70 Famous Thomas Jefferson Quotes on Life and Success

These statements by Thomas Jefferson might help you better understand the United States of America and its governance. During his time in office, Founding Fathers and President Thomas Jefferson were responsible for a number of significant achievements. However, the primary reason why people remember him is that he was one of the people who labored diligently for their independence from Great Britain.

Famous Thomas Jefferson Quotes on Life and Success

Indeed, his achievements will never go unnoticed in the annals of history. His bravery and fighting spirit have already been documented in history. On the other hand, you will see how his words and ideas continue to have a huge influence on the globe today. Consequently, if you want to take full advantage of this remarkable collection, you should put it at the top of your list of things to read right away. The following collection of quotes by Thomas Jefferson is a great resource for learning about man, society, and government.

Famous Thomas Jefferson Quotes

1. “History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.” — Thomas Jefferson

2. “Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government, that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.” — Thomas Jefferson

quotes on politics education religion life by Americas Thomas Jefferson Quotes
quotes on politics education religion life by Americas Thomas Jefferson Quotes

3. “We must dream of an aristocracy of achievement arising out of a democracy of opportunity.” — Thomas Jefferson

4. “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because the law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.” — Thomas Jefferson

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

6. “Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor.” — Thomas Jefferson

7. “Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.” — Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson Quotes on Liberty and Society
Thomas Jefferson Quotes on Liberty and Society

8. “Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of the body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.” — Thomas Jefferson

9. “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.” — Thomas Jefferson

10. “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us dare to do our duty as we understand it.” — Thomas Jefferson

11. “In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.” — Thomas Jefferson

12. “The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.” — Thomas Jefferson

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

14. “Be polite to all, but intimate with few.” — Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson Quotes on Life and Government and Duty
Thomas Jefferson Quotes on Life and Government and Duty

15. “The happiness of the domestic fireside is the first boon of heaven, and it is well it is so since it is that which is the lot of the mass of mankind.” — Thomas Jefferson

16. “Power is not alluring to pure minds.” — Thomas Jefferson

17. “The art of life is the art of avoiding pain.” — Thomas Jefferson

18. “Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.” — Thomas Jefferson

19. “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” — Thomas Jefferson

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

21. “Never put off to tomorrow what you can do today.” — Thomas Jefferson

22. “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.” — Thomas Jefferson

23. “Truth is certainly a branch of morality and a very important one to society.” — Thomas Jefferson

24. “Nature intended me for the tranquil pursuits of science by rendering them my supreme delight. But the enormities of the times in which I have lived have forced me to take a part in resisting them and to commit myself to the boisterous ocean of political passions.” — Thomas Jefferson

25. “He who knows best knows how little he knows.” — Thomas Jefferson

26. “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.” — Thomas Jefferson

27. “Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.” — Thomas Jefferson

28. “No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms.” — Thomas Jefferson

29. “I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others.” — Thomas Jefferson

30. “My theory has always been that if we are to dream, the flatteries of hope are as cheap and pleasanter than the gloom of despair.” — Thomas Jefferson

31. “Every human being must be viewed according to what it is good for. For not one of us, no, not one, is perfect. And were we to love none who had imperfection, this world would be a desert for our love.”

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

33. “We confide in our strength, without boasting of it, we respect that of others, without fearing it.”

34. “I hope our wisdom will grow with our power and teach us that the less we use our power, the greater it will be.”

35. “I cannot live without books, but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object.”

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

37. “I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.”

38. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

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

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

41. “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”

42. “Don’t talk about what you have done or what you are going to do.”

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

44. “No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.”

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

46. “It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good.”

47. “How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened.”

48. “But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement, the greater part of life is sunshine.”

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

50. “Question with boldness even the existence of a god because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.”

51. “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 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

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

53. “Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.”

54. “The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.”

55. “In truth, politeness is artificial good humor. It covers the natural want of it and ends by rendering habitual a substitute nearly equivalent to the real virtue.”

56. “Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.”

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

58. “It is the great parent of science and of virtue, and that a nation will be great in both, always in proportion as it is free.”

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

60. “It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.”

61. “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”

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

63. “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”

64. “Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold.”

65. “A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit.”

66. “But as it is, we have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him nor safely let him go. Justice is on one scale, and self-preservation on the other.”

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

68. “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

69. “I find friendship to be like wine, raw when new, ripened with age, the true old man’s milk and restorative cordial.”

70. “Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.”

In what ways did Thomas Jefferson shape your perspectives on issues pertaining to freedom and society? It is clear from the words that Thomas Jefferson wrote that he had hopes that one day his country will be independent. This line of thought might appear straightforward, yet having complete faith in this concept is all that is needed to set off a revolution.

Thomas Jefferson’s devotion to his nation and his sense of patriotism were on display for the public to see as he worked to better himself and his talents. He was willing to devote his entire life to learning about the ways in which America’s culture, government, and revolution all interact with one another. On top of that, he gave the common people the ability to fight for their own independence.

Thomas Jefferson is motivational in many ways, and not just because of the legacy that he left behind when he passed away. He also demonstrated that with commitment and hard effort, it is possible to do whatever that one sets their mind to.

We hope that these quotations from Thomas Jefferson were able to inspire you to work hard to achieve your objectives. Just like he did, make it a point to be courageous in every predicament you find yourself in. Feel free to go back through our compilation of quotations from Thomas Jefferson anytime you find yourself in need of some motivation.

Which quotation from Thomas Jefferson do you admire the most? What do you consider to be the most commendable of his contributions to society, and why? Leave your thoughts here!

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