Affectionately called the ‘Father of His Country’, George Washington was the first President of the United States and served for the two terms that created the US Constitution. At the birth of the American Revolution he became Commander of the troops and led his armies towards victories against the British.

As President, he was unanimously elected and knowing his actions would create a precedent, he served with careful choices and refrained from abusing his powers. Although little is known about his childhood, it is apparent that he viewed farming and family care as two of the most noble professions; his early experience with this toughened his mind and his body and once his second term was finished, he returned to farming and family living for the remainder of his life. Alongside being a general, statesman and Founding Father, he left a definitive legacy of strength, truthfulness and stoic loyalty.

Washington never authored any novels like most other notable people on this list, but his wisdom in his words is drawn from his messages, speeches, letters and official correspondence.

 

George Washington Quotes:

1. “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”

2. “Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.”

3. “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”

4. “But lest some unlucky event should happen unfavorable to my reputation, I beg it may be remembered by every gentleman in the room that I this day declare with the utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the command I am honored with.”

5. “There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.”

6. “It is far better to be alone than to be in bad company.”

7. “A sensible woman can never be happy with a fool.”

8. “Happiness depends more upon the internal frame of a person’s own mind, than on the externals in the world.”

9. “The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.”

10. “As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality.”

11. “I conceive a knowledge of books is the basis upon which other knowledge is to be built.”

12. “Paper money has had the effect in your state that it will ever have, to ruin commerce, oppress the honest, and open the door to every species of fraud and injustice.”

13. “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few; and let those be well-tried before you give them your confidence.”

14. “We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience. ”

15. “if to please the people,we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair. The rest is in the hands of God.”

16. “Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.”

17. “Be not glad at the misfortune of another, though he may be your enemy.”

18. “Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough. Not only have I found that when I talk to the little flower or to the little peanut they will give up their secrets, but I have found that when I silently commune with people they give up their secrets also – if you love them enough”

19. “It is absolutely necessary… for me to have persons that can think for me, as well as execute orders.”

20. “Strive not with your superiors in argument, but always submit your judgment to others with modesty.”

21. “99% percent of failures are the ones who make excuses.”

22. “A slender acquaintance with the world must convince every man that actions, not words, are the true criterion of the attachment of friends.”

23. “Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.”

24. “the great mass of our Citizens require only to understand matters rightly, to form right decisions.”

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25. “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.”

26. “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.”

27. “99% of failures come from people who make excuses.”

28. “Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation; for ‘tis better to be alone than in bad company.”

29. “Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession.”

30. “Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.”

31. “The turning points of lives are not the great moments. The real crises are often concealed in occurrences so trivial in appearance that they pass unobserved.”

32. “Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all”

33. “I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy.”

34. “All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.”

35. “The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government.”

36. “I’ll die on my feet before I’ll live on my knees!”

37. “the great mass of our Citizens require only to understand matters rightly, to form right decisions.”

38. “Men may speculate as they will; they may talk of patriotism; they may draw a few examples from ancient story, of great achievements performed by its influence; but whoever builds upon it, as a sufficient Basis for conducting a long and bloody War, will find themselves deceived in the end. We must take the passions of Men as Nature has given them, and those principles as a guide which are generally the rule of Action. I do not mean to exclude altogether the Idea of Patriotism. I know it exists, and i know it has done much in the present Contest. But I will venture to assert, that a great and lasting War can never be supported on this principle alone. It must be aided by a prospect of Interest or some reward. For a time, it may, of itself push Men to Action; to bear much, to encounter difficulties; but it will not endure unassisted by Interest.”

 

Summary

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