Revolutionary Quotes
We built your fort. We will not have it used against us.
John Wayne Allegheny Uprising
Revolution means democracy in today's world, not the enslavement of peoples to the corrupt and degrading horrors of totalitarianism
Ronald Reagan
Restrictions of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.
William O. Douglas
The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty.
Abraham Lincoln
The sin of silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.
Abraham Lincoln
The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people. This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.
John Adams
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
John F. Kennedy
Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Robert F. Kennedy
Those who suppress freedom always do so in the name of law and order.
John V. Lindsay
Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want rain without thunder and lightning.
Frederick Douglass
All civilization has from time to time become a thin crust over a volcano of revolution.
Havelock Ellis
Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
Reinhold Niebuhr
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.
Abraham Lincoln
The French Revolution of a hundred and fifty years ago gradually ushered in an age of political equality, but the times have changed, and that by itself is not enough today. The boundaries of democracy have to be widened now so as to include economic equality also. This is the great revolution through which we are all passing.
Jawaharlal Nehru
If our economy of freedom fails to distribute wealth as ably as it has created it, the road to dictatorship will be open to any man who can persuasively promise security to all.
Will Durant
Any doctrine that weakens personal responsibility for judgement and for action helps create the attitudes that welcome and support the totalitarian state.
John Dewey
I call that mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which calls no man master, which does not content itself with a passive or hereditary faith, which opens itself to light whencesoever it may come, which receives new truth as an angel from Heaven.
William Ellery Channing
A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.
Bertrand de Jouvenel
All the higher, more penetrating ideals are revolutionary. They present themselves far less in the guise of effects of past experience than in that of probable causes of future experience.
William James
A regime, an established order, is rarely overthrown by a revolutionary movement; usually a regime collapses of its own weakness and corruption and then a revolutionary movement enters among the ruins and takes over the powers that have become vacant.
Walter Lippman
Government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit and security of the people, nation or community; whenever any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable, indefeasible right, to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public Weal.
George Mason
You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution.
G.K. Chesterton
Here in America we a descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels- men and women who dared to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, we may never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.
Dwight Eisenhower
There is no substitute for a militant freedom.
Calvin Coolidge
He who would be free must strike the first blow.
Frederick Douglass
Those who give the first shock to a state are the first overwhelmed in its ruin; the fruits of public commotion are seldom enjoyed by him who was the first mover; he only beats the water for another's net.
Michel De Montaigne
There is a kind of revolution of so general a character that it changes the tastes as well as the fortunes of the world.
La Rochefoucauld
The art of revolutionizing and overturning states is to undermine established customs, by going back to their origin, in order to mark their want of justice.
Blaise Pascal
Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence.
John Locke
Everything I see about me is sowing the seeds of a revolution that is inevitable, though I shall not have the pleasure of seeing it. The lightning is so close at hand that it will strike at the first chance, and then there will be a pretty uproar. The young are fortunate, for they will see fine things.
The most sensible and jealous people are so little attentive to government that there are no instances of resistance until repeated, multiplied oppressions have placed it beyond a doubt that their rulers had formed settled plans to deprive them of their liberties; not to oppress an individual or a few, but to break down the fences of a free constitution, and deprive the people at large of all share in the government, and all the checks by which it is limited.
John Adams
It is an observation of one of the profoundest inquirers into human affairs that a revolution of government is the strongest proof that can be given by a people of their virtue and good sense.
John Adams
To dare: that is the whole secret of revolutions.
Antoine Saint-Just
An oppressed people are authorized whenever they can to rise and break their fetters.
Henry Clay
Wherever a man comes, there comes revolution. The old is for slaves.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
All men recognize the right of revolution: that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, or to resist, the government when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.
Henry David Thoreau
Insurgents are like conquerors: they must go forward. The moment they are stopped they are lost.
Revolutions are not made: they come. A revolution is as natural a growth as an oak. It comes out of the past. Its foundations are laid far back.
Wendell Phillips
Revolutions never go backwards.
William Henry Steward
The French revolution was a .eune invented and constructed for the purpose of manufacturing liberty; but it had neither lever cogs, nor adjusting powers, and the consequences were that it worked so rapidly that it destroyed its own inventors, and set itself on fire.
C.C. Colton
Great revolutions, whatever may be their causes, are not lightly commenced, and are not concluded with precipitation.
Benjamin Disraeli
A reform is a correction of abuses; a revolution is a transfer of power.
E.G. Bulwer-Lytton
Whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of a right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government; the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
Declaration of Rights, Maryland
There are but three ways for the populace to escape its wretched lot. The first two are by the routes of the wine-shop or the church; the third is by that of the social revolution.
M.A. Bakunin
Revolutions are not made by men in spectacles.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Revolutions are not made with rosewater.
E.G. Bulwer-Lytton
It is not the insurrections of ignorance that are dangerous, but the revolts of intelligence.
James Russell Lowell
The right to revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of the oppression, if they are strong enough, either by withdrawal from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable.
U.S. Grant
Revolutions can no longer be achieved by minorities. No matter how energetic and intelligent a minority may be, it is not enough, in modern times at least, to make a revolution. The cooperation of a majority, and a large majority too, is needed.
Jean Jaures
One of the chief symptoms of every revolution is the sharp and sudden increase in the number of ordinary people who take an active, independent and forceful interest in politics.
Nikolai Lenin
It is impossible to predict the time and progress of revolution. It is governed by its own more or less mysterious laws. But when it comes it moves irresistibly.
Nikolai Lenin
We must enter and take possession of the consciences of the children, of the consciences of the young, because they do belong, and should belong to the revolution.
Plutarco Calles
Those who are inclined to compromise can never make a revolution.
Kemal Ataturk
He that accepts protection, stipulates obedience. We have always protected the Americans; we may therefore subject them to government.
Samuel Johnson
If there was ever a just war since the world began, it is this in which America is now engaged.
Thomas Paine
I desired as many as could to join together in fasting and prayer, that God would restore the spirit of love and of a sound mind to the poor deluded rebels in America.
John Wesley
If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country I never would lay down my arms,- never! never! never!
William Pitt
The American Revolution was a vindication of liberties inherited and possessed. It was a conservative revolution.
William E. Gladstone
Who draws his sword against his prince must throw away the scabbard.
James Howell
Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.
Thomas Jefferson
My call is the call of battle- I nourish active rebellion;/ He going with me must go well armed.
Walt Whitman
Disobedience in the eyes of any one who has read history is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.
Oscar Wilde
Disobedience, the rarest and most courageous of the virtues, is seldom distinguished from neglect, the laziest and commonest of the vices.
George Bernard Shaw
Tyranny brings ignorance and brutality with it. It degrades men from their just rank into the class of brutes; it damps their spirits; it suppresses art; it extinguishes every spark of noble ardor and generosity in the breasts of those who are enslaved by it; it makes naturally strong and great minds feeble and little, and triumphs over the ruins of virtue and humanity.
Jonathan Mayhew
No government power can be abused long. Mankind will not bear it.
Samuel Johnson
Some boast of being friends to government; I am a friend to righteous government, to a government founded upon the principles of reason and justice; but I glory in publicly avowing my eternal enmity to tyranny.
John Hancock
The evils of tyranny are rarely seen but by him who resists it.
John Hay
It is lawful and hath been held so through all ages for any one who have the power to call to account a tyrant or wicked king, and after due conviction to depose and put him to death.
John Milton
If a sovereign oppresses his people to a degree they will rise and cut off his head. There is a remedy in human nature against tyranny that will keep us safe under every form of government.
Samuel Johnson
'Twixt kings and tyrants there's this difference known;/ Kings seek their subjects' good: tyrants their own.
Robert Herrick
The mob is easily led and may be moved by the smallest force, so that its agitations have a wonderful resemblance to those of the sea.
The common people suffer when the powerful disagree.
Do not wonder if the common people speak more truly than those above them: they speak more safely.
Francis Bacon
Do not be too severe upon the errors of the people, but reclaim them by enlightening them.
Thomas Jefferson
The people are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.
Thomas Jefferson
I am not among those who fear the people. They, and not the rich, are our dependence for continued freedom.
Thomas Jefferson
The welfare of the people is the supreme law.
Motto of Missouri
In your dread of dictators you established a state of society in which every ward boss is a dictator, every private employer a dictator, every financier a dictator, all with the livelihood of the workers at his mercy, and no public responsibility.
George Bernard Shaw
It is the old practice of despots to use a part of the people to keep the rest in order.
Thomas Jefferson
Arbitrary rule has its basis, not in the strength of the state or the chief, but in the moral weakness of the individual, who submits almost without resistance to the domineering power.
Friedrich Hatzel
Despotism has forever had a powerful hold upon the world. Autocratic government, not self-government, has been the prevailing state of mankind. The record of past history is the record, not of the success of republics, but of their failure.
Calvin Coolidge
It violates right order whenever capital so employs the working or wage-earning classes as to divert business and economic activity entirely to its own arbitrary will and advantage, without any regard to the human dignity of the workers, the social character of economic life, social justice, and the common good.
Pope Pius XI
The foundation on which (our government is) built is the natural equality of man, the denial of every pre-eminence but that annexed to legal office, and particularly the denial of a pre-eminence by birth.
Thomas Jefferson
When the government violates the people's rights, insurrection is, for the people and for each portion of the people, the most sacred of rights and the most indispensable of duties.
Marquis De Lafayette
Revolution is the larva of civilization.
Victor Hugo
General rebellions and revolts of a whole people never were encouraged now or at any time. They are always provoked.
Edmund Burke
It is only by instigation of the wrongs of men that what we call the rights of men become turbulent and dangerous.
James Russell Lowell
Revolutions are like the most noxious dungheaps, which bring into life the noblest vegetables.
When all other rights are taken away, the right of rebellion is made perfect.
Thomas Paine
Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell, and George the Third may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it.
Patrick Henry
None but tyrants have any business to be afraid.
Hardouin de Perefixe
He who strikes terror into others is himself in continual fear.
Tyrants have not yet discovered any chains that can fetter the mind.
There is something about men more capable of shaking despotic power than lightening, whirlwind, or earthquake, that is, the threatened indignation of the whole civilized world.
Daniel Webster
Anarchy is the sure consequence of tyranny; for no power that is not limited by laws can ever be protected by them.
John Milton
One sharp, stern struggle, and the slaves of centuries are free.
George Massey
The bigger a state becomes the more liberty diminishes.
Jean Jacques Rousseau
Every generation must wage a new war for freedom against new forces which seek through new devices to enslave mankind.
Progressive Party Platform
The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.
Edmund Burke
Tyrants are always assassinated too late. That is their great excuse.
E.M. Cioran
Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.

It is easier to pass a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Love of money is the root of all evil.

Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you.

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.

In retrospect, all revolutions seem inevitable. Beforehand, all revolutions seem impossible.
Michael McFaul