Quotes about Thomas Jefferson
45 Sourced Quotes
Since every man desires happiness, it is evidently no small matter whether he conceives of happiness in terms of work or of enjoyment. If he work in the full ethical sense that I have attempted to define, he is pulling back and disciplining his temperamental self with reference to some standard. In short, his temperamental self is, in an almost literal sense, undergoing conversion. The whole of life may, indeed, be summed up in the words diversion and conversion. Along which of these two main paths are most of us seeking the happiness to the pursuit of which we are dedicated by our Declaration of Independence? The author of this phrase, Thomas Jefferson, remarks of himself: "I am an Epicurean."
People have always said - those words, 'too conservative,' is fairly relative. I'm sure that they probably said that about Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. And truly, when you look at the Constitution and our founding fathers and their writings, the things that made this country great, you might draw those conclusions: That they were conservative. They were fiscally conservative and socially conservative.
During my testimony (to the House Science and Technology Committee) in May I said, Some question why Americans should return to the Moon. After all, they say we have already been there. I find that mystifying. It would be as if 16th century monarchs proclaimed that we need not go to the New World, we have already been there. Or as if President Thomas Jefferson announced in 1803 that Americans need not go west of the Mississippi, the Lewis and Clark Expedition has already been there. Americans have visited and examined 6 locations on Luna, varying in size from a suburban lot to a small township. That leaves more than 14 million square miles yet to explore.
The theory of independence is as old as man himself, and it was not invented in this hall. But it was in this hall that the theory became a practice; that the word went out to all, in Thomas Jefferson's phrase, that "the God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time." And today this Nation—conceived in revolution, nurtured in liberty, maturing in independence—has no intention of abdicating its leadership in that worldwide movement for independence to any nation or society committed to systematic human oppression.
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were political enemies, but they became fast friends. And when they passed away on the same day, the last words of one of them was, The country is safe. Jefferson still lives. And the last words of the other was, John Adams will see that things go forward.
Thomas Jefferson went through the New Testament and removed all the miracles, leaving only the teachings. Take a source, extract what appeals to you, discard the rest. Such an act of editorship is bound to reflect something of the individual doing the editing: a plaster cast of an aesthetic-not the actual thing, but the imprint of it.
This Congress did more to uplift education, more to attack disease in this country and around the world, and more to conquer poverty than any other session in all American history, and what more worthy achievements could any person want to have? For it was the Congress that was more true than any other Congress to Thomas Jefferson's belief that: 'The care of human life and happiness is the first and only legitimate objective of good Government.'
I believed passionately that Communists were a race of horned men who divided their time equally between the burning of Nancy Drew books and the devising of a plan of nuclear attack that would land the largest and most lethal bomb squarely upon the third-grade class of Thomas Jefferson School in Morristown, New Jersey.
I want to say to you is that James Madison and Thomas Jefferson did not intend to drive a stake in the heart of religion and to drive it out of our public life. What they intended to do was to set up a system so that we could bring religion into our public life and into our private life without any of us telling the other what to do.
Next to him will come Thomas Jefferson, whose wisdom insured that the Government which Washington had formed should be entrusted to the administration of the people. He emphasized the element of self-government which had been enshrined in American institutions in such a way as to demonstrate that it was practical and would be permanent. In him was likewise embodied the spirit of expansion. Recognizing the destiny of this Country, he added to its territory. By removing the possibility of any powerful opposition from a neighboring state, he gave new guaranties to the rule of the people.
So Thomas Jefferson said "Every generation needs a new revolution". Now our grandparents had World War II, fought the Nazis. Our parents had the Civil Rights Revolution. Our generation has.... Shamwow and Prozac. That's it, man. We just went through the worst decade since disco and how did we deal with it? We bitched on the Internet, got medical marijuana cards, and played Grand Theft Auto.
The essence of our American tradition of State and local governments is the belief expressed by Thomas Jefferson that Government is best which is closest to the people. Yet that belief is betrayed by those State and local officials who engage in denying the right of citizens to vote. Their actions serve only to assure that their State governments and local governments shall be remote from the people, least representative of the people's will and least responsive to the people's wishes.
If Thomas Jefferson is the liberals' (and libertarians') Founding Father, and George Washington is the conservatives', and Tom Paine is the radicals', then Benjamin Franklin is the radical middle's. He was extremely practical.... At the same time, he was extraordinarily creative.... He was a man of principle.... Yet synthesis and healing were an art with him. He became our most ardent champion of religious tolerance. And better than anyone at the Constitutional Convention, he was able to get the warring factions and wounded egos to transcend their differences and come up with a Constitution for the ages.
There is an imperialism that deserves all honor and respect — an imperialism of service in the discharge of great duties. But with too many it is the sense of domination and aggrandisement, the glorification of power. The price of peace is eternal vigilance. These have often been attributed to Thomas Jefferson, but also to Thomas Paine, Abraham Lincoln, and many others; Lord Denning in The Road to Justice (1988) states that the phrase originated in a statement of Irish orator John Philpot Curran in 1790: "It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance."
First, is the danger of futility: the belief there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world's ills — against misery, against ignorance, or injustice and violence. Yet many of the world's great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man. A young monk began the Protestant Reformation, a young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the earth, and a young woman reclaimed the territory of France. It was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World, and 32-year-old Thomas Jefferson who proclaimed that all men are created equal. "Give me a place to stand," said Archimedes, "and I will move the world." These men moved the world, and so can we all.