United States

From Wikiquote
Jump to: navigation, search
Above the pyramid on the great seal of the United States it says, in Latin, 'God has favored our undertaking'. God will not favor everything that we do. It is rather our duty to divine his will. ~ Lyndon Baines Johnson
I love our flag, our constitution, and our country, with a love that has no bounds. I defended all three for 35 years as a soldier and was willing to give my life in their defense. Americans revere their flag as a symbol of the nation. ~ Colin Luther Powell
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. ~ Thomas Jefferson
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. ~ Abraham Lincoln
That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved. ~ Richard H. Lee
When the people of the colonies were defending their liberties against the might of kings, they chose their banner from the design set in the firmament through all eternity. The flags of great empires of that day have gone, but the stars and stripes remain. ~ Calvin Coolidge
Strangely, it is always America that is described as degenerate and 'fascist', while it is solely in Europe that actual dictatorships and totalitarian regimes spring up. ~ Jean-Francois Revel
America is a large country. It is a tolerant country. It has room within its borders for many races and many creeds. ~ Calvin Coolidge
I have not one drop of blood in my veins but what is American. ~ John Adams
Our citizenship in the United States is our national character. Our citizenship in any particular state is only our local distinction. By the latter we are known at home, by the former to the world. Our great title is Americans. ~ Thomas Paine
The colored people have repeatedly proved their devotion to the high ideals of our country. They gave their services in the war with the same patriotism and readiness that other citizens did. ~ Calvin Coolidge
I believe that the United States as a government, if it is going to be true to its own founding documents, does have the job of working toward that time when there is no discrimination made on such inconsequential reason as race, color, or religion. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
It is one of the anomalies of the human story that these peoples, who could not be assimilated and unified under the skies of Europe, should on coming to America discover an amazing genius for cooperation, for fusion, and for harmonious effort. Yet they were the same people when they came here that they had been on the other side of the Atlantic. Quite apparently, they found something in our institutions, something in the American system of Government and society which they themselves helped to construct, that furnished to all of them a political and cultural common denominator. ~ Calvin Coolidge
As the United States is the freest of all nations, so, too, its people sympathize with all people struggling for liberty and self-government; but while so sympathizing it is due to our honor that we should abstain from enforcing our views upon unwilling nations and from taking an interested part, without invitation. ~ Ulysses S. Grant
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. ~ Pledge of Allegiance
We are situated differently in this respect from any other country. All the other great powers have a comparatively homogeneous population, close kindred in race and blood and speech, and commonly little divided in religious beliefs. Our great nation is made up of the strong and virile pioneering stock of nearly all the countries of the world. We have a variety of race and language and religious belief. ~ Calvin Coolidge
We've gotten to where we've nearly 'them'ed ourselves to death. Them and them and them. But this is America. There is no them; there's only us. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice, for all. ~ William Jefferson Clinton
To deny a man his hopes because of his color or race, his religion or the place of his birth–is not only to do injustice, it is to deny America and to dishonor the dead who gave their lives for American freedom. ~ Lyndon Baines Johnson
I would protect the law-abiding citizen, whether of native or foreign birth, wherever his rights are jeopardized or the flag of our country floats. ~ Ulysses S. Grant
As a nation, our first duty must be to those who are already our inhabitants, whether native or immigrants. To them we owe an especial and a weighty obligation. They came to us with stout hearts and high hopes of bettering their estate. They have contributed much to making our country what it is. They magnificently proved their loyalty by contributing their full part when the war made demand for sacrifices by all Americans. ~ Calvin Coolidge
Too many of our citizens have cause to doubt our nation’s justice when the law points a finger of suspicion at groups, instead of individuals. All our citizens are created equal and must be treated equally. ~ George Walker Bush
The essence of U.S. military predominance in the world is, ultimately, the fact that it can, at will, drop bombs, with only a few hours' notice, at absolutely any point on the surface of the planet. No other government has ever had anything remotely like this sort of capability. ~ David Graeber
Alone of all flags, it expresses the sovereignty of the people which endures when all else passes away. Speaking with their voice, it has the sanctity of revelations. He who lives under it and disloyal to it is a traitor to the human race everywhere. What could be saved if the flag of the American nation were to perish? ~ Calvin Coolidge
The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. ~ Thomas Paine
In the case of a people which represents many nations, cultures, and races, as does our own, a unification of interests and ideals in recreations is bound to wield a telling influence for solidarity of the entire population. No more truly democratic force can be set off against the tendency to class and caste than the democracy of individual parts and prowess in sport. ~ Calvin Coolidge
Americans never quit. ~ Douglas MacArthur
At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man's unending search for freedom. So it was at Lexington and Concord. ~ Lyndon Baines Johnson
In America, the law is king. ~ Thomas Paine
Keep the church and the state forever separate. ~ Ulysses S. Grant
This is a beautiful country. ~ John Brown
We are, proudly, a people with no sense of class or caste. We judge no man by his name or inheritance, but by what he does, and for what he stands. And so likewise do we judge other nations. The right of no nation depends upon the date of its birth or the size of its power. ~ Dwight David Eisenhower
A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. ~ Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
As there can be no second class citizens before the law of America, so, we believe, there can be no second-class nations before the law of the world community. ~ Dwight David Eisenhower
The peaks of American prosperity tend to correspond to peaks in immigration, while the troughs in prosperity also correspond to troughs in immigration. Thus, the greatest surge in immigration ever, between the turn of the century and World War I, which must have burdened job formation to an unparalleled extent, was also an era of unparalleled prosperity and low unemployment. ~ Kelley L. Ross
The greatest benefit of immigration is to increase the size of the domestic free trade zone without all the uncertainties, disputes, recrimination, and misunderstandings that attend the issue of foreign free trade. This made a world superpower of a immigrant nation like the United States, as different policies on immigration and development keep immigrant nations of similar size, Canada and Australia, well back in the pack, great-power-wise. Australia almost 'protected' itself into conquest by Japan. ~ Kelley L. Ross
Did America just never do anything about slavery as time went on? No. The controversy, argued with fury and recrimination, dominated the early years of American politics, resulting in a terrible Civil War in which more than 600,000 Americans died. ~ Kelley L. Ross
How can slavery be the 'original sin' of a country that not only conceived the ideal that slavery was wrong but then, at monumental cost in lives and fortune, got rid of it? There is a serious perversity to such a charge, as though the evil of slavery had always been evident and recognized, or as though America, or the Constitution in particular, had invented or revived the institution, with stubborn complacency in the face of universal protest. Nothing of the sort was the case. ~ Kelley L. Ross
The chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with buying, selling, investing and prospering in the world. ~ Calvin Coolidge
This nation was created to give expression, validity and purpose to our spiritual heritage—the supreme worth of the individual. In such a nation—a nation dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal—racial discrimination has no place. ~ Republican Party Platform of 1960
A different idea has taken place with the people of America, more favorable to the natural rights of mankind, and to that natural, innate desire of liberty, with which Heaven, without regard to color, complexion, or shape of noses-features, has inspired all the human race. And upon this ground our constitution of government. ~ William Cushing
I shudder when I think of the calamities which slavery is likely to produce in this country. ~ John Adams
The propaganda of prejudice and hatred which sought to keep the colored men from supporting the national cause completely failed. The black man showed himself the same kind of citizen, moved by the same kind of patriotism, as the white man. They were tempted, but not one betrayed his country. ~ Calvin Coolidge
The stakes for America are never small. If our country does not lead the cause of freedom, it will not be led. ~ George W. Bush
During the war 500,000 colored men and boys were called up under the draft, not one of whom sought to evade it. They took their places wherever assigned in defense of the nation of which they are just as truly citizens as are any others. ~ Calvin Coolidge
Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. ~ George W. Bush
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. ~ Section III, Article III of the U.S. Constitution
Did we say, 'Okay, we defeated Germany. Now Germany belongs to us? We defeated Japan, so Japan belongs to us'? No. What did we do? We built them up. We gave them democratic systems which they have embraced totally to their soul. And did we ask for any land? No. The only land we ever asked for was enough land to bury our dead, and that is the kind of nation we are. ~ Colin Luther Powell
The spirit of America is to help everybody and injure nobody. ~ Calvin Coolidge
There can be no permanent disfranchised peasantry in the United States. Freedom can never yield its fullness of blessings so long as the law or its administration places the smallest obstacle in the pathway of any virtuous citizen. ~ James A. Garfield
We have waged no wars to determine a succession, establish a dynasty, or glorify a reigning house. Our military operations have been for the service of the cause of humanity. The principles on which they have been fought have more and more come to be accepted as the ultimate standards of the world. ~ Calvin Coolidge
A strong America is the world’s best hope for peace and freedom. Yet the cause of freedom rests on more than our ability to defend ourselves and our allies. ~ George W. Bush
No part of the community responded more willingly, more generously, more unqualifiedly, to the demand for special extraordinary exertion, than did the members of the Negro race. ~ Calvin Coolidge
For happily the government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. ~ George Washington
Whether in the military service, or in the vast mobilization of industrial resources which the war required, the Negro did his part precisely as did the white man. He drew no color line when patriotism made its call upon him. He gave precisely as his white fellow citizens gave, to the limit of resources and abilities, to help the general cause. ~ Calvin Coolidge
To grant suffrage to the black man in this country is not innovation, but restoration. It is a return to the ancient principles and practices of the fathers. ~ James A. Garfield
The American Negro established his right to the gratitude and appreciation which the Nation has been glad to accord. ~ Calvin Coolidge
We are a land of immigrants, and we ought to recognize that. America's soul is rejuvenated when people come to our country and work hard to realize dreams. ~ George W. Bush
The present difficulty, in bringing all parts of the United States to a happy unity and love of country grows out of the prejudice to color. The prejudice is a senseless one, but it exists. ~ Ulysses S. Grant
The United States will not retreat from the world, and we will never surrender to evil. America rejects the false comfort of isolationism. ~ George W. Bush
The Americans have enough sense to prefer strong and prosperous friends, and they realize that their most lucrative international trade is with other highly industrialized countries, not with weak and backward ones. ~ Muhammad Reza Pahlavi
All of us, no matter from what land our parents came, no matter in what way we may severally worship our Creator, must stand shoulder to shoulder in a united America for the elimination of race and religious prejudice. We must stand for a reign of equal justice to both big and small. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
I found America the friendliest, most forgiving, and most generous nation I had ever visited. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
Let us keep our desire to help other lands as a great and broad principle, not to help in one place and do harm in another, but to render assistance everywhere. ~ Calvin Coolidge
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 & holding the highest offices that are known in the United States. ~ George Washington
The proudest human that walks the earth is a free American citizen. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
The peaceful transfer of authority is rare in history, yet common in our country. With a simple oath, we affirm old traditions and make new beginnings. ~ George W. Bush
Don't bring up your sons to detest the United States government. Recollect that we form one country now. Abandon all these local animosities, and make your sons Americans. ~ Robert Edward Lee
In the eyes of government, we are just one race here. It is American. ~ Antonin Scalia
It seems to me that the United States and France can learn from each other. French universalism, or its equivalent, is a powerful weapon against racism, which is based on the belief in innate unalterable differences among human groups. Stressing what rights all people have because of what they have in common remains at the heart of anti-racism. ~ George M. Fredrickson
America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens. ~ George W. Bush
Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. ~ George Washington
These terrorists aren't trying to kill us because we offended them. They attack us because they want to impose their view of the world on as many people as they can, and America is standing in their way. ~ Marco Rubio
If Americans should now turn back, submit again to slavery, it would be a betrayal so base the human race might better perish. ~ Isabel Paterson
The U.S. is a very democratic state. There's no doubt about that; and it originally developed as a democratic state. When the first settlers set their foot on the continent, life forced them to forge a relationship and maintain a dialogue with each other to survive. ~ Vladimir V. Putin
I found that many Americans did not even know that a country named Iran existed, let alone what it was like. This fuzziness about the world outside is unique to America. - Ashraf Pahlavi
The Roman Empire had no need for diplomacy. Nor does the United States. ~ Boutros Boutros-Ghali
If Jefferson himself were to return, he would find today's government far worse than the government of George III he denounced and helped throw off. ~ Kelley L. Ross
How did a country pushed into a revolution by protest and political speech become one where protests are met with flash grenades, pepper spray and platoons of riot teams dressed like RoboCops? ~ Radley Balko
How did we evolve from a country whose founding statesmen were adamant about the dangers of armed, standing government forces–a country that enshrined the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights and revered and protected the age-old notion that the home is a place of privacy and sanctuary–to a country where it has become acceptable for armed government agents dressed in battle garb to storm private homes in the middle of the night? ~ Radley Balko
How did we go from a system in which laws were enforced by the citizens–often with non-coercive methods–to one in which order is preserved by armed government agents too often conditioned to see streets and neighborhoods as battlefields and the citizens they serve as the enemy? ~ Radley Balko
Every Muslim, from the moment they realize the distinction in their hearts, hates Americans, hates Jews and hates Christians. For as long as I can remember, I have felt tormented and at war, and have felt hatred and animosity for Americans. ~ Osama bin Laden

The United States of America (U.S.), also known as the USA or America, is a country located on the continent of North America, with territories located on islands in the Pacific Ocean. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the country. New York City is the largest city in the country.

Quotes[edit]

By Americans[edit]

  • Neither my father or mother, grandfather or grandmother, great grandfather or great grandmother, nor any other relation that I know of, or care a farthing for, has been in England these one hundred and fifty years; so that you see I have not one drop of blood in my veins but what is American.
  • Every measure of prudence, therefore, ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States.
  • I shudder when I think of the calamities which slavery is likely to produce in this country. You would think me mad if I were to describe my anticipations.
    • John Adams (1820), as quoted in John Adams (1962), by Page Smith, Garden City, New York: Doubleday, p. 138.
  • Slavery in this country, I have seen hanging over it like a black cloud for half a century.
  • However, the 'race' and 'ethnicity' categories have changed significantly over time to reflect changes in the American population. Since 1900, 26 different racial terms have been used to identify populations in the U.S. Census. Preserving outdated terms for the sake of questionable continuity is a disservice to the nation and the American people.
  • Yet the concept of race has become thoroughly, and perniciously, woven into the cultural and political fabric of the United States. It has become an essential element of both individual identity and government policy. Because so much harm has been based on 'racial' distinctions over the years, correctives for such harm must also acknowledge the impact of 'racial' consciousness among the U.S. populace, regardless of the fact that 'race' has no scientific justification in human biology. Eventually, however, these classifications must be transcended and replaced by more non-racist and accurate ways of representing the diversity of the U.S. population. This is the dilemma and opportunity of the moment. It is important to recognize the categories to which individuals have been assigned historically in order to be vigilant about the elimination of discrimination. Yet ultimately, the effective elimination of discrimination will require an end to such categorization, and a transition toward social and cultural categories that will prove more scientifically useful and personally resonant for the public than are categories of 'race'. Redress of the past and transition for the future can be simultaneously effected.
  • Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on the confession in open court.
  • The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
  • If even the earliest attempts at centralized police forces would have alarmed the founders, today's policing would have terrified them. Today in America SWAT teams violently smash into private homes more than 100 times per day. The vast majority of these raids are to enforce laws against consensual crimes. In many cities, police departments have given up the traditional blue uniforms for 'battle dress uniforms' modeled after soldier attire. Police departments across the country now sport armored personnel carriers designed for use on a battlefield. Some have helicopters, tanks and Humvees. They carry military-grade weapons. Most of this equipment comes from the military itself. Many SWAT teams today are trained by current and former personnel from special forces units like the Navy SEALs or Army Rangers.
  • At the time the Third Amendment was ratified, the images and memories of British troops in Boston and other cities were still fresh, and the clashes with colonists that drew the country into war still evoked strong emotions. What we might call the 'symbolic Third Amendment' wasn't just a prohibition on peacetime quartering, but a more robust expression of the threat that standing armies pose to free societies. It represented a long-standing, deeply ingrained resistance to armies patrolling American streets and policing American communities.
  • How did we get here? How did we evolve from a country whose founding statesmen were adamant about the dangers of armed, standing government forces–a country that enshrined the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights and revered and protected the age-old notion that the home is a place of privacy and sanctuary–to a country where it has become acceptable for armed government agents dressed in battle garb to storm private homes in the middle of the night–not to apprehend violent fugitives or thwart terrorist attacks, but to enforce laws against nonviolent, consensual activities? How did a country pushed into a revolution by protest and political speech become one where protests are met with flash grenades, pepper spray and platoons of riot teams dressed like RoboCops? How did we go from a system in which laws were enforced by the citizens–often with non-coercive methods–to one in which order is preserved by armed government agents too often conditioned to see streets and neighborhoods as battlefields and the citizens they serve as the enemy?
  • As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, as it has in itself no character or enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
  • I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land can never be purged away but with blood. I had as I now think, vainly flattered myself that without very much bloodshed, it might be done.
    • John Brown, as quoted in a note that he had at his execution (2 December 1859), most sources say it was handed to the guard, but some dispute that and claim it was handed to a reporter accompaning him; as quoted in John Brown and his Men (1894) by Richard Josiah Hinton.
  • The peaceful transfer of authority is rare in history, yet common in our country. With a simple oath, we affirm old traditions and make new beginnings.
  • We have a place, all of us, in a long story. A story we continue, but whose end we will not see. It is the story of a new world that became a friend and liberator of the old, a story of a slave-holding society that became a servant of freedom, the story of a power that went into the world to protect but not possess, to defend but not to conquer.
  • America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these principles. Every citizen must uphold them; and every immigrant, by embracing these ideals, makes our country more, not less, American.
  • The stakes for America are never small. If our country does not lead the cause of freedom, it will not be led.
  • An artist using statistics as a brush could paint two very different pictures of our country. One would have warning signs: increasing layoffs, rising energy prices, too many failing schools, persistent poverty, the stubborn vestiges of racism. Another picture would be full of blessings: a balanced budget, big surpluses, a military that is second to none, a country at peace with its neighbors, technology that is revolutionizing the world, and our greatest strength, concerned citizens who care for our country and care for each other.
  • Too many of our citizens have cause to doubt our nation’s justice when the law points a finger of suspicion at groups, instead of individuals. All our citizens are created equal and must be treated equally.
  • A strong America is the world’s best hope for peace and freedom. Yet the cause of freedom rests on more than our ability to defend ourselves and our allies. Freedom is exported every day, as we ship goods and products that improve the lives of millions of people. Free trade brings greater political and personal freedom.
  • Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.
  • The exercise of rights is ennobled by service and mercy and a heart for the weak. Liberty for all does not mean independence from one another. Our nation relies on men and women who look after a neighbor and surround the lost with love. Americans, at our best, value the life we see in one another and must always remember that even the unwanted have worth. And our country must abandon all the habits of racism because we cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time.
  • The United States will not retreat from the world, and we will never surrender to evil. America rejects the false comfort of isolationism.
  • This country was founded by slave owners who wanted to be free.
    • George Carlin, as quoted in What Am I Doing in New Jersey? (1988).
  • Americans love to eat. They are fatally attracted to the slow death of fast food... This country is big-time pig time... Change the bald eagle to a big bowl of macaroni and cheese. A big bowl. 'Cause everything in this country is king size, extra large and super jumbo. Especially the fucking people! Have you seen some of the people in this country? Have you taken a good look at some of these big, fat motherfuckers walking around? Big fat motherfuckers! Oh, my God. Huge piles of redundant protoplasm, lumbering through the malls like a fleet of interstate buses. The people in this country are immense. Massive bellies, monstrous thighs, and big fat fucking asses! Next time you're in the vicinity of one of these creatures, stand there for a minute and observe. And if you stand there for a minute you'll begin to wonder, "How does this woman take a shit?" How does she shit? And more frightening still, how does she wipe her ass? Can she even locate her asshole? She must require assistance. Are paramedics trained in this field?
  • I know no south, no north, no east, no west, to which I owe any allegiance.
    • Henry Clay, speech in the Senate (14 February 1850), as quoted in The Life, Correspondence, and Speeches of Henry Clay (Vol. 3); ed. Calvin Colton: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1857.
  • We've gotten to where we've nearly 'them'ed ourselves to death. Them and them and them. But this is America. There is no them; there's only us. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice, for all.
  • Our democracy must be not only the envy of the world but the engine of our own renewal. There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.
  • July 4, 1776 was the historic day on which the representatives of three millions of people vocalized Concord and Lexington, and Bunker Hill, which gave notice to the world that they proposed to establish an independent nation on the theory that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The wonder and glory of the American people is not the ringing Declaration of that day, but the action then already begun, and in the process of being carried out, in spite of every obstacle that war could interpose, making the theory of freedom and equality a reality. We revere that day because it marks the beginnings of independence, the beginnings of a constitution that was finally to give universal freedom and equality to all American citizens — the beginnings of a government that was to recognize beyond all others the power and worth and dignity of man.
  • The doctrine of the Declaration of Independence predicated upon the glory of man and the corresponding duty to society that the rights of citizens ought to be protected with every power and resource of the state, and a government that does any less is false to the teachings of that great document — false to the name American. The assertion of human rights is not but a call of human sacrifice. This is yet the spirit of the American people. Only so long as this flame burns shall we endure, and the light of liberty be shed over the nations of the earth.
  • When the people of the colonies were defending their liberties against the might of kings, they chose their banner from the design set in the firmament through all eternity. The flags of great empires of that day have gone, but the stars and stripes remain. It pictures a vision of a people whose eyes are turned to the rising dawn. It represents of the hope of a father for his posterity. It was never flaunted for the glory of royalty, but to be born under it is to be the child of a king, and to establish a home under it is to be the founder of a royal house. Alone of all flags, it expresses the sovereignty of the people which endures when all else passes away. Speaking with their voice, it has the sanctity of revelations. He who lives under it and disloyal to it is a traitor to the human race everywhere. What could be saved if the flag of the American nation were to perish?
  • To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.
    • Calvin Coolidge, as quoted in message to the National Security League in honor of Constitution Day, as quoted in The New York Times (17 September 1923) "Ceremonies Mark Constitution Day".
  • Numbered among our population are some 12,000,000 colored people. Under our Constitution their rights are just as sacred as those of any other citizen. It is both a public and a private duty to protect those rights.
  • In the case of a people which represents many nations, cultures, and races, as does our own, a unification of interests and ideals in recreations is bound to wield a telling influence for solidarity of the entire population. No more truly democratic force can be set off against the tendency to class and caste than the democracy of individual parts and prowess in sport.
  • American citizenship is a high estate. He who holds it is the peer of kings. It has been secured only by untold toil and effort. It will be maintained by no other method. It demands the best that men and women have to give. But it likewise awards to its partakers the best that there is on earth. To attempt to turn it into a thing of ease and inaction would be only to debase it. To cease to struggle and toil and sacrifice for it is not only to cease to be worthy of it but is to start a retreat toward barbarism. No matter what others may say, no matter what others may do, this is the stand that those must maintain who are worthy to be called Americans.
  • The accomplishments of the colored people in the United States, in the brief historic period since they were brought here from the restrictions of their native continent, can not but make us realize that there is something essential in our civilization which gives it a special power.
  • The progress of the colored people on this continent is one of the marvels of modern history. We are perhaps even yet too near to this phenomenon to be able fully to appreciate its significance. That can be impressed on us only as we study and contrast the rapid advancement of the colored people in America with the slow and painful upward movement of humanity as a whole throughout the long human story.
  • The Nation has need of all that can be contributed to it through the best efforts of all its citizens. The colored people have repeatedly proved their devotion to the high ideals of our country. They gave their services in the war with the same patriotism and readiness that other citizens did. The records of the selective draft show that somewhat more than 2,250,000 colored men were registered. The records further prove that, far from seeking to avoid participation in the national defense, they showed that they wished to enlist before the selective service act was put into operation, and they did not attempt to evade that act afterwards.
  • The Negro community of America has already so far progressed that its members can be assured that their future is in their own hands. Racial hostility, ancient tradition, and social prejudice are not to be eliminated immediately or easily, but they will be lessened as the colored people by their own efforts and under their own leaders shall prove worthy of the fullest measure of opportunity.
  • The propaganda of prejudice and hatred which sought to keep the colored men from supporting the national cause completely failed. The black man showed himself the same kind of citizen, moved by the same kind of patriotism, as the white man. They were tempted, but not one betrayed his country. Among well-nigh 400,000 colored men who were taken into the military service, about one-half had overseas experience. They came home with many decorations and their conduct repeatedly won high commendation from both American and European commanders.
  • No part of the community responded more willingly, more generously, more unqualifiedly, to the demand for special extraordinary exertion, than did the members of the Negro race. Whether in the military service, or in the vast mobilization of industrial resources which the war required, the Negro did his part precisely as did the white man. He drew no color line when patriotism made its call upon him. He gave precisely as his white fellow citizens gave, to the limit of resources and abilities, to help the general cause. Thus the American Negro established his right to the gratitude and appreciation which the Nation has been glad to accord.
  • During the war 500,000 colored men and boys were called up under the draft, not one of whom sought to evade it. They took their places wherever assigned in defense of the nation of which they are just as truly citizens as are any others. The suggestion of denying any measure of their full political rights to such a great group of our population as the colored people is one which, however it might be received in some other quarters, could not possibly be permitted by one who feels a responsibility for living up to the traditions and maintaining the principles of the Republican Party. Our Constitution guarantees equal rights to all our citizens, without discrimination on account of race or color. I have taken my oath to support that Constitution. It is the source of your rights and my rights. I propose to regard it, and administer it, as the source of the rights of all the people, whatever their belief or race.
  • I believe in the American Constitution. I favor the American system of individual enterprise, and I am opposed to any general extension of government ownership, and control. I believe not only in advocating economy in public expenditure, but in its practical application and actual accomplishment. I believe in a reduction and reform of taxation, and shall continue my efforts in that direction.
    • Calvin Coolidge, as quoted in formal acceptance speech of the Republican Party's nomination for President (14 August 1924), as quoted in Coolidge: An American Enigma (1998), by Robert Sobel, Regnery Publishing, p. 292.
  • Our American government was the result of an effort to establish institutions under which the people as a whole should have the largest possible advantages. Class and privilege were outlawed, freedom and opportunity were guaranteed. They undertook to provide conditions under which service would be adequately rewarded, and where the people would own their own property and control their own government. They had no other motive. They were actuated by no other purpose. If we are to maintain what they established, it is important to understand the foundation on which they built, and the claims by which they justified the sovereign rights and royal estate of every American citizen.
  • Our inhabitants are especially free to promote their own welfare. They are unburdened by militarism. They are not called upon to support any imperialistic designs. Every mother can rest in the assurance that her children will find here a land of devotion, prosperity and peace. The tall shaft near which we are gathered and yonder stately memorial remind us that our standards of manhood are revealed in the adoration which we pay to Washington and Lincoln. They are unrivaled and unsurpassed. Above all else, they are Americans.
  • It is a truism, of course, but it is none the less a fact which we must never forget, that this continent and this American community have been blessed with an unparalleled capacity for assimilating peoples of varying races and nations. The continuing migration which in three centuries has established here this nation of more than a hundred million, has been the greatest that history records as taking place in any such brief period. Viewing it historically, we find that the migration to [[w:United States|America] was little more than a westward projection of the series of great movements of peoples.
  • It was the fate of Europe to be always a battleground. Differences in race, in religion, in political genius and social ideals, seemed always, in the atmosphere of our mother continent, to be invitations to contest by battle. From the dawn of history, and we can only conjecture how much longer, the conflicts of races and civilizations, of traditions and usages, have gone on. It is one of the anomalies of the human story that these peoples, who could not be assimilated and unified under the skies of Europe, should on coming to America discover an amazing genius for cooperation, for fusion, and for harmonious effort. Yet they were the same people when they came here that they had been on the other side of the Atlantic. Quite apparently, they found something in our institutions, something in the American system of Government and society which they themselves helped to construct, that furnished to all of them a political and cultural common denominator.
  • Among these I should place, first, the broadly tolerant attitude that has been a characteristic of this country. I use the word in its most inclusive sense, to cover tolerance of religious opinion, tolerance in politics, tolerance in social relationships; in general, the liberal attitude of every citizen toward his fellows. It is this factor which has preserved to all of us that equality of opportunity which enables every American to become the architect of whatever fortune he deserves.
  • As a Nation, our first duty must be to those who are already our inhabitants, whether native or immigrants. To them we owe an especial and a weighty obligation. They came to us with stout hearts and high hopes of bettering their estate. They have contributed much to making our country what it is. They magnificently proved their loyalty by contributing their full part when the war made demand for sacrifices by all Americans.
  • It must be the hope of every American citizen to maintain here as a permanent establishment, and as a perpetual inheritance for Americans of the future, the full measure of benefits and advantages which our people have been privileged to enjoy.
  • There is abundant room here for the preservation and development of the many divergent virtues that are characteristic of the different races which have made America their home. They ought to cling to all these virtues and cultivate them tenaciously.
  • I know that there is no better American spirit than that which is exhibited by many of those who have recently come to our shores.
  • Let us keep our desire to help other lands as a great and broad principle, not to help in one place and do harm in another, but to render assistance everywhere. Let us remember also that the best method of promoting this action is by giving undivided allegiance to America, maintaining its institutions, supporting its Government, and, by leaving it internally harmonious, making it eternally powerful in promoting a reign of justice and mercy throughout the earth.
  • The spirit of America is to help everybody and injure nobody. We can be in a position to help only by unifying the American nation, building it up, making it strong, keeping it independent, using its inclination to help and its disclination to injure. Those who cast in their lot with this country can be true to the land of their origin only by first being true to America.
  • Our people were influenced by many motives to undertake to carry on this gigantic conflict, but we went in and came out singularly free from those questionable causes and results which have often characterized other wars. We were not moved by the age-old antagonisms of racial jealousies and hatreds. We were not seeking to gratify the ambitions of any reigning dynasty. We were not inspired by trade and commercial rivalries. We harbored no imperialistic designs. We feared no other country. We coveted no territory.
  • Though of many different nationalities, our people had a spiritual bond. They were all Americans.
  • All the races, religions, and nationalities of the world were represented in the armed forces of this nation, as they were in the body of our population. No man's patriotism was impugned or service questioned because of his racial origin, his political opinion, or his religious convictions. Immigrants and sons of immigrants from the central European countries fought side by side with those who descended from the countries which were our allies, with the sons of equatorial Africa, and with the red men of our own aboriginal population, all of them equally proud of the name Americans.
  • If we are to have that harmony and tranquility, that union of spirit which is the foundation of real national genius and national progress, we must all realize that there are true Americans who did not happen to be born in our section of the country, who do not attend our place of religious worship, who are not of our racial stock, or who are not proficient in our language. If we are to create on this continent a free Republic and an enlightened civilization that will be capable of reflecting the true greatness and glory of mankind, it will be necessary to regard these differences as accidental and unessential. We shall have to look beyond the outward manifestations of race and creed. Divine Providence has not bestowed upon any race a monopoly of patriotism and character. The same principle that it is necessary to apply to the attitude of mind among our own people it is also necessary to apply to the attitude of mind among the different nations.
  • The generally expressed desire of 'America first' can not be criticized. It is a perfectly correct aspiration for our people to cherish. But the problem which we have to solve is how to make America first. It can not be done by the cultivation of national bigotry, arrogance, or selfishness. Hatreds, jealousies, and suspicions will not be productive of any benefits in this direction. Here again we must apply the rule of toleration. Because there are other peoples whose ways are not our ways, and whose thoughts are not our thoughts, we are not warranted in drawing the conclusion that they are adding nothing to the sum of civilization. We can make little contribution to the welfare of humanity on the theory that we are a superior people and all others are an inferior people.
  • It is one of the glories of our country that so long as we remain faithful to the cause of justice and truth and liberty, this action will continue. We have waged no wars to determine a succession, establish a dynasty, or glorify a reigning house. Our military operations have been for the service of the cause of humanity. The principles on which they have been fought have more and more come to be accepted as the ultimate standards of the world. They have been of an enduring substance, which is not weakened but only strengthened by the passage of time and the contemplation of reason.
  • We are situated differently in this respect from any other country. All the other great powers have a comparatively homogeneous population, close kindred in race and blood and speech, and commonly little divided in religious beliefs. Our great Nation is made up of the strong and virile pioneering stock of nearly all the countries of the world. We have a variety of race and language and religious belief.
  • Yet in time of stress and public agitation we have too great a tendency to disregard this policy and indulge in race hatred, religious intolerance, and disregard of equal rights. Such sentiments are bound to react upon those who harbor them. Instead of being a benefit they are a positive injury. We do not have to examine history very far before we see whole countries that have been blighted, whole civilizations that have been shattered by a spirit of intolerance. They are destructive of order and progress at home and a danger to peace and good will abroad. No better example exists of toleration than that which is exhibited by those who wore the blue toward those who wore the gray. Our condition today is not merely that of one people under one flag, but of a thoroughly united people who have seen bitterness and enmity which once threatened to sever them pass away, and a spirit of kindness and good will reign over them all.
  • Other countries may boast of this and that, but nobody can touch the United States for poisonous snakes. We have about twenty species, most of them deadly, and Europe has only five or six, none of them much good. We have fifteen kinds of Rattlesnakes alone and nobody else has even one. There is a species in Central and South America, but it probably came from the United States.
  • As to the doctrine of slavery and the right of Christians to hold Africans in perpetual servitude, and sell and treat them as we do our horses and cattle, that, it is true, has been heretofore countenanced by the Province Laws formerly, but nowhere is it expressly enacted or established. It has been a usage–a usage which took its origin from the practice of some of the European nations, and the regulations of British government respecting the then-colonies, for the benefit of trade and wealth. But whatever sentiments have formerly prevailed in this particular or slid in upon us by the example of others, a different idea has taken place with the people of America, more favorable to the natural rights of mankind, and to that natural, innate desire of liberty, with which Heaven, without regard to color, complexion, or shape of noses-features, has inspired all the human race. And upon this ground our constitution of government, by which the people of this Commonwealth have solemnly bound themselves, sets out with declaring that all men are born free and equal–and that every subject is entitled to liberty, and to have it guarded by the laws, as well as life and property–and in short is totally repugnant to the idea of being born slaves. This being the case, I think the idea of slavery is inconsistent with our own conduct and constitution; and there can be no such thing as perpetual servitude of a rational creature, unless his liberty is forfeited by some criminal conduct or given up by personal consent or contract.
  • Now, then. Landon Donovan for the United States. Twisting, turning. Can he find the right ball? Cesar hit it away; it's played back in by Bocanegra. Oh, and nearly Altidore getting under of it. A really good clearance by Jokić; just when it looked as if Jozy Altidore might be in. They really have to put Slovenia under pressure. If they can get one goal, I think, John. You just wonder, whether then Slovenia might start to look a little bit shaky and start to wonder. He's got in, behind. Donovan, Donovan goes in and he scores! Oh, what a goal! Landon Donovan, tremendous strike for the United States! It looked impossible, but Donovan did it! And the USA are back in business!
  • Four minutes of added time. That might lift the United States, that's time enough. Dreadfully negative, really. From the Algerians, they're looking for things on the break. I suspect they'll get a chance or two, on the break. Ghezzal, that's a good ball he's found there to Guedioura who plays it deep. Saïfi, with a header. Howard, gratefully claims it. Distribution, brilliant. Landon Donovan. Oh, are things on here for the USA? Can they do it here? Cross, and Dempsey is denied again, and Donovan has scored! Oh, can you believe this? Go, go, USA! Certainly through! Oh, it's incredible! You could not write a script like this!
  • Oh, can you believe this? Abby Wambach has saved the USA's life in this World Cup!
  • Our country, in her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right, and always successful, right or wrong.
    • Steven Decatur, at a social gathering in (April 1816), as quoted in Stephen Decatur American Naval Hero, 1779–1820 (2005), by Robert J. Allison, University of Massachusetts Press, pp. 183–184.
  • The metaphor of the melting pot is unfortunate and misleading. A more accurate analogy would be a salad bowl, for, though the salad is an entity, the lettuce can still be distinguished from the chicory, the tomatoes from the cabbage.
    • Carl N. Degler, Out of Our Past: The Forces That Shaped Modern America (1970), rev. ed., chapter 10, section 4, p. 296.
  • In thinking of America, I sometimes find myself admiring her bright blue sky — her grand old woods — her fertile fields — her beautiful rivers — her mighty lakes, and star-crowned mountains. But my rapture is soon checked, my joy is soon turned to mourning. When I remember that all is cursed with the infernal spirit of slaveholding, robbery and wrong, — when I remember that with the waters of her noblest rivers, the tears of my brethren are borne to the ocean, disregarded and forgotten, and that her most fertile fields drink daily of the warm blood of my outraged sisters, I am filled with unutterable loathing.
  • Social equality does not necessarily follow from civil equality, and yet for the purpose of a hell black and damning prejudice, our papers still insist that the Civil Rights Bill is a Bill to establish social equality. If it is a Bill for social equality, so is the Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men have equal rights; so is the Sermon on the Mount, so is the Golden Rule, that commands us to do to others as we would that others should do to us; so is the Apostolic teaching, that of one blood God has made all nations to dwell on all the face of the earth; so is the Constitution of the United States, and so are the laws and customs of every civilized country in the world; for nowhere, outside of the United States is any man denied civil rights on account of his color.
  • France and America clash so often not because they are so irreconcilably different, but because they are so alike.
  • We are a people born of many peoples. Our culture, our skills, our very aspirations have been shaped by immigrants, and their sons and daughters, from all the Earth. Sam Gompers from England, Andrew Carnegie from Scotland, Albert Einstein from Germany, and Booker T. Washington and Al Smith, Marconi and Caruso. Men of all nations and races and estates, they have made us what we are.
  • So it is that the laws most binding us as a people are laws of the spirit, proclaimed in church and synagogue and mosque. These are the laws that truly declare the eternal equality of all men, of all races, before the man-made laws of our land. And we are profoundly aware that, in the world, we can claim the trust of hundreds of millions of people, across Africa and Asia, only as we ourselves hold high the banner of justice for all.
  • We are, proudly, a people with no sense of class or caste. We judge no man by his name or inheritance, but by what he does, and for what he stands. And so likewise do we judge other nations. The right of no nation depends upon the date of its birth or the size of its power. As there can be no second class citizens before the law of America, so, we believe, there can be no second-class nations before the law of the world community.
  • I believe that the United States as a government, if it is going to be true to its own founding documents, does have the job of working toward that time when there is no discrimination made on such inconsequential reason as race, color, or religion.
  • Un-American activity cannot be prevented or routed out by employing un-American methods; to preserve freedom we must use the tools that freedom provides.
    • Dwight David Eisenhower, as quoted in The White House Years: Mandate for Change: 1953–1956: A Personal Account (1963), p. 331.
  • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
  • Let us put an end to self-inflicted wounds. Let us remember that our national unity is a most priceless asset.
    • Gerald Rudolph Ford, as quoted in address to joint session of the United States Congress (10 April
  • I want to elevate you to take positions in law offices, in stores, on farms, and wherever you are capable of going. I have not said anything about politics today. I don't propose to say anything about politics. You have a right to elect whom you please; vote for the man you think best, and I think, when that is done, that you and I are freemen. Do as you consider right and honest in electing men for office. I did not come here to make you a long speech, although invited to do so by you. I am not much of a speaker, and my business prevented me from preparing myself. I came to meet you as friends, and welcome you to the white people. I want you to come nearer to us. When I can serve you I will do so. We have but one flag, one country; let us stand together. We may differ in color, but not in sentiment. Use your best judgement in selecting men for office and vote as you think right.
  • The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
  • It seems to me that the United States and France can learn from each other. French universalism, or its equivalent, is a powerful weapon against racism, which is based on the belief in innate unalterable differences among human groups. Stressing what rights all people have because of what they have in common remains at the heart of anti-racism. A stronger awareness of such human commonality may be needed in the United States at a time when a stress on diversity and ethnic particularism may deprive us of any compelling vision of the larger national community and impede cooperation in the pursuit of a free and just society. On the other hand the identification of such universalism with a particular national identity and with specific cultural traits that go beyond essential human rights can lead to an intolerance of the Other that approaches color-coded racism in its harmful effects.
  • There are two Americas. One is the America of Lincoln and Adlai Stevenson; the other is the America of Teddy Roosevelt and the modern superpatriots. One is generous and humane, the other narrowly egotistical; one is self-critical, the other self-righteous; one is sensible, the other romantic; one is good-humored, the other solemn; one is inquiring, the other pontificating; one is moderate, the other filled with passionate intensity; one is judicious and the other arrogant in the use of great power.
  • The colonists were struggling not only against the armies of a great nation, but against the settled opinions of mankind; for the world did not then believe that the supreme authority of government could be safely intrusted to the guardianship of the people themselves.
  • The elevation of the negro race from slavery to the full rights of citizenship is the most important political change we have known since the adoption of the Constitution of 1787. No thoughtful man can fail to appreciate its beneficent effect upon our institutions and people. It has freed us from the perpetual danger of war and dissolution. It has added immensely to the moral and industrial forces of our people. It has liberated the master as well as the slave from a relation which wronged and enfeebled both. It has surrendered to their own guardianship the manhood of more than 5,000,000 people, and has opened to each one of them a career of freedom and usefulness.
  • There can be no permanent disfranchised peasantry in the United States. Freedom can never yield its fullness of blessings so long as the law or its administration places the smallest obstacle in the pathway of any virtuous citizen.
  • I have not come here with reference to any flag but that of freedom. If your Union does not symbolize universal emancipation, it brings no Union for me. If your Constitution does not guarantee freedom for all, it is not a Constitution I can ascribe to. If your flag is stained by the blood of a brother held in bondage, I repudiate it in the name of God. I came here to witness the unfurling of a flag under which every human being is to be recognized as entitled to his freedom. Therefore, with a clear conscience, without any compromise of principles, I accepted the invitation of the Government of the United States to be present and witness the ceremonies that have taken place today. And now let me give the sentiment which has been, and ever will be, the governing passion of my soul: 'Liberty for each, for all, and forever!'
  • The U.S. military, unlike any other, maintains a doctrine of global power projection: that it should have the ability, through roughly 800 overseas military bases, to intervene with deadly force absolutely anywhere on the planet. In a way, though, land forces are secondary; at least since World War II, the key to U.S. military doctrine has always been a reliance on air power. The United States has fought no war in which it did not control the skies, and it has relied on aerial bombardment far more systematically than any other military-in its recent occupation of Iraq, for instance, even going so far as to bomb residential neighborhoods of cities ostensibly under its own control. The essence of U.S. military predominance in the world is, ultimately, the fact that it can, at will, drop bombs, with only a few hours' notice, at absolutely any point on the surface of the planet. No other government has ever had anything remotely like this sort of capability. In fact, a case could well be made that it is this very power that holds the entire world monetary system, organized around the dollar, together.
  • I would protect the law-abiding citizen, whether of native or foreign birth, wherever his rights are jeopardized or the flag of our country floats.
  • As the United States is the freest of all nations, so, too, its people sympathize with all people struggling for liberty and self-government; but while so sympathizing it is due to our honor that we should abstain from enforcing our views upon unwilling nations and from taking an interested part, without invitation.
  • Under existing conditions the negro votes the Republican ticket because he knows his friends are of that party. Many a good citizen votes the opposite, not because he agrees with the great principles of state which separate parties, but because, generally, he is opposed to negro rule. This is a most delusive cry. Treat the negro as a citizen and a voter, as he is and must remain, and soon parties will be divided, not on the color line, but on principle. Then we shall have no complaint of sectional interference.
  • Encourage free schools, and resolve that not one dollar of money shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian school. Resolve that neither the state nor nation, or both combined, shall support institutions of learning other than those sufficient to afford every child growing up in the land the opportunity of a good common school education, unmixed with sectarian, Pagan, or Atheistical tenets. Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and the state forever separate.
  • It is to be hoped that such legislation may be another step toward the great consummation to be reached, when no man shall be permitted, directly or indirectly, under any guise, excuse, or form of law, to hold his fellow-man in bondage. I am of opinion also that it is the duty of the United States, as contributing toward that end, and required by the spirit of the age in which we live, to provide by suitable legislation that no citizen of the United States shall hold slaves as property in any other country or be interested therein.
  • As soon as slavery fired upon the flag it was felt, we all felt, even those who did not object to slaves, that slavery must be destroyed. We felt that it was a stain to the Union that men should be bought and sold like cattle.
  • In view of the constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful. The law regards man as man, and takes no account of his surroundings or of his color when his civil rights as guaranteed by the supreme law of the land are involved.
  • But notwithstanding all this, in many parts of our country where the colored population is large the people of that race are by various devices deprived of any effective exercise of their political rights and of many of their civil rights. The wrong does not expend itself upon those whose votes are suppressed. Every constituency in the Union is wronged.
  • As sons of freedom you are now called upon to defend your most inestimable blessing. As Americans, your country looks with confidence on her adopted children, for a valorous support, as a faithful return for the advantages enjoyed under her mild and equitable government.
  • Our Federal Union! It must be preserved!
    • Andrew Jackson, Toast at a celebration of Thomas Jefferson's birthday (13 April 1830); as quoted in Public Men and Events from the Commencement of Mr. Monroe's Administration, in 1817, to the Close of Mr. Fillmore's Administration, in 1853 (1875) by Nathan Sargent
  • There is much more to being a patriot and a citizen than reciting the pledge or raising a flag. Patriots serve. Patriots vote. Patriots attend meetings in their community. Patriots pay attention to the actions of government and speak out when needed. Patriots teach their children about our history, our precious democracy and about citizenship. Being an active, engaged citizen means being a patriotic American every day. No law will make a citizen a patriot.
  • As a nation we have made peace and war, as a nation we have vanquished our common enemies. As a nation we have formed alliances, and made treaties, and entered into various compacts and conventions with foreign states.
  • We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. 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.
  • This is your country as well as anybody else's country. This country is founded upon the principle of equality. He that is meritorious and virtuous, intellectual and well informed, must stand highest, without regard to color.
  • Americans of every race and color have died in battle to protect our freedom. Americans of every race and color have worked to build a nation of widening opportunities. Now our generation of Americans has been called on to continue the unending search for justice within our own borders. We believe that all men are created equal. Yet many are denied equal treatment. We believe that all men have certain unalienable rights. Yet many Americans do not enjoy those rights. We believe that all men are entitled to the blessings of liberty. Yet millions are being deprived of those blessings--not because of their own failures, but because of the color of their skin. The reasons are deeply embedded in history and tradition and the nature of man. We can understand--without rancor or hatred--how this all happened. But it cannot continue. Our Constitution, the foundation of our Republic, forbids it. The principles of our freedom forbid it. Morality forbids it.
  • We are one nation and one people. Our fate as a nation and our future as a people rest not upon one citizen, but upon all citizens. This is the majesty and the meaning of this moment. For every generation, there is a destiny. For some, history decides. For this generation, the choice must be our own. Our mission is at once the oldest and the most basic of this country: to right wrong, to do justice, to serve man.
  • In this same month ninety-five years ago, on March 30, 1870, the Constitution of the United States was amended for the fifteenth time to guarantee that no citizen of our land should be denied the right to vote because of race or color. The command of the Fifteenth Amendment is unequivocal and its equal force upon State Governments and the Federal Government is unarguable. Section 1 of this Amendment provides: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shah not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. By the oath I have taken 'to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States', duty directs, and strong personal conviction impels, that I advise the Congress that action is necessary, and necessary now, if the Constitution is to be upheld and the rights of all citizens are not to be mocked, abused and denied.
  • This was the first nation in the history of the world to be founded with a purpose. The great phrases of that purpose still sound in every American heart, North and South. 'All men are created equal', 'government by consent of the governed', 'give me liberty or give me death'. Well, those are not just clever words, or those are not just empty theories. In their name Americans have fought and died for two centuries, and tonight around the world they stand there as guardians of our liberty, risking their lives. Those words are a promise to every citizen that he shall share in the dignity of man. This dignity cannot be found in a man's possessions; it cannot be found in his power, or in his position. It really rests on his right to be treated as a man equal in opportunity to all others. It says that he shall share in freedom, he shall choose his leaders, educate his children, and provide for his family according to his ability and his merits as a human being.
  • To deny a man his hopes because of his color or race, his religion or the place of his birth–is not only to do injustice, it is to deny America and to dishonor the dead who gave their lives for American freedom. Our fathers believed that if this noble view of the rights of man was to flourish, it must be rooted in democracy. The most basic right of all was the right to choose your own leaders. The history of this country, in large measure, is the history of the expansion of that right to all of our people.
  • All Americans must have the privileges of citizenship regardless of race. And they are going to have those privileges of citizenship regardless of race. But I would like to caution you and remind you that to exercise these privileges takes much more than just legal right. It requires a trained mind and a healthy body. It requires a decent home, and the chance to find a job, and the opportunity to escape from the clutches of poverty. Of course, people cannot contribute to the Nation if they are never taught to read or write, if their bodies are stunted from hunger, if their sickness goes untended, if their life is spent in hopeless poverty just drawing a welfare check. So we want to open the gates to opportunity. But we are also going to give all our people, black and white, the help that they need to walk through those gates.
  • Every American citizen must have an equal right to vote. There is no reason which can excuse the denial of that right. There is no duty which weighs more heavily on us than the duty we have to ensure that right.
  • It is wrong, deadly wrong, to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote in this country. There is no issue of states' rights or national rights. There is only the struggle for human rights.
  • Above the pyramid on the great seal of the United States it says, in Latin: 'God has favored our undertaking.' God will not favor everything that we do. It is rather our duty to divine His will. But I cannot help believing that He truly understands and that He really favors the undertaking that we begin here tonight.
  • This nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.
    • John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Radio and television report to the American people on civil rights (June 11, 1963); reported in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1963, p. 468.
  • I look forward to an America which commands respect throughout the world not only for its strength but for its civilization as well. And I look forward to a world which will be safe not only for democracy and diversity but also for personal distinction.
  • If you're a real American that is, an American Indian you're lucky to be alive. For whether he really believed it or not, the white man has acted on the principle that "The only good Indian is a dead one". This was certainly one of the foundation stones upon which the white European invaders of North America and their descendants established and built the republic of the USA.
    • Stetson Kennedy, Jim Crow Guide: The Way it Was (1955), Ch.1, "No Room For Redskins".
  • Most of the American laws defining race are not to be compared with those once enforced by Nazi Germany, the latter being relatively more liberal. In the view of the Nazis, persons having less than one fourth Jewish blood could qualify as Aryans, whereas many of the American laws specify that persons having one-eighth, one-sixteenth, or "any ascertainable" Negro blood are Negroes in the eyes of the law and subject to all restrictions governing the conduct of Negroes.
    • Stetson Kennedy, Jim Crow Guide: The Way it Was (1955), Ch.4, "Who is Colored Where".
  • It's wrong to hate. It always has been wrong and it always will be wrong. It's wrong in America, it's wrong in Germany, it's wrong in Russia, it's wrong in China. It was wrong in 2000 B.C., and it's wrong in 1954 A.D. It always has been wrong, and it always will be wrong. It's wrong to throw our lives away in riotous living. No matter if everybody in Detroit is doing it, it's wrong. It always will be wrong, and it always has been wrong. It's wrong in every age and it's wrong in every nation. Some things are right and some things are wrong, no matter if everybody is doing the contrary.
  • We must work assiduously and with determined boldness to remove from the body politic this cancerous disease of discrimination which is preventing our democratic and Christian health from being realized. Then and only then will we be able to bring into full realization the dream of our American democracy, a dream yet unfulfilled. A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed; a dream of a land where men will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few; a dream of a land where men do not argue that the color of a man’s skin determines the content of his character, where they recognize that the basic thing about a man is not his specific but his fundamentum.
  • The Declaration of Independence proclaimed to a world, organized politically and spiritually around the concept of the inequality of man, that the dignity of human personality was inherent in man as a living being. The Emancipation Proclamation was the offspring of the Declaration of Independence. It was a constructive use of the force of law to uproot a social order which sought to separate liberty from a segment of humanity. Our pride and progress could be unqualified if the story might end here. But history reveals that America has been a schizophrenic personality where these two documents are concerned. On the one hand she has proudly professed the basic principles inherent in both documents. On the other hand she has sadly practiced the antithesis of these principles.
  • Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal'.
  • This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, 'My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring', and if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
  • We must face the fact that in America, the church is still the most segregated major institution in America. At 11:00 on Sunday morning when we stand and sing and Christ has no east or west, we stand at the most segregated hour in this nation. This is tragic. Nobody of honesty can overlook this. Now, I'm sure that if the church had taken a stronger stand all along, we wouldn't have many of the problems that we have. The first way that the church can repent, the first way that it can move out into the arena of social reform is to remove the yoke of segregation from its own body.
  • In the past ten years unarmed gallant men and women of the United States have given living testimony to the moral power and efficacy of nonviolence. By the thousands, faceless, anonymous, relentless young people, black and white, have temporarily left the ivory towers of learning for the barricades of bias. Their courageous and disciplined activities have come as a refreshing oasis in a desert sweltering with the heat of injustice. They have taken our whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in the formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. One day all of America will be proud of their achievements.
  • We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered.
  • In the final analysis the weakness of Black Power is its failure to see that the black man needs the white man and the white man needs the black man. However much we may try to romanticize the slogan, there is no separate black path to power and fulfillment that dies not intersect white paths, and there is no separate white path to power and fulfillment, short of social disaster, that does not share that power with black aspirations for freedom and human dignity. We are bound together in a single garment of destiny. The language, the cultural patterns, the music, the material prosperity, and even the food of America are an amalgam of black and white.
  • Many of the ugly pages of American history have been obscured and forgotten. A society is always eager to cover misdeeds with a cloak of forgetfulness, but no society can fully repress an ugly past when the ravages persist into the present. America owes a debt of justice which it has only begun to pay.
  • Let us be dissatisfied until America will no longer have a high blood pressure of creeds and an anemia of deeds.
  • I say to you that our goal is freedom, and I believe we are going to get there because however much she strays away from it, the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be as a people, our destiny is tied up in the destiny of America.
  • All we say to America is: 'Be true to what you said on paper.' If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn't committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.
  • Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determinatio, and let us move on in these powerful days. These days of challenge to make America what it ought to be; we have an opportunity to make America a better nation.
  • Madam, don't bring up your sons to detest the United States government. Recollect that we form one country now. Abandon all these local animosities, and make your sons Americans.
    • Robert Edward Lee, advice to a Confederate widow who expressed animosity towards the northern U.S. after the American Civil War, as quoted in The Life and Campaigns of General Lee (1875) by Edward Lee Childe, p. 331. Also quoted in "Will Confederate Heritage Advocates Take Robert E. Lee’s Advice?" (July 2014), by Brooks D. Simpson, Crossroads, WordPress. This quote is sometimes paraphrased as "Madam, do not train up your children in hostility to the government of the United States. Remember, we are all one country now. Dismiss from your mind all sectional feeling, and bring them up to be Americans."
  • That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.
  • Intellectually I know that America is no better than any other country; emotionally I know she is better than every country.
  • Our republican robe is soiled, and trailed in the dust. Let us repurify it. Let us turn and wash it white, in the spirit, if not the blood, of the Revolution. Let us turn slavery from its claims of “moral right,” back upon its existing legal rights, and its arguments of 'necessity'. Let us return it to the position our fathers gave it; and there let it rest in peace. Let us re-adopt the Declaration of Independence, and with it, the practices, and policy, which harmonize with it. Let north and south—let all Americans—let all lovers of liberty everywhere—join in the great and good work. If we do this, we shall not only have saved the Union; but we shall have so saved it, as to make, and to keep it, forever worthy of the saving. We shall have so saved it, that the succeeding millions of free happy people, the world over, shall rise up, and call us blessed, to the latest generations.
  • Let us discard all this quibbling about this man and the other man, this race and that race and the other race being inferior and therefore they must be placed in an inferior position. Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people throughout this land, until we shall once more stand up declaring that all men are created equal.
  • One-sixth, and a little more, of the population of the United States are slaves, looked upon as property, as nothing but property. The cash value of these slaves, at a moderate estimate, is $2,000,000,000. This amount of property value has a vast influence on the minds of its owners, very naturally. The same amount of property would have an equal influence upon us if owned in the north. Human nature is the same, people at the south are the same as those at the north, barring the difference in circumstances. Public opinion is founded, to a great extent, on a property basis. What lessons the value of property is opposed, what enhances its value is favored. Public opinion at the south regards slaves as property and insists upon treating them like other property.
  • One section of our country believes slavery is right and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute.
  • This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.
  • All persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.
  • Afterward, Vogel invited the audience to come up and be photographed with the re-enactors. I didn't go. I was content just to look down the Mall on that beautiful day, now becoming comfortably warmer. Beyond the reflecting pools, behind the Washington Monument, I could see parts of the Grant sculptures and the wings of the Capitol behind them. It was all very imposing, as befits a great nation. In the aftermath of the morning's program, I was free to imagine, now that we let ourselves remember all of Lincoln's Second Inaugural, what if the United States could live up to its moral implications? What if we did construct a society with no unrequited toil? What if we did achieve a just and lasting peace with all nations? An impossible dream? Well, it was a patriotic occasion, and at a place where dreams have been dreamed before.
  • Americans never quit.
    • Douglas MacArthur, as president of the American Olympic committee when the manager of the American boxing team in the 1928 Olympic games wanted to withdraw the team because of what he thought was an unfair decision against an American boxer; reported in The New York Times (9 August 1928), p. 13.
  • We are Americans first, Americans last, Americans always. Let us argue our differences. But remember we are not enemies, but comrades in a war against a real enemy, and take courage from the knowledge that our military superiority is matched only by the superiority of our ideals, and our unconquerable love for them.
  • Through the violence, chaos and heartache of war, through deprivation and cruelty and loss, we are always Americans, and different, stronger and better than those who would destroy us.
    • John Sidney McCain, as quoted in "Bin Laden's death and the debate over torture" (11 May 2011), The Washington Post.
  • By the time of the Gettysburg Address, in November 1863, the North was fighting for a 'new birth of freedom' to transform the Constitution written by the founding fathers, under which the United States had become the world's largest slaveholding country, into a charter of emancipation for a republic where, as the northern version of 'The Battle Cry of Freedom' put it, 'Not a man shall be a slave'.
  • The administration has said that Iraq has no right to stockpile chemical or biological weapons, mainly because they have used them in the past. Well, if that's the standard by which these matters are decided, then the U.S. is the nation that set the precedent. The U.S. has stockpiled these same weapons and more for over forty years.
  • The truth is, the U.S. has set the standard when it comes to the stockpiling and use of weapons of mass destruction.
  • When a U.S. plane or cruise missile is used to bring destruction to a foreign people, this nation rewards the bombers with applause and praise. What a convenient way to absolve these killers of any responsibility for the destruction they leave in their wake.
  • Whether you wish to admit it or not, when you approve, morally, of the bombing of foreign targets by the U.S. military, you are approving of acts morally equivalent to the bombing in Oklahoma City.
  • America - a conservative country without any conservative ideology-appears now before the world a naked and arbitrary power, as, in the name of realism, its men of decision enforce their often crackpot definitions upon world reality. The second-rate mind is in command of the ponderously spoken platitude. In the liberal rhetoric, vagueness, and in the conservative mood, irrationality, are raised to principle. Public relations and the official secret, the trivializing campaign and the terrible fact clumsily accomplished, are replacing the reasoned debate of political ideas in the privately incorporated economy, the military ascendancy, and the political vacuum of modern America.
  • In the United States… a handful of corporations centralize decisions and responsibilities that are relevant for military and political as well as economic developments of global significance. For nowadays the military and the political cannot be separated from economic considerations of power. We now live not in an economic order or a political order, but in a political economy that is closely linked with military institutions and decisions. This is obvious in the repeated "oil crisis" in the Middle East, or in the relevance of Southeast Asia and African resources for the Western powers…
  • The American elite does not have any real image of peace — other than as an uneasy interlude existing precariously by virtue of the balance of mutual fright. The only seriously accepted plan for peace is the full loaded pistol. In short, war or a high state of war-preparedness is felt to be the normal and seemingly permanent condition of the United States.
  • In America, we vote, we decide as a group of people what our policies are, and that's the way we do business. We don't let violence make those determinations for us.
  • There is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America.
    • Barack H. Obama II, as quoted in speech at the Democratic Convention Speech (27 July 2004).
  • America has never come easy. Our freedom, our democracy, has never been easy. Sometimes we stumble; we make mistakes. We get frustrated or discouraged. But for more than two hundred years, we have put those things aside and placed our collective shoulder to the wheel of progress: to create and build and expand the possibilities of individual achievement; to free other nations from tyranny and fear; to promote justice and fairness and equality under the law, so that the words set to paper by our founders are made real for every citizen. The America we want for our kids. A rising America where honest work is plentiful and communities are strong; where prosperity is widely shared and opportunity for all lets us go as far as our dreams and toil will take us. None of it is easy.
  • Both Socrates and Christ taught economic man to be at least slightly ashamed of himself when he failed to sacrifice the lower capacity to the higher. Freud is America’s great teacher, despite his ardent wish to avoid that fate. For it was precisely the official and parental shams of high ideals that Freud questioned. In their stead, Freud taught lessons which Americans, prepared by their own national experience, learn easily: survive, resign yourself to living within your moral means, suffer no gratuitous failures in a futile search for ethical heights that no longer exist—if they ever did.
    • Philip Rieff, The Triumph of the Therapeutic (1966), chapter 2
  • The American political system is like a gigantic Mexican Christmas fiesta. Each political party is a huge piñata — a papier-mâché donkey, for example. The donkey is filled with full employment, low interest rates, affordable housing, comprehensive medical benefits, a balanced budget and other goodies. The American voter is blindfoled and given a stick. The voter then swings the stick wildly in every direction, trying to hit a political candidate on the head and knock some sense into the silly bastard.
  • Wherever there's injustice, oppression, and suffering, America will show up six months late and bomb the country next to where it's happening.
    • P. J. O'Rourke, as quoted in Peace Kills: America's Fun New Imperialism (2004).
  • Muslims and Arabs have long memories. Americans, unfortunately, have very short memories, and they don't remember our foreign policy that may have antagonized.
  • I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
  • I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
  • I love our flag, our constitution, and our country, with a love that has no bounds. I defended all three for 35 years as a soldier and was willing to give my life in their defense. Americans revere their flag as a symbol of the nation.
  • Far from being the Great Satan, I would say that we are the Great Protector. We have sent men and women from the armed forces of the United States to other parts of the world throughout the past century to put down oppression. We defeated Fascism. We defeated Communism. We saved Europe in World War I and World War II. We were willing to do it, glad to do it. We went to Korea. We went to Vietnam. All in the interest of preserving the rights of people. And when all those conflicts were over, what did we do? Did we stay and conquer? Did we say, 'Okay, we defeated Germany. Now Germany belongs to us? We defeated Japan, so Japan belongs to us'? No. What did we do? We built them up. We gave them democratic systems which they have embraced totally to their soul. And did we ask for any land? No. The only land we ever asked for was enough land to bury our dead, and that is the kind of nation we are.
  • Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America.
  • Blood that has soaked into the sands of a beach is all of one color. America stands unique in the world: the only country not founded on race but on a way, an ideal. Not in spite of but because of our polyglot background, we have had all the strength in the world. That is the American way.
    • Ronald Wilson Reagan on August 10, 1988, while signing the Bill Providing Restitution for the Wartime Internment of Japanese-American Civilians, quoting himself at the funeral of Kazuo Masuda in December 1945.
  • This nation was created to give expression, validity and purpose to our spiritual heritage—the supreme worth of the individual. In such a nation—a nation dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal—racial discrimination has no place. It can hardly be reconciled with a Constitution that guarantees equal protection under law to all persons. In a deeper sense, too, it is immoral and unjust. As to those matters within reach of political action and leadership, we pledge ourselves unreservedly to its eradication.
  • Equality under law promises more than the equal right to vote and transcends mere relief from discrimination by government. It becomes a reality only when all persons have equal opportunity, without distinction of race, religion, color or national origin, to acquire the essentials of life—housing, education and employment. The Republican Party—the party of Abraham Lincoln—from its very beginning has striven to make this promise a reality. It is today, as it was then, unequivocally dedicated to making the greatest amount of progress toward the objective.
  • A life of slothful ease, a life of that peace which springs merely from lack either of desire or of power to strive after great things, is as little worthy of a nation as of an individual. I ask only that what every self-respecting American demands from himself and from his sons shall be demanded of the American nation as a whole. Who among you would teach your boys that ease, that peace, is to be the first Consideration in their eyes-to be the ultimate goal after which they strive?
  • Thank God for the iron in the blood of our fathers, the men who upheld the wisdom of Lincoln, and bore sword or rifle in the armies of Grant! Let us, the children of the men who proved themselves equal to the mighty days, let us, the children of the men who carried the great Civil War to a triumphant conclusion, praise the God of our fathers that the ignoble counsels of peace were rejected; that the suffering and loss, the blackness of sorrow and despair, were unflinchingly faced, and the years of strife endured; for in the end the slave was freed, the Union restored, and the mighty American republic placed once more as a helmeted queen among nations.
  • No country can long endure if its foundations are not laid deep in the material prosperity which comes from thrift, from business energy and enterprise, from hard, unsparing effort in the fields of industrial activity; but neither was any nation ever yet truly great if it relied upon material prosperity alone. All honor must be paid to the architects of our material prosperity, to the great captains of industry who have built our factories and our railroads, to the strong men who toil for wealth with brain or hand; for great is the debt of the nation to these and their kind. But our debt is yet greater to the men whose highest type is to be found in a statesman like Lincoln, a soldier like Ulysses S. Grant. They showed by their lives that they recognized the law of work, the law of strife; they toiled to win a competence for themselves and those dependent upon them; but they recognized that there were yet other and even loftier duties—duties to the nation.
  • We cannot, if we would, play the part of China, and be content to rot by inches in ignoble ease within our borders, taking no interest in what goes on beyond them, sunk in a scrambling commercialism; heedless of the higher life, the life of aspiration, of toil and risk, busying ourselves only with the wants of our bodies for the day, until suddenly we should find, beyond a shadow of question, what China has already found, that in this world the nation that has trained itself to a career of un-warlike and isolated ease is bound, in the end, to go down before other nations which have not lost the manly and adventurous qualities. If we are to be a really great people, we must strive in good faith to play a great part in the world.
  • No country can long endure if its foundations are not laid deep in the material prosperity which comes from thrift, from business energy and enterprise, from hard, unsparing effort in the fields of industrial activity; but neither was any nation ever yet truly great if it relied upon material prosperity alone. All honor must be paid to the architects of our material prosperity, to the great captains of industry who have built our factories and our railroads, to the strong men who toil for wealth with brain or hand; for great is the debt of the nation to these and their kind. But our debt is yet greater to the men whose highest type is to be found in a statesman like Lincoln, a soldier like Grant. They showed by their lives that they recognized the law of work, the law of strife; they toiled to win a competence for themselves and those dependent upon them; but they recognized that there were yet other and even loftier duties—duties to the nation.
  • The problems are different for the different islands. Porto Rico is not large enough to stand alone. We must govern it wisely and well, primarily in the interest of its own people. Cuba is, in my judgment, entitled ultimately to settle for itself whether it shall be an independent state or an integral portion of the mightiest of republics. But until order and stable liberty are secured, we must remain in the island to insure them, and infinite tact, judgment, moderation, and courage must be shown by our military and civil representatives in keeping the island pacified, in relentlessly stamping out brigandage, in protecting all alike, and yet in showing proper recognition to the men who have fought for Cuban liberty.
  • As a people we claim the right to speak with peculiar emphasis for freedom and for fair treatment of all men without regard to differences of race, fortune, creed or color. We forfeit the right so to speak when we commit or condone such crimes as these of which I speak. The nation, like the individual, cannot commit a crime with impunity. If we are guilty of lawlessness and brutal violence, whether our guilt consists in active participation therein or in mere connivance and encouragement, we shall assuredly suffer later on because of what we have done. The cornerstone of this republic, as of all free governments, is respect for and obedience to the law. Where we permit the law to be defied or evaded, whether by rich man or poor man, by black man or white, we are by just so much weakening the bonds of our civilization and increasing the chances of its overthrow, and of the substitution therefore of a system in which there shall be violent alternations of anarchy and tyranny.
  • Our nation was founded to perpetuate democratic principles. These principles are that each man is to be treated on his worth as a man without regard to the land from which his forefathers came and without regard to the creed which he professes. If the United States proves false to these principles of civil and religious liberty, it will have inflicted the greatest blow on the system of free popular government that has ever been inflicted.
  • Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance. But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as anyone else.
  • What is true of creed is no less true of nationality. There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. This is just as true of the man who puts 'native' before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen. Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance. But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as anyone else.
  • In my Cabinet at the time there were men of English and French, German, Irish, and Dutch blood, men born on this side and men born in Germany and Scotland; but they were all Americans and nothing else; and every one of them was incapable of thinking of himself or of his fellow-countrymen, excepting in terms of American citizenship. If any one of them had anything in the nature of a dual or divided allegiance in his soul, he never would have been appointed to serve under me, and he would have been instantly removed when the discovery was made. There wasn't one of them who was capable of desiring that the policy of the United States should be shaped with reference to the interests of any foreign country or with consideration for anything, outside of the general welfare of humanity, save the honor and interest of the United States, and each was incapable of making any discrimination whatsoever among the citizens of the country he served, of our common country, save discrimination based on conduct and on conduct alone.
  • For an American citizen to vote as a German-American, an Irish-American, or an English-American, is to be a traitor to American institutions; and those hyphenated Americans who terrorize American politicians by threats of the foreign vote are engaged in treason to the American Republic.
  • The foreign-born population of this country must be an Americanized population. No other kind can fight the battles of America either in war or peace. It must talk the language of its native-born fellow-citizens; it must possess American citizenship and American ideals. It must stand firm by its oath of allegiance in word and deed and must show that in very fact it has renounced allegiance to every prince, potentate, or foreign government. It must be maintained on an American standard of living so as to prevent labor disturbances in important plants and at critical times. None of these objects can be secured as long as we have immigrant colonies, ghettos, and immigrant sections, and above all they cannot be assured so long as we consider the immigrant only as an industrial asset. The immigrant must not be allowed to drift or to be put at the mercy of the exploiter.
  • As a people we must be united. If we are not united we shall slip into the gulf of measureless disaster. We must be strong in purpose for our own defense and bent on securing justice within our borders. If as a nation we are split into warring camps, if we teach our citizens not to look upon one another as brothers but as enemies divided by the hatred of creed for creed or of those of one race against those of another race, surely we shall fail and our great democratic experiment on this continent will go down in crushing overthrow.
  • All of us, no matter from what land our parents came, no matter in what way we may severally worship our Creator, must stand shoulder to shoulder in a united America for the elimination of race and religious prejudice. We must stand for a reign of equal justice to both big and small. We must insist on the maintenance of the American standard of living.
  • Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood—the virtues that made America. The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.
    • Theodore Roosevelt, letter to S. Stanwood Menken, chairman, committee on Congress of Constructive Patriotism (10 January 1917). Roosevelt’s sister, Mrs. Douglas Robinson, read the letter to a national meeting, January 26, 1917. Reported in Proceedings of the Congress of Constructive Patriotism, Washington, D.C., January 25–27, 1917 (1917), p. 172.
  • The public now has little sympathy for anyone defending themselves against even transparently illegal assaults by government authorities. The federal government now is precisely the kind of government that none of the Founding Fathers wanted–a centralized national government with unlimited power. No, it is no longer the land of the free. And with such citizens, it cannot be the home of the brave either. A shame and the disgrace to the Founders, it has become a home of cowardly serfs, people who have forgotten, or now perhaps have never known, what their country is all about.
  • While persons have the right to exercise their rights, like voluntary association, for good reasons, bad reasons, or no reasons, no one has the right to any action whose purpose is to perpetuate crime and escape from justice. Southern slave owners, although we may say, as Lincoln, Grant, and Sherman actually did, that they were acting in good faith, nevertheless were engaged in one of the most vile businesses of human history. Even worse, they were justifying it with a pure racism that served to all but completely dehumanize their African bondsmen. This became one of the worst poisons in American history. It had already infected Constitutional Law through the Dred Scott decision, which held that no black person was a citizen of the United States or had any rights that need be recognized by white people. This monstrous doctrine did not end with the Civil War. Even when the slaves were free, and their rights enshrined in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, the Southern die-hards, given a free hand by the withdrawal of Federal forces in 1877, created regimes of Jim Crow and Segregation that disenfranchised, terrorized, and oppressed black people for another century.
  • Much as the Civil War damaged Constitutional government, this pales in comparison to the degree to which racist Segregationists discredited the Tenth Amendment by constantly invoking Federalism and States' Rights in order to justify their crimes and brutality against black people. By the 1960s, it was impossible to mention the Tenth Amendment without sounding like one of them. As with slavery itself, they were using what sounded like noble principles to hide the most appalling and disgraceful beliefs, attitudes, and actions.
  • I do not pay taxes or obey many other Federal and State laws except under duress, with the real and present threat of violence.
  • There was no simple and decisive 'solution' to the evil of slavery, in that the means of abolishing slavery that actually became historically available involved an exchange for hideous war dead, segregation, the promotion of federal power, and other evils. To the extent that slavery as such was decisively discredited in human history, the price may or may not have been worth it, but the price was paid and a certain decisive result was achieved. Even so, ironically, the United States is nevertheless routinely despised for having allowed slavery in the first place! And some 'civil rights' groups still demand 'reparations' for the loss of property, income, and freedom suffered by African slaves! America and Britain in particular are thus damned for an institution that they did not create, even though they both ended it, even while someone like Louis Farrakhan seeks refuge in Islam, which created the African slave trade in the first place, never condemned or abolished slavery, and which in some places still tolerates it. This is moral perversity elevated to new heights. Which is not to condemn Islam, any more than America or Britain, but just those hypocrites who don't know or don't care that Islamic Law, which in principle is flexible enough, may not have quite caught up with the 20th Century, or, in some cases, the 19th. After the price that America paid for the 13th Amendment, she only deserves honor, not contempt. Furthermore, do we need to say that the motivation to Save the Union was unworthy in itself? No union founded on injustice would deserve to be preserved, but the only injustice of the original Union recognized by most abolitionists was the injustice of slavery itself.
  • African Americans comprise the least number of left liberals and the highest number of libertarians. The result that African Americans comprised the least number of left liberals and the highest number of libertarians might raise some eyebrows, since it is commonly assumed, when they vote 80-90% Democratic, that black Americans are staunchly liberal, statist, and far from any kind of laissez-faire libertarianism. Of course, as historic and continuing victims of statism, African Americans should be libertarians–and perhaps they are, without realizing that the Democratic Party does not well serve their preferences.
  • According to one way of thinking, the United States never had any colonial possessions. According to another, every square inch of the United States is a colonial possession. Either view involves judgments that are not very helpful in the case. The United States is not a colonial possession itself since it is ruled by the people who are in it. That most of them, or their ancestors, originated elsewhere doesn't matter much when most human beings are not living where they or their ancestors originated. American Indians, or, as many now prefer, Native Americans, although many of them believe they are literally autochthonous, nevertheless themselves moved into the New World from East Asia. Their isolation for so long after that is nearly unique, the exception to the rule, outside of Australia, of vast human movement across Eurasia and the Pacific, even much of Africa, from prehistoric all through historic times. The colonial possessions of the United States, however, were acquired in the same era and in much the same way as the imperial possessions of the European powers or of Japan.
  • Another hot public and political issue, not just in the United States but elsewhere, as in France, is immigration. Apart from a simple xenophobic dislike of foreigners, hostility of immigrants is often based on economic ideas that immigrants, like 'cheap' foreign labor, drive down wages and take jobs away from natives. Again, however, workers qua workers are producers and labor costs are production costs. Driving down labor costs drives down production costs, which will benefit consumers, either by the reduction of prices in a competitive market or by an increase in profits which will attract competition that will also drive down prices.
  • The greatest benefit of immigration is to increase the size of the domestic free trade zone without all the uncertainties, disputes, recrimination, and misunderstandings that attend the issue of foreign free trade. This made a world superpower of a immigrant nation like the United States, as different policies on immigration and development keep immigrant nations of similar size, Canada and Australia, well back in the pack, great-power-wise. Australia almost 'protected' itself into conquest by Japan.
  • The debate over immigration in the nineties, however, still continues in a kind of vacuum of history and economics, although one may suspect that a kind of Know Nothing-ism in these areas has the same roots as the original Know Nothing Party–in xenophobia. Representative of this tangle, as it also involves issues of free trade and "cheap" foreign labor, it the relationship of the United States to Mexico.
  • All of this is so familiar from American history that there is almost no excuse for anyone not being aware of it. The peaks of American prosperity tend to correspond to peaks in immigration, while the troughs in prosperity also correspond to troughs in immigration. Thus, the greatest surge in immigration ever, between the turn of the century and World War I, which must have burdened job formation to an unparalleled extent, was also an era of unparalleled prosperity and low unemployment. On the other hand, the Great Depression occurred in an era of low immigration, and a program of suppressing immigration further and expelling aliens, especially Mexicans, nevertheless had little effect on domestic unemployment. Exceptions to this pattern are the low immigration but prosperous decades of the Twenties and the Fifties, and the high immigration but economically sluggish Seventies. Higher immigration had started during the prosperous sixties, and so someone might argue that the stagnation of the Seventies could have been due at least in part to immigration; but then prosperity returned in the Eighties without any significant or effective steps being taken against immigration.
  • Immigrants were in the United States because of greater opportunity and the chance of greater wealth. If there really wasn't greater opportunity, because of racism, people would not be coming in the first place; and if there was greater opportunity, then it must be because of some better political arrangements or social traditions than existed back in Mexico, or wherever. But a program to overturn American traditions, perpetuate ghettos of Mexican culture, or to actually return the Southwest to Mexico, reversing the decision, through reconquista, of the Mexican War, would contradict the point of moving to the United States in the first place. The only possible way to make sense of that would be some kind of Cargo Cult economics that could view the Southwest as somehow naturally rich, with wealth just there for the taking, whether by evil Yanquis or by the more deserving Chicanos. Otherwise, why flee from Mexico just to reestablish Mexico, culturally or politically, when you arrive?
  • Most Latin American immigrants, indeed, quickly become Americanized in the peculiar manner that all other immigrants become Americanized. The dynamic of American society has always been profoundly different from whatever 'Old Country' anyone has come from, whether they retain an affection for that country, its language, or anything else. Thus, one discovers that the politically explosive program of bilingual education, which was sold as a more effective means of teaching English to immigrant children but was actually administered as part of a political program to preserve a linguistic ghetto and foster the above-mentioned program of resentment and victimization, has actually not been all that popular among immigrants themselves. Immigrant parents have often requested that their children be transferred to English language classes, only to be told that this could not be done, and that it would be better for their children not to do it. The reality of the situation was also revealed when children with Spanish surnames, even if they were native speakers of English and knew not a word of Spanish, were nevertheless put in bilingual classes for Limited English Proficiency students.
  • Much American political xenophobia, then, is really not directed at the attitudes or desires of actual immigrants, but at the attitudes and agenda of a politicized class that wishes to speak for and make use of immigrants for their own domestic purposes. Unfortunately, one thing that this political class can sometimes count on is the radicalized leftist politics often to be found in Mexico and Central American countries.
  • The United States, therefore, does not have an 'immigration problem'. It has a domestic political problem with advocates of a kind of radicalized Sixties politics that has really become anti-capitalist and anti-American. Since this anti-Americanism has become a consistent, if not always dominant, theme in the Democratic Party since 1972 and has infected American politics, law, and policy to the large extent that the American people have bought into and tolerated it, the debate over immigration is not really over its real history or its economic meaning, or even its cultural meaning, when American culture simply folds in any new input into an always growing and amazing kaleidoscope, but over the identity of America itself as a place of political and economic freedom, rather than a place of paternalism and socialism, through which the political class gets to control everyone else's lives and property.
  • The Government of the United States of America ceased to be a legitimate government in 1938. This is because of a decision by the Supreme Court, United States v. Carolene Products Co. There, the Court ruled that economic regulations, in other words those laws that limit the use of private property or otherwise restrict economic freedoms, such as the right to take a job or start a business, all of which constitute 'takings' of some of the rights traditionally associated with private property and personal liberty, will simply not be reviewed or overturned by the Court so long as they have a 'rational basis'.
  • The grievances that motivated and the truths that justified the American Revolution therefore now apply to the federal government of the United States itself. It deserves the same treatment, even if that is not the best course of action.
  • But why should Americans be anti-American? The problem is ideological. Mexicans are proud of Mexico just because it is Mexico, regardless of crime, poverty, corruption, tyranny.
  • The difference between Mexico and the United States is that Mexican identity has a geographical, cultural, and historical foundation, while the United States was founded entirely on the basis of certain principles and ideals, with a history believed to embody those things. The principles and ideals were the accomplishment of the Enlightenment, which especially in political terms, as recognized and advocated by Voltaire to his French readers, went back to John Locke and the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Other Enlightenment tendencies, as with Jean Jacques Rouseau, involved other ideals more in tune with later collectivism, statism, and totaliarianism. In the 19th century the priniciples of Locke and the American Revolution would become Classical Liberalism, for limited, secular government, private property, and the dignity and liberty of the individual.
  • Part of the problem, then, with the founding of America was the degree to which people would judge the country by its success, in their estimation, in living up to its ideals. All the worse if popular political ideals were to change, while American institutions remained largely those of classical liberal form. In a very significant way this is what happened.' Limited government and individualism lost favor by the beginning of the 20th century. What appeared to be progressive ideology in the 20th century was largely for absolutist, collectivist, and statist government, following the ideology of people like Hegel, who influenced the 19th century development of European governments and politics. This was bad enough, and the success of America certainly could not be favorably judged in terms of ideals alien to the spirit of her founding and development; but there would be something worse. Even the successes of America could be judged as inadequate in terms of her own ideals, with the bitter irony of a kind of Catch 22.
  • We may well ask how, by introducing a contrary principle, slavery was America's sin. Was slavery invented in America? No. Slavery had always existed everywhere. The slave trade in West Africa had not even been started by Europeans, but by Arabs. Instead of slaves being exported north across the Sahara, as they had been for centuries, Europeans bought them from the south and exported them across the Atlantic. Was slavery widely recognized as a wrong at the time of the American revolution? No. As we see in the statement of the Sultan of Morocco in 1842, it had not been prohibited by the 'Laws of any Sect'. Slavery was legal under Roman Law, Islamic Law, and, in general, in the Bible. The idea that slavery was wrong originated in the Enlightenment ideology of the American Revolution itself, with about half of the American colonies abolishing slavery during that era, and the Constitution anticipated the abolition of the slave trade in 1808. Support for slavery, of course, continued, not the least among African rulers who sold slaves, but also among slave owners who mostly had history, religion, custom, and law on their side. Did America just never do anything about slavery as time went on? No. The controversy, argued with fury and recrimination, dominated the early years of American politics, resulting in a terrible Civil War in which more than 600,000 Americans died.
  • The readiness to condemn America even for its accomplishments, as though the principles of the Declaration of Independence were immediately discredited just because they were new and faced resistance, is mainly ideological in origin. The real problem does not come with the fulfillment of the ideals, but with what the ideals were in the first place. A 'somehow, they should have known better' view of American history that is fully ahistorical and anachronistic is not a genuine independent conviction but is simply used in the service of ideals that are alien and hostile to the original form of the American project. As a rhetorical device, it condemns America both for things that it excuses in others and for failing to live up to ideals that are not respected anyway.
  • These terrorists aren't trying to kill us because we offended them. They attack us because they want to impose their view of the world on as many people as they can, and America is standing in their way. We need to make it unmistakably clear that we will do whatever it takes, for however long it takes, to defeat radical Islamic terrorism.
  • Individuals who have been wronged by unlawful racial discrimination should be made whole; but under our Constitution there can be no such thing as either a creditor or a debtor race. That concept is alien to the Constitution's focus upon the individual. ...To pursue the concept of racial entitlement - even for the most admirable and benign of purposes - is to reinforce and preserve for future mischief the way of thinking that produced race slavery, race privilege and race hatred. In the eyes of government, we are just one race here. It is American.
    • Antonin Scalia, Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Mineta, 534 U.S. 103 (1995).
  • Douglas, no man will ever be President of the United States who spells 'negro' with two gs.
    • William H. Seward, a retort to Stephen A. Douglas on the Senate floor, after the Illinois senator used an offensive slur in a speech. As quoted in Team of Rivals (2006), by Doris Kearns Goodwin (New York: Simon and Schuster), p. 163.
  • We are America! I don't give a rat's ass if it helps! We are America! We do not fucking torture! We don't do it!
  • It was always accounted a virtue in a man to love his country. With us it is now something more than a virtue. It is a necessity. When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect. Men who have offered their lives for their country know that patriotism is not the fear of something; it is the love of something.
    • Adlai Stevenson, speech to the American Legion convention (27 August 1952), New York City. As quoted in "Democratic Candidate Adlai Stevenson Defines the Nature of Patriotism" in Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches In History (2004) by William Safire, pp. 81-82.
  • Painfully convinced of the unutterable wrongs and woes of slavery; profoundly believing that, according to the true spirit of the Constitution and the sentiments of the fathers, it can find no place under our National Government.
    • Charles Sumner, as quoted in Freedom National, Slavery Sectional (July 27, 1852), U.S. Senate.
  • Despite some of the nonsense that has been said about me by those who should know better, and so much nonsense, or some of which subtracts from the sum total of human knowledge, despite this all, I am a man, a black man, an American. And my history is not unlike that of many blacks from the deep South. And in many ways it is not that much different from that of many other Americans.
  • That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
  • I believe the preservation of our civil liberties to be the most fundamental and important of all our governmental problems, because it always has been with us and always will be with us and if we ever permit those liberties to be destroyed, there will be nothing left in our system worthy of preservation. They constitute the soul of democracy. I believe that there is grave danger in this country of losing our civil liberties as they have been lost in other countries.
    • Earl Warren, views on civil rights declared in a written statement requested by Robert W. Kenny, read during fund raising luncheon at the Biltmore Hotel, in Los Angeles, in the summer of 1938, as quoted in Lawyers Guild Review Vol. 13-14 (1953), p. 47.
  • Unhappy it is though to reflect, that a Brother's Sword has been sheathed in a Brother's breast, and that, the once happy and peaceful plains of America are either to be drenched with Blood, or Inhabited by Slaves. Sad alternative! But can a virtuous Man hesitate in his choice?
  • The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for giving to Mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.
  • 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 & holding the highest offices that are known in the United States.
  • While, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in Union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations; and, what is of inestimable value, they must derive from Union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves, which so frequently afflict neighboring countries not tied together by the same governments, which their own rivalships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and embitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.
  • I never use the words Democrats and Republicans. It's liberals and Americans.
    • James Gaius Watt, in a statement of November 1981, quoted in New York Times (10 October 1983); also quoted in Energy and Environment : The Unfinished Business (1986) by Congressional Quarterly, Inc., p. 91.
  • Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American. America, my fellow citizens, I do not say it in disparagement of any other great people. America is the only idealistic nation in the world. When I speak practical judgments about business affairs, I can only guess whether I am speaking the voice of America or not, but when I speak the ideal purposes of history I know that I am speaking the voice of America, because I have saturated myself since I was a boy in the records of that spirit, and everywhere in them there is this authentic tone of the love of justice and the service of humanity. If by any mysterious influence of error America should not take the leading part in this new enterprise of concerted power, the world would experience one of those reversals of sentiment, one of those penetrating chills of reaction, which would lead to a universal cynicism, for if America goes back upon mankind, mankind has no other place to turn. It is the hope of nations all over the world that America will do this great thing.
    • Woodrow Wilson, address at Sioux Falls (8 September 1919), as recorded in Addresses of President Wilson (1919), p. 86; the first portion of this quote has sometimes been paraphrased: "Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American. America is the only idealistic nation in the world."
  • The problem facing our people here in America is bigger than all other personal or organizational differences. Therefore as leaders, we must stop worrying about the threat we seem to think we pose to each other's personal prestige.
    • Malcolm X, as quoted in Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements (1965) by George Breitman, p. 21.

By naturalized Americans[edit]

  • Too many of us look upon Americans as dollar chasers. This is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated thoughtlessly by the Americans themselves.
  • What then is the American, this new man? He is either an European, or the descendant of an European, hence that strange mixture of blood, which you will find in no other country.
  • Thus are assaults on patriotism failures of character. They are made by privileged people who enjoy the full benefits offered by the country they deride and detest, but they lack the basic decency to pay it the allegiance and respect that honor demands. But honor, of course, is also an object of their derision.
  • In the long and deadly battle against those who hate Western ideals, and hate America in particular, we must be powerfully armed, morally as well as materially. To sustain us through the worst times we need courage and unity, and these must rest on a justified and informed patriotism.
  • I wasn't born in America, but I got here as fast as I could.
  • To Americans, that some desperate wretches should be willing to steal and enslave men by violence and murder for gain, is rather lamentable than strange. But that many civilized, nay, christianized people should approve, and be concerned in the savage practice, is surprising; and still persist, though it has been so often proved contrary to the light of nature, to every principle of Justice and Humanity, and even good policy, by a succession of eminent men, and several late publications.
  • Mingling religion with politics may be disavowed and reprobated by every inhabitant of America.
  • But where says some is the King of America? I'll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain. Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve as monarchy, that in America the law is king.
  • Our citizenship in the United States is our national character. Our citizenship in any particular state is only our local distinction. By the latter we are known at home, by the former to the world. Our great title is AMERICANS.
  • Whoever is fortunate enough to be an American citizen came into the greatest inheritance man has ever enjoyed. He has had the benefit of every heroic and intellectual effort men have made for many thousands of years, realized at last. If Americans should now turn back, submit again to slavery, it would be a betrayal so base the human race might better perish.
  • America's abundance was created not by public sacrifices to the common good, but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. They did not starve the people to pay for America's industrialization. They gave the people better jobs, higher wages, and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance- and thus the whole country was moving forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way.
    • Ayn Rand, as quoted in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966).
  • Businessmen are the one group that distinguishes capitalism and the American way of life from the totalitarian statism that is swallowing the rest of the world. All the other social groups- workers, farmers, professional men, scientists, soldiers- exist under dictatorships, even though they exist in chains, in terror, in misery, and in progressive self-destruction. But there is no such group as businessmen under a dictatorship. Their place is taken by armed thugs: by bureaucrats and commissars. Businessmen are the symbol of a free society, the symbol of America.
    • Ayn Rand, as quoted in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966).
  • Every movement that seeks to enslave a country, every dictatorship or potential dictatorship, needs some minority group as a scapegoat which it can blame for the nation's troubles and use as a justification of its own demands for dictatorial powers. In Soviet Russia, the scapegoat was the bourgeoisie; in Nazi Germany, it was the Jewish people; in America, it is the businessmen.
    • Ayn Rand, as quoted in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966).
  • The most profound breach in this country is not between the rich and the poor, but between the people and the intellectuals. In their view of life, the American people are predominantly Apollonian. The mainstream intellectuals are Dionysian. This means the people are reality-oriented, common sense-oriented, technology-oriented. The intellectuals call this "materialistic," and "middle-class." The intellectuals are emotion-oriented, and seek in panic an escape from a reality they are unable to deal with, and from a technological civilization that ignores their feelings.
    • Ayn Rand, as quoted in Apollo and Dionysus (1969).
  • Try to tell a Russian housewife, who trudges miles on foot in sub-zero weather in order to spend hours standing in line at a state store dispensing food rations, that America is defiled by shopping centers, expressways and family cars.
    • Ayn Rand, as quoted in The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution (1971).
  • Thanksgiving is a typically American holiday. The lavish meal is a symbol of the fact that abundant consumption is the result and reward of production.
    • Ayn Rand, as quoted in The Ayn Rand Letter.
  • I can say, not as a patriotic bromide, but with full knowledge of the necessary metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, political, and aesthetic roots, that the United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world.
    • Ayn Rand, as quoted in Philosophy: Who Needs It (1982).
  • In most countries in the world, your fate and your identity are handed to you; in America, you determine them for yourself. America is a country where you get to write the script of your own life. Your life is like a blank sheet of paper, and you are the artist.
  • America is a new kind of society that produces a new kind of human being. That human being—confident, self-reliant, tolerant, generous, future oriented—is a vast improvement over the wretched, servile, fatalistic, and intolerant human being that traditional societies have always produced, and that Islamic societies produce now.
  • America is the greatest, freest, and most decent society in existence. It is an oasis of goodness in a desert of cynicism and barbarism. This country, once an experiment unique in the world, is now the last best hope for the world.
  • Slavery existed all over the world. The Egyptians had slaves. The Chinese had slaves. The Africans did. American Indians had slaves long before Columbus, and tragically, slavery continues today in many countries. What's uniquely western is the abolition of slavery, and what's uniquely American is the fighting of a great war to end it.
  • No more, America, in mournful strain. Of wrongs, and grievance unredress'd complain. No longer shalt thou dread the iron chain. Which wanton Tyranny with lawless hand. Had made, and with it meant t' enslave the land.
    • Phillis Wheatley, as quoted in "To The Right Honorable William, Earl of Dartmouth" st. 2-3, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773).

By non-Americans[edit]

  • I found America the friendliest, most forgiving, and most generous nation I had ever visited. We South Americans tend to think of things in terms of convenience, whereas people in the United States approach things ethically. This — amateur Protestant that I am — I admired above all. It even helped me overlook skyscrapers, paper bags, television, plastics, and the unholy jungle of gadgets.
  • It would be some time before I fully realized that the United States sees little need for diplomacy; power is enough. Only the weak rely on diplomacy. This is why the weak are so deeply concerned with the democratic principle of the sovereign equality of states, as a means of providing some small measure of equality for that which is not equal in fact. Coming from a developing country, I was trained extensively in international law and diplomacy and mistakenly assumed that the great powers, especially the United States, also trained their representatives in diplomacy and accepted the value of it. But the Roman Empire had no need for diplomacy. Nor does the United States. Diplomacy is perceived by an imperial power as a waste of time and prestige and a sign of weakness.
  • Well, brother, I don't mind that. It's a good place. When you are asked, you just say he was going, he said, to America." He put the revolver to his right temple. "You can't do it here, it's not the place", cried Achilles, rousing himself, his eyes growing bigger and bigger. Svidrigaïlov pulled the trigger.
  • I was the last to consent to the separation; but the separation having been made and having become inevitable, I have always said, as I say now, that I would be the first to meet the friendship of the United States as an independent power.
    • George III, to John Adams in Londnon, as quoted in Adams, C.F. (editor) (1850–56), The works of John Adams, second president of the United States, vol. VIII, pp. 255–257, quoted in Ayling, p. 323 and Hibbert, p. 165.
  • Our every action is a battle cry against imperialism, and a battle hymn for the people's unity against the great enemy of mankind: the United States of America.
  • I know that's hard for you to accept, but George kind of knocked it out of the park. I can tell you, and I'm actually here to tell you that America now has five million people being kept alive by these drugs. That's something that everyone should know.
  • The gigantic North American State, with the enormous resources of its virgin soil, is much more invulnerable than the encircled German Reich. Should a day come when the die which will finally decide the destinies of the nations will have to be cast in that country, England would be doomed if she stood alone.
  • Thus the American presents a strange picture: a European with Negro behaviour and an Indian soul.
    • Carl Jung, Civilization in Transition (1964), tr. R. F. C. Hull, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, p. 46.
  • I hope that there is no jealousy, or even ground of jealousy, on the part of the Americans, but that they know that when their rights come to be discussed here the greatest attention will be paid to their interests. They have long been acquainted with the habits of this country, and with the mode of administering justice here : until within these few years their causes used to come over here to be discussed, and I never heard that the decisions in our Courts ever awakened the least jealousy in the breasts of the inhabitants of that country.
    • Lord Kenyon, C.J., Wilson v. Marryat (1798), 8 T. R. 44, reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 13.
  • Look at Vietnam, look at Lebanon. Whenever soldiers start coming home in body bags, Americans panic and retreat. Such a country needs only to be confronted with two or three sharp blows, then it will flee in panic, as it always has.
  • In today's wars, there are no morals. We believe the worst thieves in the world today and the worst terrorists are the Americans. We do not have to differentiate between military or civilian. As far as we are concerned, they are all targets.
  • The call to wage war against America was made because America has spear-headed the crusade against the Islamic nation, sending tens of thousands of its troops to the land of the two Holy Mosques over and above its meddling in its affairs and its politics, and its support of the oppressive, corrupt and tyrannical regime that is in control. These are the reasons behind the singling out of America as a target. And not exempt of responsibility are those Western regimes whose presence in the region offers support to the American troops there. We know at least one reason behind the symbolic participation of the Western forces and that is to support the Jewish and Zionist plans for expansion of what is called the Great Israel. Surely, their presence is not out of concern over their interests in the region.
  • After our victory in Afghanistan and the defeat of the oppressors who had killed millions of Muslims, the legend about the invincibility of the superpowers vanished. Our boys no longer viewed America as a superpower. So, when they left Afghanistan, they went to Somalia and prepared themselves carefully for a long war. They had thought that the Americans were like the Russians, so they trained and prepared. They were stunned when they discovered how low was the morale of the American soldier. America had entered with 30,000 soldiers in addition to thousands of soldiers from different countries in the world.
  • Any effort directed against America and the Jews yields positive and direct results, God willing. It is far better for anyone to kill a single American soldier than to squander his efforts on other activities.
  • You have destroyed nature with your industrial waste and gases more than any other nation in history. Despite this, you refuse to sign the Kyoto agreement so that you can secure the profit of your greedy companies and industries.
  • Every Muslim, from the moment they realize the distinction in their hearts, hates Americans, hates Jews and hates Christians. For as long as I can remember, I have felt tormented and at war, and have felt hatred and animosity for Americans.
    • Osama bin Laden, as quoted in Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden (2005) by Bruce Lawrence
  • Sixty years ago, at dawn on June 25, the Korean War broke out when Communist North Korea invaded the Republic of Korea. In response, 16 member countries of the United Nations, including the United States, joined with the Republic of Korea to defend freedom. Over the next three years of fighting, about 37,000 Americans lost their lives. They fought for the freedom of Koreans they did not even know, and thanks to their sacrifices, the peace and democracy of the republic were protected.
  • On the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, I remain grateful to America for having participated in the war. At that time, the Republic of Korea was one of the most impoverished countries, with an annual per capita income of less than $40. In 2009, my country became a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Development Assistance Committee, the first aid recipient to become a donor and in only one generation.
  • I've got nothing against any individual American, except that there aren't any. They're always Irish-American, African-American–there's never an American-American you can blame!
  • I am certain that I speak on behalf of my entire nation when I say, today we are all Americans. In grief, as in defiance.
  • I found that many Americans did not even know that a country named Iran existed, let alone what it was like. Even among the diplomatic corps and among well-educated people, there was a vagueness about who the Iranians were or what the culture was, a tendency to confuse Iran with Iraq or to mistakenly assume that Iran is an Arab country simply because it is an Islamic nation. This fuzziness about the world outside is unique to America; among the intelligensia of European countries, for example, there is generally a higher level of awareness and information regarding cultures other than their own.
    • Ashraf Pahlavi, as quoted in Faces in a Mirror (1980), Prentice Hall, page 100.
  • I am continually amused by the Communist argument that the United States tries to prevent the less-developed countries from industrializing in order to keep them subservient to herself. In our extended dealings with the American aid authorities, we have never found this to be the case; on the contrary, they have helped us with a wide variety of industrial projects, including those that compete directly with American industries. The Americans have enough sense to prefer strong and prosperous friends, and they realize that their most lucrative international trade is with other highly industrialized countries, not with weak and backward ones.
  • The U.S. is a very democratic state. There's no doubt about that; and it originally developed as a democratic state. When the first settlers set their foot on the continent, life forced them to forge a relationship and maintain a dialogue with each other to survive. That's why America was conceived as a fundamental democracy.
  • Strangely, it is always America that is described as degenerate and 'fascist', while it is solely in Europe that actual dictatorships and totalitarian regimes spring up.
  • The success and originality of American integration stem precisely from the fact that immigrants' descendants can perpetuate their ancestral cultures while thinking of themselves as Americans in the fullest sense, sharing basic ideals across racial and ethnic barriers.
  • They are escaped convicts. His Majesty is fortunate to be rid of such rabble. Their true God is power.
  • In the five centuries since Columbus discovered the New World, savagery has been part of American life. There has been the violence of conquest and resistance, the violence of racial difference, the violence of civil war, the violence of bandits and gangsters, the violence of lynch law, all set against the violence of the wilderness and the city.
  • There is only one possible route of action, Greenhouse gases have to be radically reduced and it has to happen worldwide. Until now, the U.S. has kept its eyes shut to this emergency. [Americans] make up a mere 4 percent of the population, but are responsible for close to a quarter of emissions.
  • Americans of all ages, all stations of life, and all types of disposition are forever forming associations...In democratic countries knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; on its progress depends that of all the others.
  • The people reign in the American political world as the Deity does in the universe. They are the cause and the aim of all things; everything comes from them, and everything is absorbed in them.
  • In the United States the sovereign authority is religious, and consequently hypocrisy must be common; but there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America; and there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.
  • Should hostilities once break out between Japan and the United States, it is not enough that we take Guam and the Philippines, nor even Hawaii and San Francisco. To make victory certain, we would have to march into Washington and dictate the terms of peace in the White House. I wonder if our politicians, among whom armchair arguments about war are being glibly bandied about in the name of state politics, have confidence as to the final outcome and are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices.
  • In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States and Great Britain I will run wild and win victory upon victory. But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success.
    • Isoroku Yamamoto, statement to Japanese cabinet minister Shigeharu Matsumoto and Japanese prime minister Fumimaro Konoe, as quoted in Eagle Against the Sun: The American War With Japan (1985) by Ronald Spector.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 21-23.
  • E pluribus unum.
    • From many, one.
    • Motto of the United States of America. First appeared on title page of Gentleman's Miscellany, Jan., 1692. Pierre Antoine (Peter Anthony Motteaux) was editor. Dr. Simetiere affixed it to the American National Seal at time of the Revolution. See Howard P. Arnold Historical Side Lights. Compare: "Ex pluribus unum facere"; translation: From many to make one; St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IV. 8. 13.
  • Yet, still, from either beach,
    The voice of blood shall reach,
    More audible than speech,
    "We are one!"
  • Asylum of the oppressed of every nation.
    • Phrase used in the Democratic platform of 1856, referring to the U. S.
  • O, Columbia, the gem of the ocean,
    The home of the brave and the free,
    The shrine of each patriot's devotion,
    A world offers homage to thee.
    • An adaptation of Shaw's Britannia.
  • America! half brother of the world!
    With something good and bad of every land.
  • A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle, and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.
    • Edmund Burke, speech on Conciliation with America, Works, Volume II.
  • Young man, there is America—which at this day serves for little more than to amuse you with stories of savage men and uncouth manners; yet shall, before you taste of death, show itself equal to the whole of that commerce which now attracts the envy of the world.
    • Edmund Burke, speech on Conciliation with America, Works, Volume II.
  • I called the New World into existence to redress the balance of the Old.
  • The North! the South! the West! the East!
    No one the most and none the least,
    But each with its own heart and mind,
    Each of its own distinctive kind,
    Yet each a part and none the whole,
    But all together form one soul;
    That soul Our Country at its best,
    No North, no South, no East, no West,
    No yours, no mine, but always Ours,
    Merged in one Power our lesser powers,
    For no one's favor, great or small,
    But all for Each and each for All.
  • Columbia, Columbia, to glory arise,
    The queen of the world and the child of the skies!
    Thy genius commands thee; with rapture behold,
    While ages on ages thy splendors unfold.
  • Bring me men to match my mountains,
    Bring me men to match my plains,
    Men with empires in their purpose,
    And new eras in their brains.
  • The breaking waves dashed high
    On a stern and rock-bound coast;
    And the woods, against a stormy sky,
    Their giant branches tost.
  • Hail, Columbia! happy land!
    Hail, ye heroes! heavenborn band!
    Who fought and bled in Freedom's cause.
  • America is a tune. It must be sung together.
  • Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
    Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
    Humanity with all its fears,
    With all the hopes of future years,
    Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
  • Down to the Plymouth Rock, that had been to their feet as a doorstep
    Into a world unknown,—the corner-stone of a nation!
  • Earth's biggest Country's gut her soul
    An' risen up Earth's Greatest Nation.
  • When asked what State he hails from,
    Our sole reply shall be,
    He comes from Appomattox And its famous apple tree.
  • Neither do I acknowledge the right of Plymouth to the whole rock. No, the rock underlies all America: it only crops out here.
    • Wendell Phillips, speech at the dinner of the Pilgrim Society at Plymouth (Dec. 21, 1855).
  • Give it only the fulcrum of Plymouth Rock, an idea will upheave the continent.
  • We have room but for one Language here and that is the English Language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans of American nationality and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding-house.
  • My country, 'tis of thee,
    Sweet land of liberty,—
    Of thee I sing:
    Land where my fathers died,
    Land of the Pilgrim's pride,
    From every mountain side
    Let freedom ring.
  • In the four quarters of the globe, who reads an American book? or goes to an American play? or looks at an American picture or statue?
    • Sydney Smith, Works, Volume II. America (Edinburgh Review, 1820).
  • Gigantic daughter of the West
    We drink to thee across the flood….
    For art not thou of English blood?
    • Alfred Tennyson, Hands all Round (in the Oxford Tennyson; Appeared in the Examiner, 1862; The London Times, 1880).
  • So it's home again, and home again, America for me!
    My heart is turning home again, and I long to be
    In the land of youth and freedom beyond the ocean bars,
    Where the air is full of sunshine, and the flag is full of stars.
  • The youth of America is their oldest tradition. It has been going on now for three hundred years.
  • Some Americans need hyphens in their names, because only part of them has come over; but when the whole man has come over, heart and thought and all, the hyphen drops of its own weight out of his name.
    • Woodrow Wilson, address, Unveiling of the Statue to the Memory of Commodore John Barry, Washington (May 16, 1914).
  • Just what is it that America stands for? If she stands for one thing more than another, it is for the sovereignty of self-governing people, and her example, her assistance, her encouragement, has thrilled two continents in this western world with all those fine impulses which have built up human liberty on both sides of the water. She stands, therefore, as an example of independence, as an example of free institutions, and as an example of disinterested international action in the main tenets of justice.
  • We want the spirit of America to be efficient; we want American character to be efficient; we want American character to display itself in what I may, perhaps, be allowed to call spiritual efficiency—clear, disinterested thinking and fearless action along the right lines of thought. America is not anything if it consists of each of us. It is something only if it consists of all of us; and it can consist of all of us only as our spirits are banded together in a common enterprise. That common enterprise is the enterprise of liberty and justice and right. And, therefore, I, for my part, have a great enthusiasm for rendering America spiritually efficient; and that conception lies at the basis of what seems very far removed from it, namely, the plans that have been proposed for the military efficiency of this nation.
  • Home from the lonely cities, time's wreck, and the naked woe,
    Home through the clean great waters where freemen's pennants blow,
    Home to the land men dream of, where all the nations go.
  • We must consult Brother Jonathan.
    • George Washington's familiar reference to his secretary and Aide-de-camp, Col. Jonathan Trumbull; the phrase, Brother Jonathan, later came to mean the American people, collectively.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikivoyage
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for: