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George Washington Quotes

Here are quotes by one of America's greatest founding fathers, George Washington, and related quotations about America's founding. For more history, see Founding Fathers.

Founding Fathers Quotes

The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.

George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

Founding Fathers Quotes

The nation which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.

George Washington, letter to Alexander Hamilton, May 8, 1796

Founding Fathers Quotes

The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.

George Washington, First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789

Founding Fathers Quotes

The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.

George Washington, First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789

Founding Fathers Quotes

The scheme, my dear Marqs. which you propose as a precedent, to encourage the emancipation of the black people of this Country from that state of Bondage in wch. they are held, is a striking evidence of the benevolence of your Heart. I shall be happy to join you in so laudable a work.

George Washington, letter to Marquis de Lafayette, April 5, 1785

Founding Fathers Quotes

The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position.

George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

Founding Fathers Quotes

The value of liberty was thus enhanced in our estimation by the difficulty of its attainment, and the worth of characters appreciated by the trial of adversity.

George Washington, letter to the people of South Carolina, Circa 1790

Founding Fathers Quotes

There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favours from Nation to Nation. 'Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.

George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

Founding Fathers Quotes

There exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.

George Washington, First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789

Founding Fathers Quotes

There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.

George Washington, Annual Message, December 1793

Founding Fathers Quotes

There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.

George Washington, letter to Edmund Randolph, July 31, 1795

Founding Fathers Quotes

Tis substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule indeed extends with more or less force to every species of free Government.

George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

Founding Fathers Quotes

To be prepared for war, is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.

George Washington, First Annual Message, January 8, 1790

Founding Fathers Quotes

To form a new Government, requires infinite care, and unbounded attention; for if the foundation is badly laid the superstructure must be bad.

George Washington, letter to John Augustine Washington, May 31, 1776

Founding Fathers Quotes

We are either a United people, or we are not. If the former, let us, in all maters of general concern act as a nation, which have national objects to promote, and a national character to support. If we are not, let us no longer act a farce by pretending to it.

George Washington, letter to James Madison, November 30, 1785

Founding Fathers Quotes

We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this Land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition, and that every person may here worship God according to the dictates of his own heart. In this enlightened Age and in this Land of equal liberty it is our boast, that a man's religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest Offices that are known in the United States.

George Washington, letter to the Members of the New Church in Baltimore, January 27, 1793

Founding Fathers Quotes

We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our won Country's Honor, all call upon us for vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions.

George Washington, General Orders, July 2, 1776

Founding Fathers Quotes

We must take human nature as we find it, perfection falls not to the share of mortals.

George Washington, letter to John Jay, August 15, 1786

Founding Fathers Quotes

We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times.

George Washington, letter to Philip Schuyler, July 15, 1777

Founding Fathers Quotes

When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen; and we shall most sincerely rejoice with you in the happy hour when the establishment of American Liberty, upon the most firm and solid foundations shall enable us to return to our Private Stations in the bosom of a free, peacefully and happy Country.

George Washington, address to the New York Legislature, June 26, 1775



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