This article is for quotes about the United States of America (U.S.), also known as the USA or America.
- Without Jefferson the new nation might have lost its soul. Without Hamilton it would assuredly have been killed in body.
- James Truslow Adams, Jeffersonian Principles and Hamiltonian Principles (1932), p. xvii.
- 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.
- John Adams (1785), as quoted in The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: Autobiography (1851), by Charles F. Adams, p. 392.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, First Inaugural Address (20 January 2001).
- 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].
- Will Cuppy, How to Become Extinct (1941).
- 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.
- 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 D. Eisenhower, as quoted in The White House Years: Mandate for Change: 1953–1956: A Personal Account (1963), p. 331
- 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.
- J. William Fulbright, The Arrogance of Power (1966).
- 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.
- David Graeber, Debt: The 5000 Years, p. 365-366.
- 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 F. 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.
- John F. Kennedy, Speech at Amherst College, (October 26, 1963
- 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 U.S.A.
- 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".
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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'.
- James M. McPherson, The Illustrated Battle Cry of Freedom (2003).
- 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…
- C. Wright Mills, Character & Social Structure (1954).
- 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.
- C. Wright Mills The Power Elite (1956).
- In our experience, no modern country is more repressive of human rights than the USA.
- Fred Phelps, writing to the Ambassador to the United States from the People's Republic of China, February 26, 1997.
- 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.
- The Pledge of Allegiance (1923-1954).
- 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.
- The Pledge of Allegiance (1954-present).
- 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.
- 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.
- True Americanism demands that we judge each man on his conduct, that we so judge him in private life and that we so judge him in public life.
- 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.
- We were never hyphenated as Arab-Americans. We were American, and I have always rejected the hyphen and I believe all assimilated immigrants should not be designated ethnically. Or separated, of course, by race, or creed either. These are trends that ever try to divide us as a people.
- Helen Thomas, as quoted in My America: what my country means to me by 150 Americans from all walks of life (2002), Simon & Schuster, p. 238.
- 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.
- George Washington, letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport (1790).
- 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, & 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.
- I never use the words Democrats and Republicans. It's liberals and Americans.
- James G. 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.
By naturalized AmericansEdit
- 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 God of the Machine (1943), p. 292.
- 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.
- J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur, "What Is an American" (1782), Letters from an American Farmer (reprinted 1925), p. 54.
- I wasn't born in America, but I got here as fast as I could.
- Elon Musk, Think Tank interview (2008).
- 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.
- Jorge Luis Borges, The New Yorker (11 September 1970)
- 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.
- 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.
- You are the worst civilization witnessed by the history of mankind.
- 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
- 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!
- Simon Munnery, as quoted in Attention Scum.
- 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.
- Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, as quoted in Mission for my Country (1961), London, p. 301.
- I bow my head to the victims of terrorism. I am highly impressed of the courage of New York residents. The great city and the great American nation are to win!
- Vladimir Putin, inscription at the World Trade Center Memorial Wall (15 November 2001).
- 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.
- I hate America's crimes very much. I detest the Zionists, and I hope that the day will come when the world is free of these germs of corruption and destruction.
- Hossein Shariatmadari, as quoted in No Arab country Has a History as a State Going Back over 100 Years (2007).
- They are escaped convicts. His Majesty is fortunate to be rid of such rabble. Their true God is power.
- Oliver Sharpin, The American Rebels (1804).
- 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.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit
- 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!"
- W. Allston, America to Great Britain.
- 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.
- Philip James Bailey, Festus (1813), scene The Surface, line 340.
- 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.
- George Canning, The King's Message (Dec. 12, 1826).
- 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.
- Edmund Vance Cooke, Each for All, in The Uncommon Commoner.
- 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.
- Timothy Dwight, Columbia.
- 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.
- Sam Walter Foss, The Coming American.
- Wake up America.
- Augustus P. Gardner, speech (Oct. 16, 1916).
- The breaking waves dashed high
On a stern and rock-bound coast;
And the woods, against a stormy sky,
Their giant branches tost.
- Felicia Hemans, Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers.
- Hail, Columbia! happy land!
Hail, ye heroes! heavenborn band!
Who fought and bled in Freedom's cause.
- Joseph Hopkinson, Hail Columbia.
- America is a tune. It must be sung together.
- Gerald Stanley Lee, Crowds (1913), Book V, Part III, Chapter XII.
- 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!
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Building of the Ship, line 367.
- Down to the Plymouth Rock, that had been to their feet as a doorstep
Into a world unknown,—the corner-stone of a nation!
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Courtship of Miles Standish (1858), Part V, Stanza 2.
- Earth's biggest Country's gut her soul
An' risen up Earth's Greatest Nation.
- James Russell Lowell, The Biglow Papers, Second Series. No. 7, Stanza 21.
- When asked what State he hails from,
Our sole reply shall be,
He comes from Appomattox And its famous apple tree.
- Miles O'Reilly, poem quoted by Roscoe Conkling (June, 1880).
- 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.
- Wendell Phillips, speech, New York (Jan. 21, 1863).
- 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.
- Samuel F. Smith, America.
- 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.
- Henry Van Dyke, America for Me.
- The youth of America is their oldest tradition. It has been going on now for three hundred years.
- Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance (1893), Act I.
- 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.
- Woodrow Wilson, speech, Pittsburgh (Jan. 29, 1916).
- 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.
- Woodrow Wilson, speech, Pittsburgh (Jan. 29, 1916).
- 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.
- George E. Woodberry, Homeward Bound.
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