Top 50+Thomas Jefferson Quotes

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thomas jefferson quotes

Who is Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was born at Shadwell in Albemarle county, Virginia on April 13, 1743. He was tutored by the Reverend James Maury, a learned man, in the finest classical tradition. He began the study of Latin, Greek, and French at the age of 9. He attended William and Mary College in Williamsburg at sixteen years old, then continued his education in the Law under George Wythe, the first professor of law in America (who later would sign Jefferson’s Declaration in 1776). Thomas Jefferson attended the House of Burgesses as a student in 1765 when he witnessed Patrick Henry’s defiant stand against the Stamp Act. He gained the Virginia bar and began practice in 1769, and was elected to the House of Burgesses in 1769. It was there that his involvement in revolutionary politics began. He was never a very vocal member, but his writing, his quiet work in committee, and his ability to distill large volumes of information to essence, made him an invaluable member in any deliberative body.

Thomas Jefferson quotes

1. 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

2. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants

3. I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever

4. 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

5. 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

6. When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred

7. I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past

8. The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government

9. The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers

10. Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances

11. In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock

12. Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom

13. Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you

14. I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend

15. Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty

16. 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

17. If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be

18. All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression

19. When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe

20. I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man

21. Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual

22. 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

23. 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

24. Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed

25. A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned

26. How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened

27. Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far

28. A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference

29. Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct

30. 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

31. 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

32. Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty

33. 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

34. 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

35. It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness

36. He who knows best knows how little he knows

37. I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it

38. The earth belongs to the living, not to the dead

39. 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

40. Never spend your money before you have earned it

41. I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it

42. It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong

43. Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching

44. One man with courage is a majority.

45. The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time

46. The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground

47. Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition

48. The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave

49. Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it.

50. The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money

51. Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it

52. Don’t talk about what you have done or what you are going to do

53. There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me

54. Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day

55. He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors

56. 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

57. Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains

58. I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master

59. To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical

60. Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none

 

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