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American History Quotes

American History Quotes

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American History Quotes

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  1. American History Quotes [Image source:

  2. “Authority without wisdom is like a heavy ax without an edge, fitter to bruise than polish.” - Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672)

  3. “Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as liberty without freedom of speech.” - Benjamin Franklin, Dogood Papers (1722)

  4. “If Patrick Henry thought that taxation without representation was bad, he should see how bad it is with representation.” - The Farmer’s Almanac

  5. “Associate yourself with men of quality if you esteem your reputation, for ‘tis better to be alone than to be in bad company.” - George Washington

  6. “Reason and experience forbid us to expect public morality in the absence of religious principle.” - George Washington

  7. “Honesty is always the best policy” - George Washington

  8. "Without a moral compass, historians risk becoming lost in an intellectual desert, beguiled by the mirage of 'objectivity' that recedes as one treks through 'facts' that pile up like grains of sand." - Peter Irons, A People's History of the Supreme Court, p. 184

  9. “Failure is the path of least persistence.”

  10. “The country shall be independent, and we will be satisfied with nothing short of it.” - Samuel Adams, speech March 1774

  11. “Give me liberty or give me death!” - Patrick Henry, Virginia Convention 23rd March 1775

  12. “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!” - William Prescott, Battle of Bunker Hill 17th June 1775

  13. “No person among us desires any other reward for performing a brave and worthwhile action, but the consciousness of having saved his nation.” - Joseph Brant, to King George III in 1776

  14. “The period of debate is closed. Arms, as a last resource, must decide the contest.” - Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

  15. “Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance or the most abject submission.” - George Washington, 2nd July 1776

  16. “The time is now near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves.” - George Washington, Orders to Troops 2nd July 1776

  17. “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” - Nathan Hale, New York City 22nd September 1776

  18. “These are the times that try men’s souls.” - Thomas Paine. 23rd December 1776

  19. “I have not yet begun to fight.” - John Paul Jones, 23rd September 1779

  20. “The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.” Thomas Jefferson, Summary View of the Rights of British America

  21. “What country before ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? . . . The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.” Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Stevens Smith, 13th November 1787

  22. “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government.” - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison December 1787

  23. “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy.” • Alexander Tyler, 1787

  24. “Our new constitution is now established, and has the appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” - Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy 13th November 1789

  25. “The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.” - George Washington, Farewell Address 17th September 1789

  26. “To the memory of the Man, first in war, first in peace, and first in the heart of his countrymen.” Henry Lee, Eulogy on Washington

  27. “Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.’ Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, 4th March 1801

  28. “When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.” Thomas Jefferson, Rayner’s Life of Jefferson

  29. “Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.” Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia. Querry XVIII, Manners.

  30. “These lands are ours. No one has a right to remove us because we were the first owners.” - Tecumseh, to President Monroe in 1810

  31. “Protection and patriotism are reciprocal.” John C. Calhoun, Speech, U.S. House of Representatives, 12th December 1811

  32. “If you wish to avoid foreign collisions, you had better abandon the ocean.” Henry Clay, Speech on the Increase of the Navy, U.S. House of Representatives, 22nd January 1812

  33. “Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong.” Stephen Decatur, Toast given at Norfolk, [April 1816]

  34. “National honor is national property of the highest value.” James Monroe, First Inaugural Address, 4th March 1817

  35. “A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable.” - Thomas Jefferson, letter dated 8th September 1817

  36. “Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.” Daniel Webster, Speech at Plymouth, Massachusetts, 22nd December 1820

  37. “The American continents . . . Are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.” James Monroe, Annual Message to Congress, December 1823

  38. “Mind is the great lever of all things; human thought is the process by which human ends are ultimately answered.” Daniel Webster, Address on Laying the Cornerstone of the Bunker Hill Monument, 17th June 1825

  39. “Knowledge, in truth, is the great sun in the firmament. Life and power are scattered with all its beams.” Daniel Webster, Address on Laying the Cornerstone of the Bunker Hill Monument, 17th June 1825

  40. “Let our object be our country, our whole country, and nothing but our country.” Daniel Webster, Address on Laying the Cornerstone of the Bunker Hill Monument, 17th June 1825

  41. “It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment, - Independence now and Independence forever.” Daniel Webster, Eulogy on Adams and Jefferson, Faneuil Hall, Boston 2nd August 1826

  42. “Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people.” Henry Clay, Speech at Ashland, Kentucky, March 1829

  43. “With a step, the white man bestrode the mountains, and his feet covered the plains and the valleys.” - Speckled Snake, in a speech in 1829

  44. “History fades into fable.” - Washington Irving, The Sketch Book

  45. “The people’s government, made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people.” Daniel Webster, Second Speech on Foote’s Resolution, 26th January 1830

  46. “When my eyes shall be turned to behold for the last time the sun in heaven, may I not see it shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of a once and glorious Union; on States dissevered, discordant, belligerent; on a land rent with civil feuds, or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood.” Daniel Webster, Second Speech on Foote’s Resolution, 26th January 1830

  47. “It is, sir, the people’s Constitution.” - Daniel Webster, speech to the U. S. Senate 26th January 1830

  48. “Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable.” Daniel Webster, Second Speech on Foote’s Resolution, 26th January 1830

  49. “Our Federal Union: it must be preserved.” Andrew Jackson, Toast given on the Jefferson Birthday Celebration, 1830

  50. “He smote the rock of the national resources, and abundant streams of revenue gushed forth. He touched the dead corpse of Public Credit, and it sprung upon its feet.” Daniel Webster, Speech on Hamilton, 10th March 1831