Adams
94. “The straight and narrow, so beloved of our founding fathers and all fathers thereafter, is now obviously and irrevocably bent. What is God trying to tell us…?” ― Larry Kramer
95. “Equal laws protecting equal rights—the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country.” — James Madison
96. “However weak our country may be, I hope we shall never sacrifice our liberties.” — Alexander Hamilton
97. “There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.” — Alexander Hamilton
98. “The truth is, all might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they ought.” — Samuel Adams
99. “Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.” — George Washington
100. “A spirit of liberty and patriotism animates all degrees and denominations of men.” — James Madison
Founding Fathers’ Quotes About Peace
101. “In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” — Thomas Jefferson
102. “There never was a good war or a bad peace.” — Benjamin Franklin
103. “Our plan is peace forever.” — Thomas Paine
104. “Peace is the best time for improvement and preparation of every kind; it is in peace that our commerce flourishes most, that taxes are most easily paid, and that the revenue is most productive.” — James Monroe
105. “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, so that my child may have peace.” — Thomas Paine
106. “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” — Patrick Henry
107. “There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet an enemy.” — George Washington
108. “To preserve peace will no doubt be difficult, but by accomplishing it we can show our wisdom and magnanimity, and secure to our people the enjoyment of a dignified repose by indulging in which they will be prosperous and happy.” — James Monroe
109. “As to myself, I love peace, and I am anxious that we should give the world still another useful lesson, by showing to them other modes of punishing injuries than by war, which is as much a punishment to the punisher as to the sufferer.” — Thomas Jefferson
110. “It is not by the consolidation or concentration of powers, but by their distribution that good government is affected.” — Thomas Jefferson
Founding Fathers’ quotes on religion
111. “While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion.” – George Washington
112. “The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth.” – John Quincy Adams
113. “Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited!” – John Adams
114. “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.” – Alexander Hamilton
115. “God who gave us life gave us liberty.” – Thomas Jefferson
116. “By conveying the Bible to people thus circumstanced, we certainly do them a most interesting kindness.” – John Jay
117. “Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That He ought to be worshipped.” – Benjamin Franklin
118. “Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company: I mean hell.” – John Adams
119. “A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest while we are building ideal monuments of Renown and Bliss here we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven.” – James Madison
120. “I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others.” – Thomas Jefferson
Founding Fathers Quotes About Religion
121. “Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a Censor – over each other.” ― Thomas Jefferson
122. “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect.” ― James Madison
123. “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty.” ― Thomas Jefferson
124. “It is our boast, that a man’s religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws.” ― George Washington
125. “Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.” ― Benjamin Franklin
126. “Let us with Caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.” ― George Washington
127. “The way to see by Faith is to shut the Eye of Reason.” ― Benjamin Franklin
128. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” ― James Madison
129. “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.” ― John Adams
130. “I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendency of one sect over another.” ― Thomas Jefferson
Founding Fathers Quotes About the Church
131. “The number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state.” — James Madison
132. “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men.” — Benjamin Franklin
133. “I looked around for God’s judgments, but saw no signs of them.” — Benjamin Franklin
134. “Creeds have been the bane of the Christian church … made of Christendom a slaughter-house.” — Thomas Jefferson
135. “Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.” — Thomas Paine
136. “I have sworn upon the altar of god.” — Thomas Jefferson
137. “The rights essential to happiness. . . . We claim them from a higher source – from the King of kings and Lord of all the earth.” — John Dickinson
138. “Ecclesiastical establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption.” — James Madison
139. “The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?” — John Adams
140. “Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die.” — George Washington
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 earned its name as a great country.
Their words are motivation to fight for freedom and equality and not let other powers take control of what should be ours.
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.