Samuel Adams Quotes


© History Oasis

Samuel Adams was an influential political philosopher and leading voice of the American Revolution.

As one of the Founding Fathers, he advocated strongly for independence from Britain and helped establish the early United States government.

Adams is remembered for his extensive writings on rights, liberty, government, and society.

Samuel Adams quotes compiled here provide insight into his views on these seminal topics.

Adams championed freedom from tyranny and saw religious virtue and an informed citizenry as key to preserving democracy. He was wary of consolidated power and corrupt government.

More than two centuries later, many of Adams' passionate statements remain relevant for their timeless defense of liberty and their pragmatic analysis of governance.

The following quotes capture the essence of this Founding Father's enduring wisdom.


Samuel Adams Quote on not complying with tyrants
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"If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

"Do not comply with the demands of a tyrant."  

"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution, are worth defending against all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks."

"The only way to preserve liberty is to make it so dear that any who would take it away must pay for it with their lives."

"The chains of slavery would not bind so heavily if the links were not forged by the hands of our own countrymen."

"Liberty is a fragile thing, and must be constantly defended."

"The price of liberty is eternal vigilance."

"We must never take our freedom for granted."


Samuel Adams quote on personal comfort
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"The policy of American government is to leave its citizens free, neither restraining them nor aiding them in their pursuits."

"Those people who will not be ruled by God will be ruled by tyrants."  

"America doesn't need secular conservatives, it needs Biblical conservatives."

"I am for peace! But not at the expense of the next generation."

"Every time a nation attempts to build a government with any other foundation than the Bible—it will end in destruction and oppression of their people."

"Don't tolerate evil in your life, family or nation."

"Personal comfort is a poor exchange for nation freedom."

"Silence doesn't absolve you from guilt. If God opens your eyes to injustice and you ignore it—that blood is on your hands."

"It is not only the right of the people, but their duty, to resist tyranny."

"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them."

"The people have a right to know everything their government is doing."  

"A standing army is a standing menace to liberty."


Samuel Adams quote on the right to bear arms
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"The Constitution shall never be construed... to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."

"The only way to secure our rights is to keep and bear arms."

"The preservation of liberty depends on the virtuous education of youth."

"Religion and morality are the only solid foundations of a republic."

‍"Government is a sacred trust, delegated to the common people."

"The people have a right to change their government, and to form a new one, whenever the existing government becomes destructive of these ends."

"Let the people look to their rights: when government does not maintain the rights of the people, it is their right to change it."

"The people are the only source of legitimate power."

"The people have a right to know how their money is being spent."

"No government can be truly free unless it is based on the consent of the governed."

"The people have a right to revolt against a tyrannical government."

"The only way to keep government in check is to have an informed and engaged citizenry."


Samuel Adams quote on improving yourself
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"I do not regret the part I have taken in a cause so just and interesting to mankind."  

"We cannot make events. Our business is wisely to improve them."

"Numerous have been the manifestations of God's providence in sustaining us. In the gloomy period of adversity, we have had 'our cloud by day and pillar of fire by night."

"'But,' say the puling, pusillanimous cowards, 'we shall be subject to a long and bloody war if we declare independence. ' On the contrary, I affirm it the only step that can bring the contest to a speedy and happy issue."


Samuel Adams quote on government is evil
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"A government of laws, and not of men."

"A government without laws is a beast without a cage."

"No man is good enough to be entrusted with unlimited power."  

"Government is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. That end is the happiness of the people."

"The best government is that which governs least."

"Government is a necessary evil, but an evil nonetheless."

"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."

"A fool and his money are soon parted."

"Money is the root of all evil."

"Money talks, but it doesn't always sing."

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."