Thomas Jefferson Quotes

I cannot live without books.

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

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

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

Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.

I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.

How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.

The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.

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

Every day is lost in which we do not learn something useful. Man has no nobler or more valuable possession than time.

Be polite to all, but intimate with few.

I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led.

If you want something you’ve never had You must be willing to do something you’ve never done.

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

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

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

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

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

When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.

I think one travels more usefully when they travel alone because they reflect more.

He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it the second time.

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty.

I have no ambition to govern men; it is a painful and thankless office.

The equal rights of man, and the happiness of every individual, are now acknowledged to be the only legitimate objects of government.

The only security of all is in a free press.

There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people.

It is error alone that needs the support of the government. Truth can stand by itself.

The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest.

An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.

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

Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto.

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

Those who expect to be both ignorant and free, expect what never was and never will be.

History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.

No people can be both ignorant and free.

Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry…

Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold.

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

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

We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.

An enemy generally says and believes what he wishes.

I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.

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

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

It is reasonable that everyone who asks justice should do justice.

On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.

The dead should not rule the living.

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.

I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendency of one sect over another.

Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.

He who knows best knows how little he knows.

Good wine is a necessity of life for me.

We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed.

The greatest service which can be rendered to any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.

A great deal of love given to a few is better than a little too many.

I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.

The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.

Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.

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