Thomas Jefferson quotes about Tyranny, Freedom and Peace

Thomas Jefferson quotes are still relevant and insightful today. Jefferson was a champion of freedom and democracy, and his legacy continues to inspire us today.

best Thomas Jefferson Quotes

Thomas Jefferson was one of the most influential and important figures in American history. He was a founding father, a revolutionary, and the third president of the United States. Jefferson’s life was filled with adventure and accomplishment, and his legacy is still felt today.

Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, in Shadwell, Virginia. His father was a plantation owner and a surveyor. Jefferson was educated at the College of William and Mary. He then studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1767. Jefferson became a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1769. 

He was a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1775 to 1776. Jefferson was a member of the Virginia Convention that ratified the United States Constitution in 1788. He was elected Vice President of the United States in 1792 and became President in 1801. Jefferson was reelected in 1804. He died on July 4, 1826.

Despite these contradictions, Jefferson’s legacy is largely positive. He was a great thinker and philosopher, and he was instrumental in the early development of the United States. He was a champion of democracy and liberty, and his ideas continue to inspire people all over the world.

Here are some of my favorite Thomas Jefferson quotes.

55 Thomas Jefferson quotes

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

2. “Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.”

3. “I cannot live without books.”

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

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

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

7. “Be polite to all, but intimate with few.”

8. “Good wine is a necessity of life for me. ”

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

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

11. “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”

12. “Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time, who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done, if we are always doing.”

13. “Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong.”

14. “The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.”

15. “Without books, I would certainly die.”

16. “A great deal of love given to a few is better than a little to many.”

17. “The only security of all is in a free press.”

18. “It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.”

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

20. “But friendship is precious, not only in the shade but in the sunshine of life; & thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part of life is sunshine. I will recur for proof to the days we have lately passed. On these indeed the sun shone brightly.”

Thomas Jefferson Quotes on Government

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

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

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

24. “The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest.”

25. “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

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

27. “No government ought to be without censors; and where the press is free no one ever will.”

28. “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

29. “The executive power in our government is not the only, perhaps not even the principal, object of my solicitude. The tyranny of the legislature is really the danger most to be feared, and will continue to be so for many years to come. The tyranny of the executive power will come in its turn, but at a more distant period.”

30. “The government you elect is the government you deserve.”

31. “Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.”

32. “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”

33. “The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.”

34. “It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”

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

Thought- Provoking Thomas Jefferson quotes

36. “I am increasingly persuaded that the earth belongs exclusively to the living and that one generation has no more right to bind another to it’s laws and judgments than one independent nation has the right to command another.”

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

38. “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”

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

40. “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”

41. “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.”

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

43. “No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, no culture comparable to that of the garden…But though an old man, I am but a young gardener.”

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

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

46. “I am satisfied, and sufficiently occupied with the things which are, without tormenting or troubling myself about those which may indeed be, but of which I have no evidence.”

47. “And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”

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

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

50. “Do not be too severe upon the errors of the people, but reclaim them by enlightening them.”

51. “He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.”

52. “I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”

53. “No man will ever bring out of that office the reputation which carries him into it. The honeymoon would be as short in that case as in any other, and its moments of ecstasy would be ransomed by years of torment and hatred.”

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

55. “Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everyone is standing around reloading”

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