Frasi di John Quincy Adams

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3  1

John Quincy Adams

Data di nascita: 11. Luglio 1767
Data di morte: 23. Febbraio 1848

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John Quincy Adams è stato un politico statunitense, sesto Presidente degli Stati Uniti d'America, e figlio di John Adams, secondo Presidente degli USA.

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Frasi John Quincy Adams

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„It is among the evils of slavery that it taints the very sources of moral principle. It establishes false estimates of virtue and vice: for what can be more false and heartless than this doctrine which makes the first and holiest rights of humanity to depend upon the color of the skin?“

— John Quincy Adams
Context: The discussion of this Missouri question has betrayed the secret of their souls. In the abstract they admit that slavery is an evil, they disclaim it, and cast it all upon the shoulder of…Great Britain. But when probed to the quick upon it, they show at the bottom of their souls pride and vainglory in their condition of masterdom. They look down upon the simplicity of a Yankee’s manners, because he has no habits of overbearing like theirs and cannot treat negroes like dogs. It is among the evils of slavery that it taints the very sources of moral principle. It establishes false estimates of virtue and vice: for what can be more false and heartless than this doctrine which makes the first and holiest rights of humanity to depend upon the color of the skin? From the private journal of Secretary of State Adams (1820)

„America, with the same voice which spoke herself into existence as a nation, proclaimed to mankind the inextinguishable rights of human nature, and the only lawful foundations of government.“

— John Quincy Adams
Context: And now, friends and countrymen, if the wise and learned philosophers of the elder world, the first observers of nutation and aberration, the discoverers of maddening ether and invisible planets, the inventors of Congreve rockets and shrapnel shells, should find their hearts disposed to enquire what has America done for the benefit of mankind? Let our answer be this: America, with the same voice which spoke herself into existence as a nation, proclaimed to mankind the inextinguishable rights of human nature, and the only lawful foundations of government.

„Among the sentiments of most powerful operation upon the human heart, and most highly honorable to the human character, are those of veneration for our forefathers, and of love for our posterity.“

— John Quincy Adams
Context: Among the sentiments of most powerful operation upon the human heart, and most highly honorable to the human character, are those of veneration for our forefathers, and of love for our posterity. They form the connecting links between the selfish and the social passions. By the fundamental principle of Christianity, the happiness of the individual is Later-woven, by innumerable and imperceptible ties, with that of his contemporaries: by the power of filial reverence and parental affection, individual existence is extended beyond the limits of individual life, and the happiness of every age is chained in mutual dependence upon that of every other.

„She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. The frontlet on her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished lustre the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world; she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit. . . . Her glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind.“

— John Quincy Adams
Context: America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart. She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama the European world, will be contests of inveterate power, and emerging right. Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. The frontlet on her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished lustre the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world; she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.... Her glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind. She has a spear and a shield: but the motto upon her shield is, Freedom, Independence, Peace. This has been her Declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice.

„Nor crown, nor scepter would I ask
But from my country's will,
By day, by night, to ply the task
Her cup of bliss to fill.“

— John Quincy Adams
Context: I want the seals of power and place, The ensigns of command, Charged by the people's unbought grace, To rule my native land. Nor crown, nor scepter would I ask But from my country's will, By day, by night, to ply the task Her cup of bliss to fill. The Wants of Man, stanza 22 (25 September 1841)

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„Pronounce him one of the first men of his age, and you have yet not done him justice.“

— John Quincy Adams
Context: Pronounce him one of the first men of his age, and you have yet not done him justice. Try him by that test to which he sought in vain to stimulate the vulgar and selfish spirit of Napoleon; class him among the men who, to compare and seat themselves, must take in the compass of all ages; turn back your eyes upon the records of time; summon from the creation of the world to this day the mighty dead of every age and every clime — and where, among the race of merely mortal men, shall one be found, who, as the benefactor of his kind, shall claim to take precedence of Lafayette?

„The conflict between the principle of liberty and the fact of slavery is coming gradually to an issue. Slavery has now the power, and falls into convulsions at the approach of freedom.“

— John Quincy Adams
Context: The conflict between the principle of liberty and the fact of slavery is coming gradually to an issue. Slavery has now the power, and falls into convulsions at the approach of freedom. That the fall of slavery is predetermined in the counsels of Omnipotence I cannot doubt; it is a part of the great moral improvement in the condition of man, attested by all the records of history. But the conflict will be terrible, and the progress of improvement perhaps retrograde before its final progress to consummation. Journal of John Quincy Adams (11 December 1838),

„Religious discord has lost her sting; the cumbrous weapons of theological warfare are antiquated: the field of politics supplies the alchymists of our times with materials of more fatal explosion, and the butchers of mankind no longer travel to another world for instruments of cruelty and destruction.“

— John Quincy Adams
Context: Religious discord has lost her sting; the cumbrous weapons of theological warfare are antiquated: the field of politics supplies the alchymists of our times with materials of more fatal explosion, and the butchers of mankind no longer travel to another world for instruments of cruelty and destruction. Our age is too enlightened to contend upon topics, which concern only the interests of eternity; and men who hold in proper contempt all controversies about trifles, except such as inflame their own passions, have made it a common-place censure against your ancestors, that their zeal was enkindled by subjects of trivial importance; and that however aggrieved by the intolerance of others, they were alike intolerant themselves. Against these objections, your candid judgment will not require an unqualified justification; but your respect and gratitude for the founders of the State may boldly claim an ample apology. The original grounds of their separation from the church of England, were not objects of a magnitude to dissolve the bonds of communion; much less those of charity, between Christian brethren of the same essential principles.

„Think of your forefathers and of your posterity.“

— John Quincy Adams
Context: The barbarian chieftain, who defended his country against the Roman invasion, driven to the remotest extremity of Britain, and stimulating his followers to battle, by all that has power of persuasion upon the human heart, concludes his exhortation by an appeal to these irresistible feelings — "Think of your forefathers and of your posterity." He here is translating a phrase of Calgacus in Vita Agricolae by Tacitus : Et majores et posteros cogitate.

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„The duties of man consist in alternate action and meditation, mutually aiding and relieving each other; and both, directed with undeviating aim, to the progressive improvement of himself and his fellow creatures.“

— John Quincy Adams
Context: The duties of man consist in alternate action and meditation, mutually aiding and relieving each other; and both, directed with undeviating aim, to the progressive improvement of himself and his fellow creatures. Heaven has given him in charge, to promote the happiness and well-being of himself, his wife, his children, his kindred, his neighbors, his fellow citizens, his country, and his kind; and the great problem of legislation is, so to organize the civil government of a community, that this gradation of duties, may be made to harmonize in all its parts — that in the operation of human institutions upon social action, self-love and social may be made the same. "Society and Civilization" in the American Review (July 1845)

„Roll, years of promise, rapidly roll round,
Till not a slave shall on this earth be found.“

— John Quincy Adams
Context: Who but shall learn that freedom is the prize Man still is bound to rescue or maintain; That nature's God commands the slave to rise, And on the oppressor's head to break the chain. Roll, years of promise, rapidly roll round, Till not a slave shall on this earth be found. Poem

„We know the redemption must come.“

— John Quincy Adams
Context: We know the redemption must come. The time and the manner of its coming we know not: It may come in peace, or it may come in blood; but whether in peace or in blood, LET IT COME. Remarks to "the colored people of Pittsburge, Pennsylvania" in 1843, as quoted in History of the Rebellion : Its Authors and Causes (1864) by Joshua Reed Giddings; Alabama Representative Dellet quoted the speech in the House of Representatives and added "though it cost the blood of thousands of white men?" Adams replied Though it cost the blood of millions of white men, let it come. Let justice be done, though the heavens fall.

„There is one principle which pervades all the institutions of this country, and which must always operate as an obstacle to the granting of favors to new comers. This is a land, not of privileges, but of equal rights.“

— John Quincy Adams
Context: There is one principle which pervades all the institutions of this country, and which must always operate as an obstacle to the granting of favors to new comers. This is a land, not of privileges, but of equal rights. Privileges are granted by European sovereigns to particular classes of individuals, for purposes of general policy; but the general impression here is that privileges granted to one denomination of people, can very seldom be discriminated from erosions of the rights of others. [Immigrants], coming here, are not to expect favors from the governments. They are to expect, if they choose to become citizens, equal rights with those of the natives of the country. They are to expect, if affluent, to possess the means of making their property productive, with moderation, and with safety;—if indigent, but industrious, honest and frugal, the means of obtaining easy and comfortable subsistence for themselves and their families. They come to a life of independence, but to a life of labor—and, if they cannot accommodate themselves to the character, moral, political, and physical, of this country, with all its compensating balances of good and evil, the Atlantic is always open to them, to return to the land of their nativity and their fathers. Letter written as Secretary of State under President James Monroe (1819), as quoted in "What John Quincy Adams Said About Immigration Will Blow Your Mind" by D.C. McAllister, in The Federalist (18 August 2014) http://thefederalist.com/2014/08/18/what-john-quincy-adams-said-about-immigration-will-blow-your-mind

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