George Washington Quotes

What are your favorite George Washington quotes?

George Washington was a political leader, military general, statesman and writer who is mostly known for serving two terms as the first president of the United States of America from 1789 to 1797. He was the commander in chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.

Washington was also part of a group of American revolutionary leaders (founding fathers) who united the Thirteen Colonies, led the war for independence and set the foundation for what is now modern day United States. Other members of this group included men like John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe and Benjamin Franklin.

George Washington was also interested in writing. He published several books and letters like Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior In Company and Conversation, Letter to Touro Synagogue and many others.

Here are some famous George Washington quotes on success, freedom, liberty, government, leadership, education, political parties, America, constitution as well as some addresses from 1776:

George Washington Quotes On Success

George Washington Quotes On Success

1. My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.

George Washington

Famous George Washington Quotes

Famous George Washington Quotes

2. It is better to be alone than in bad company. -George Washington

3. It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one. -George Washington

4. Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble. -George Washington

5. Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages. -George Washington

6. Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism. -George Washington

7. Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected. -George Washington

8. Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience. -George Washington

9. The turning points of lives are not the great moments. The real crises are often concealed in occurrences so trivial in appearance that they pass unobserved. -George Washington

10. Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation; for ‘tis better to be alone than in bad company. -George Washington

11. 99% of failures come from people who make excuses.

George Washington

12. The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph. -George Washington

13. A sensible woman can never be happy with a fool. -George Washington

14. We must consult our means rather than our wishes. -George Washington

15. Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder. -George Washington

16. To encourage literature and the arts is a duty which every good citizen owes to his country. -George Washington

17. Happiness depends more upon the internal frame of a person’s own mind, than on the externals in the world. -George Washington

18. Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession. -George Washington

19. I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man. -George Washington

20. The turning points of lives are not the great moments. The real crises are often concealed in occurrences so trivial in appearance that they pass unobserved. -George Washington

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

George Washington Quotes On Freedom And Liberty

George Washington Quotes On Freedom And Liberty

22. The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves. -George Washington

23. The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country. -George Washington

24. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a Freeman, contending for liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth. -George Washington

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

George Washington

26. Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth. -George Washington

27. Your love of liberty — your respect for the laws — your habits of industry — and your practice of the moral and religious obligations, are the strongest claims to national and individual happiness. -George Washington

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

George Washington Quotes On Government

George Washington Quotes On Government

29. Mankind, when left to themselves, are unfit for their own government. -George Washington

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

31. Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. -George Washington

32. 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

33. A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?

George Washington

34. The situation of the general government, if it can be called a government, is shaken to its foundation, and liable to be overturned by every blast. -George Washington

35. Government is not reason and it is not eloquence. It is force! Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action. -George Washington

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

37. It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a Free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it. -George Washington

38. The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens, and command the respect of the world. -George Washington

George Washington Quotes On Leadership

George Washington Quotes On Leadership

39. Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience. -George Washington

40. Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all. -George Washington

41. We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience. -George Washington

42. Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to appellation. -George Washington

43. Require nothing unreasonable of your officers and men, but see that whatever is required be punctually complied with. Reward and punish every man according to his merit, without partiality or prejudice; hear his complaints; if well founded, redress them; if otherwise, discourage them, in order to prevent frivolous ones. Discourage vice in every shape, and impress upon the mind of every man, from the first to the lowest, the importance of the cause, and what it is they are contending for.

George Washington

44. It is infinitely better to have a few good men than many indifferent ones. -George Washington

45. My observation is that whenever one person is found adequate to the discharge of a duty. It is worse executed by two persons, and scarcely done at all if three or more are employed therein. -George Washington

46. The true distinction … between what is called a fine Regiment, and an indifferent one will ever, upon investigation, be found to originate in, and depend upon the care, or the inattention, of the Officers belonging to them. -George Washington

47. We sainted St. Tammany (King Tamanend III) because he embodied moral perfection and every divine qualification that a deity could possess. I hold him in higher esteem than the saints of the Roman Catholic Church. He’ll forever be the patron saint of America. -George Washington

48. In politics as in philosophy, my tenets are few and simple. The leading one of which, and indeed that which embraces most others, is to be honest and just ourselves and to exact it from others, meddling as little as possible in their affairs where our own are not involved. If this maxim was generally adopted, wars would cease and our swords would soon be converted into reap hooks and our harvests be more peaceful, abundant, and happy. -George Washington

George Washington Quotes On Education

George Washington Quotes On Education

49. I conceive a knowledge of books is the basis upon which other knowledge is to be built. -George Washington

50. I shall expect you will confine yourself to your studies; and diligently attend to them; endeavoring to make yourself master of whatever is recommended to, or required of you. -George Washington

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

George Washington

52. The investigation of mathematical truths accustoms the mind to method and correctness in reasoning, and is an employment peculiarly worthy of rational beings. -George Washington

53. There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness. -George Washington

George Washington Quotes On Political Parties

George Washington Quotes On Political Parties

54. The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. -George Washington

55. Much indeed to be regretted, party disputes are now carried to such a length, and truth is so enveloped in mist and false representation, that it is extremely difficult to know through what channel to seek it. This difficulty to one, who is of no party, and whose sole wish is to pursue with undeviating steps a path which would lead this country to respectability, wealth, and happiness, is exceedingly to be lamented. But such, for wise purposes, it is presumed, is the turbulence of human passions in party disputes, when victory more than truth is the palm contended for. -George Washington

56. However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

George Washington

57. Let me now warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party. The common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it. It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another. In governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. -George Washington

58. The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty. -George Washington

George Washington Quotes About America

George Washington Quotes About America

59. Where are our Men of abilities? Why do they not come forth to save their Country? -George Washington

60. The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves. -George Washington

61. Some day, following the example of the United States of America, there will be a United States of Europe. -George Washington

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

63. Nothing can illustrate these observations more forcibly, than a recollection of the happy conjuncture of times and circumstances, under which our Republic assumed its rank among the Nations; The foundation of our Empire was not laid in the gloomy age of Ignorance and Superstition, but at an Epoch when the rights of mankind were better understood and more clearly defined, than at any former period, the researches of the human mind, after social happiness, have been carried to a great extent, the Treasures of knowledge, acquired by the labors of Philosophers, Sages and Legislatures, through a long succession of years, are laid open for our use, and their collected wisdom may be happily applied in the Establishment of our forms of Government; the free cultivation of Letters, the unbounded extension of Commerce, the progressive refinement of Manners, the growing liberality of sentiment… have had a meliorating influence on mankind and increased the blessings of Society. At this auspicious period, the United States came into existence as a Nation, and if their Citizens should not be completely free and happy, the fault will be entirely their own.

George Washington

64. No punishment, in my opinion, is to great, for the man who can build his greatness upon his country’s ruin. -George Washington

65. Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. -George Washington

66. It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn. -George Washington

67. No country upon earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly; I cannot believe it will ever come to pass. -George Washington

George Washington Quotes On The Constitution

George Washington Quotes On The Constitution

68. Our Constitution gives to bigotry no sanction. -George Washington

69. Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. -George Washington

70. The Constitution that we have is an excellent one, if we can keep it where it is. -George Washington

71. The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. -George Washington

72. [The adoption of the Constitution] will demonstrate as visibly the finger of Providence as any possible event in the course of human affairs can ever designate it. -George Washington

73. Should the States reject this excellent Constitution, the probability is, an opportunity will never again offer to cancel another in peace the next will be drawn in blood. -George Washington

74. Precedents are dangerous things; let the reins of government then be braced and held with a steady hand, and every violation of the Constitution be reprehended: If defective let it be amended, but not suffered to be trampled upon whilst it has an existence. -George Washington

75. The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon. There is nothing which can better deserve your patronage, than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.

George Washington

76. The fundamental principle of our constitution enjoins the sense of command, duty that the will of the majority shall prevail. -George Washington

77. The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure. -George Washington

78. If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the Constitution framed in the Convention where I had the honor to preside might possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical society, certainly I would never have placed my signature to it. -George Washington

79. It will at least be a recommendation to the proposed constitution that it is provided with more checks and barriers against the introduction of tyranny, and those of a nature less liable to be surmounted, than any government hitherto instituted among mortals hath possessed. -George Washington

80. The power under the Constitution will always be in the people. It is entrusted for certain defined purposes, and for a certain limited period, to representatives of their own choosing; and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can, and undoubtedly will, be recalled. -George Washington

81. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. -George Washington

82. To the security of a free Constitution it [knowledge] contributes in various ways: by teaching the people themselves to know and to value their own rights, to discern and provide against invasions of them, to distinguish between oppression and the necessary exercise of lawful authority, between burdens proceeding from a disregard to their convenience and those resulting from the inevitable exigencies of society. -George Washington

George Washington 1776 Quotes

George Washington 1776 Quotes

83. All officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers are positively forbid playing at cards, and other games of chance. At this time of public distress, men may find enough to do in the service of their God, and their Country, without abandoning themselves to vice and immorality. -George Washington (General Orders, February 26, 1776)

84. Remember that it is the actions, and not the commission, that make the officer, and that there is more expected from him, than the title.

George Washington

85. To expect the same service from raw and undisciplined recruits, as from veteran soldiers, is to expect what never did and perhaps never will happen. Men, who are familiarized to danger, meet it without shrinking; whereas troops unused to service often apprehend danger where no danger is. -George Washington (Letter to John Hancock, President of Congress, February 9, 1776)