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George Washington Quotes Celebrating America’s Ideals

This George Washington quotes collection will help you adopt some of his leadership characteristics into your own life.

George Washington led a remarkable life.

He was the first president of the United States, commander of the Continental Army, and president of the Constitutional Convention.

Born on February 22, 1732, in Westmoreland County, Virginia, Washington showed leadership signs from an early age.

Although he wasn’t perfect, just like all humans, there is much to admire about him and the way he led.

Washington put his faith and his beliefs into action and truly tried to live by his own words and principles at all times.

As someone who valued individual freedom, Washington treated everyone with the same respect regardless of rank.

George Washington died on December 14, 1799, in Mount Vernon, Virginia, leaving behind a legacy as one of America’s greatest leaders.

Washington was a remarkable man, great leader, and the father of our country.

He had high expectations of himself and his people.

In his honor, below is our collection of inspirational, wise, and powerful George Washington quotes, collected from a variety of sources over the years.

Don’t forget to also read these great John Locke quotes for more enlightenment.

If you enjoy this article, check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily motivation.

If you want more motivational quotes, check out our motivational quotes category page.

George Washington quotes celebrating America’s ideals

1. “Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.” – George Washington

George Washington quotes

2. “To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.” – George Washington

George Washington quotes

3. “I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” – George Washington

George Washington quotes

4. “Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.” – George Washington

George Washington quotes

5. “Let your discourse with men of business be short and comprehensive.” – George Washington

George washington quotes celebrating americas ideals

6. “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.” – George Washington

George Washington quotes

7. “Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.” – George Washington

George Washington quotes

8. “Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone, and let your hand give in proportion to your purse.” – George Washington

George Washington quotes

9. “We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.” – George Washington

George Washington quotes

10. “Nothing can be more hurtful to the service, than the neglect of discipline; for that discipline, more than numbers, gives one army the superiority over another.” – George Washington

George Washington quotes

George Washington quotes to celebrate his accomplishments

11. “Lenience will operate with greater force, in some instances than rigor. It is therefore my first wish to have all of my conduct distinguished by it.” – George Washington

George Washington quotes

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

George Washington quotes

13. “If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” – George Washington

George Washington quotes

14. “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”  – George Washington

George Washington quotes

15. “The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.”  – George Washington

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George Washington quotes

16. “There is nothing which can better deserve your patronage, than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.” – George Washington

George Washington quotes

17. “Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by individuals.”  – George Washington

George Washington quotes to celebrate his accomplishments

18. “It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.”  – George Washington

George Washington quotes

19. “I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman’s cares.”  – George Washington

George Washington quotes

20. “To form a new Government, requires infinite care, and unbounded attention; for if the foundation is badly laid the superstructure must be bad.”   – George Washington

George Washington quotes

Also check out these great Alexander Hamilton quotes from one of America’s brightest minds. 

George Washington quotes to inspire true servant-leadership

21. “But if we are to be told by a foreign power what we shall do, and what we shall not do, we have Independence yet to seek, and have contended hitherto for very little.”  – George Washington

George Washington quotes

22. “Government is not reason and it is not eloquence. It is force! Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”  – George Washington

George Washington quotes

23. “It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.”  – George Washington

George Washington quotes

24. “The Hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.”  – George Washington

George Washington quotes

25. “I do not mean to exclude altogether the idea of patriotism. I know it exists, and I know it has done much in the present contest. But I will venture to assert, that a great and lasting war can never be supported on this principle alone. It must be aided by a prospect of interest, or some reward.”  – George Washington

George Washington quotes

26. “The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens, and command the respect of the world.”  – George Washington

27. “The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”  – George Washington

28. “I hope, some day or another, we shall become a storehouse and granary for the world.”  – George Washington

George Washington quotes to inspire true servant-leadership

29. “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

30. “I anticipate with pleasing expectations that retreat in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.” – George Washington

George Washington quotes to celebrate his place in history

31. “I wish from my soul that the legislature of this State could see the policy of a gradual Abolition of Slavery.”  – George Washington

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32. “Few people have the virtue to withstand the highest bidder.” – George Washington

33. “The liberty enjoyed by the people of these states of worshiping Almighty God agreeably to their conscience, is not only among the choicest of their blessings, but also of their rights.” – George Washington

34. “We are either a United people, or we are not. If the former, let us, in all matters of general concern act as a nation, which have national objects to promote, and a national character to support. If we are not, let us no longer act a farce by pretending to it.” – George Washington

35. “Your love of liberty – your respect for the laws – your habits of industry – and your practice of the moral and religious obligations, are the strongest claims to national and individual happiness.” – George Washington

36. “Democratical States must always feel before they can see: it is this that makes their Governments slow, but the people will be right at last.” – George Washington

37. “Mankind, when left to themselves, are unfit for their own government.”  – George Washington

George Washington quotes to celebrate his place in history

38. “In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.” – George Washington

39. “No morn ever dawned more favorable than ours did; and no day was every more clouded than the present! Wisdom, and good examples are necessary at this time to rescue the political machine from the impending storm.” – George Washington

40. “A good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life. It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous.” – George Washington

George Washington quotes to inspire and teach

41. “Honesty will be found on every experiment, to be the best and only true policy. Let us then as a nation be just.” – George Washington

42. “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.” – George Washington

43. “Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country.”  – George Washington

44. “A man’s intentions should be allowed in some respects to plead for his actions.” – George Washington

45. “More permanent and genuine happiness is to be found in the sequestered walks of connubial life than in the giddy rounds of promiscuous pleasure.” – George Washington

46. “I shall make it the most agreeable part of my duty to study merit, and reward the brave and deserving.” – George Washington

George Washington quotes to inspire and teach

47. “Nothing is a greater stranger to my breast, or a sin that my soul more abhors, than that black and detestable one, ingratitude.”  – George Washington

48. “I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love.”  – George Washington

49. “I shall not be deprived of a comfort in the worst event, if I retain a consciousness of having acted to the best of my judgment.” – George Washington

50. “The consciousness of having discharged that duty which we owe to our country is superior to all other considerations.” – George Washington

More George Washington quotes and sayings

51. “A pack of jackasses led by a lion is superior to a pack of lions led by a jackass.” – George Washington

52. “Be Americans. Let there be no sectionalism, no North, South, East or West. You are all dependent on one another and should be one in union. In one word, be a nation. Be Americans, and be true to yourselves.” – George Washington

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53. “Do not let anyone claim tribute of American patriotism if they even attempt to remove religion from politics.” – George Washington

54. “99% of failures come from people who make excuses.” – George Washington

55. “The future of this nation depends on the Christian training of our youth.” – George Washington

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

57. “The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves.” – George Washington

58. “The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon.” – George Washington

59. “The finite mind of man can never grasp the mysteries of the infinite. It is the highest wisdom, as it is our great happiness, to accept our limitations, to use what we have, and leave the rest to God.” – George Washington

60. “The power under the Constitution will always be in the people.” – George Washington

Thought-provoking George Washington quotes

61. “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

62. “The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure.” – George Washington

63. “Three things prompt men to a regular discharge of their duty in time of action: natural bravery, hope of reward, and fear of punishment.” – George Washington

64. “If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready…” – George Washington

65. “Some day, following the example of the United States of America, there will be a United States of Europe.” – George Washington

66. “The value of liberty was thus enhanced in our estimation by the difficulty of its attainment, and the worth of characters appreciated by the trial of adversity.” – George Washington

67. “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.” – George Washington

68. “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” – George Washington

69. “Make sure you are doing what God wants you to do–then do it with all your strength.” – George Washington

70. “Adhere to your purpose and you will soon feel as well as you ever did. On the contrary, if you falter, and give up, you will lose the power of keeping any resolution, and will regret it all your life. – George Washington

You might also like these Dwight D. Eisenhower quotes on life, politics and progress.

Which of these George Washington quotes was your favorite?

George Washington will always be remembered for his manifold leadership.

The Father of Our Country exemplified character and leadership.

There are timeless lessons to be learned from Washington’s life that can apply to all of us today.

Hopefully, his words of wisdom have inspired you to be your best.

Did you enjoy these George Washington quotes?

Which of the quotes was your favorite?

Let us know in the comment section below.

Norbert Juma, Lead Editor
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  1. Larry Marsh

    November 13, 2021 at 12:26 PM

    I am just learning of your site and happily amazed at what I’ve found and enjoyed. I’ll spend much time here. One that particularly impacted me from George Washington would really be helpful nowadays:

    “Be Americans. Let there be no sectionalism, no North, South, East or West. You are all dependent on one another and should be one in union. In one word, be a nation. Be Americans, and be true to yourselves.” – George Washington

  2. pamela

    January 25, 2021 at 3:58 PM

    If I could go back in time, George Washington has always been someone I would love to meet. Thank you for sharing these quotes. He truly was a remarkable human being…a man of faith, integrity, courage, perseverance and an altruistic patriotic. He was passionately committed to this nation, his beloved country.

  3. William J. Bahr

    December 19, 2020 at 11:43 AM

    Thanks, this GW quote collection is fantastic!! Am sharing your link with many friends.

    I also like these Washington quotes:
    “No punishment, in my opinion, is too great for the man who can build his greatness upon his country’s ruin.” — George Washington
    “Arbitrary power [tyranny, dictatorship] is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness [lawlessness, irresponsibility, anarchy].” — GW

    Bill Bahr, author “George Washington’s Liberty Key”

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