Throughout his legal and political career, famous quotes by John Adams became well-known and have been recorded for posterity as the wisdom of one of the leading Founding Fathers. Adams had a strong wit and was never shy of sharing harsh opinions; famous quotes from John Adams often went against the grain of contemporary thought as he was quite the independent thinker. Included in John Adams quotes on independence were his fears that "democracy never lasts long" and ends in bloody suicide. He was right to be wary of politicians as he knew that "power corrupts" and therefore society must demand "moral authority and character" from its highest positions. Before serving as the first Vice President and second President of the United States, Adams had been a lawyer and a diplomat in Europe during the Revolutionary War. After his experience abroad and deep study of political science, there was born a John Adams quote, "Fear is the foundation of most governments." His cynical nature rings through many of John Adams' famous quotes.
One of John Adams' most famous quotes came during the trial after the Boston Massacre when he was defending the British soldiers involved; despite his own political views, he said, "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they can not alter the state of facts and evidence." He was successful in the defense of these British soldiers despite his own views on colonial independence. Famous quotes from John Adams also emerge from his time as Vice President when he declared it the "most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived." As President, Adams was successful in avoiding a deepening conflict with France called the Quasi-War or XYZ War; after peace was secured, there was another of the famous quotes by John Adams when he said, "Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war." His domestic policy was also strengthened by John Adams' quotes on education; in a letter he wrote to a friend, one of the quotes of John Adams centered on his desire to see a public school in every square mile of the nation. But it was not only politics that bore out John Adams' quotes.
On social issues, Adams was just as prevalent to speak out. John Adams' religion quotes include condemnations of Roman Catholicism but also defense of Christianity against the attacks of the atheist Founding Father, Thomas Paine. John Adams religious quotes are mostly in favor of having a moral and religious interpretation of the law in contrast to the assertion by Jefferson that the Church and State must remain separated. John Adams Christian quotes also focus on the divinity of Jesus Christ through the prism of his Unitarian faith which were in contrast to the Trinity concept of other denominations. There were also many quotes from his son, the sixth President of the United States, John Quincy Adams. John Q Adams quotes almost entirely focus on politics and the honesty of leaders.