25 historical quotes about the Declaration of Independence, July 4th and America (25 items)

By Deseret News

July 4, 1776, stands in the nation's collective memory as the day America declared her independence from Great Britain during the American Revolution, more than a year after the events at Lexington and Concord, the Battle of Bunker Hill and Washington's appointment as commander-in-chief of the Continental forces.

Whether the country should celebrate on July 2, when the Continental Congress approved a resolution for independence; July 4, when the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress; or August 2, when most delegates are believed to have signed the document, is irrelevant when it comes to celebrating the beliefs in the rights of man advanced by the declaration and the government that eventually grew from it.

Here's a look at some quotes pertaining to this critical time in America's history, from those who helped lay the groundwork for the penning of the Declaration of Independence to those who helped write the historic document and those impacted by it years after the fact.

1 of 25. July 1775

"With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficient Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live as slaves."

Declaration of Taking Up Arms, by Thomas Jefferson and John Dickinson, July 6, 1775

2 of 25. January 1776

"O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her. Europe regards her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O! receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind."

— Thomas Paine, Common Sense

3 of 25. June 1776

"The dons, the bashaws, the grandees, the patricians, the sachems, the nabobs, call them by what names you please, sigh and groan and fret, and sometimes stamp and foam and curse, but all in vain. The decree is gone forth, and it cannot be recalled, that a more equal liberty than has prevailed in other parts of the earth must be established in America."

John Adams, letter to Patrick Henry, June 3, 1776

4 of 25. June 1776

"Resolved, 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.

"That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances.

"That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation."

Richard Henry Lee's Independence Resolution, June 7, 1776

5 of 25. July 1776

"When I look back to the Year 1761, and recollect the Argument concerning Writs of Assistance, in the Superiour Court, which I have hitherto considered as the Commencement of the Controversy, between Great Britain and America, and run through the whole Period from that Time to this, and recollect the series of political Events, the Chain of Causes and Effects, I am surprized at the Suddenness, as well as Greatness of this Revolution.

"Britain has been fill'd with Folly, and America with Wisdom, at least this is my judgment. -- Time must determine. It is the Will of Heaven, that the two Countries should be sundered forever.

"It may be the Will of Heaven that America shall suffer Calamities still more wasting and Distresses yet more dreadfull. If this is to be the Case, it will have this good Effect, at least: it will inspire Us with many Virtues, which We have not, and correct many Errors, Follies, and Vices, which threaten to disturb, dishonour, and destroy Us."

Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776
1. Hutterite
American Fork, UT,
July 4, 2014

There are some great quotes here. Nothing about the ever present holiday mattress sale though. Just kidding. Happy birthday, America.

2. Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA,
July 4, 2014

I enjoyed all of these quotes. I am also reminded of Edmund Burke's warning that the King needed to reconcile with the Colonies in America or lose them forever. His warning that England's policy toward America was foolish was widely criticized to which he replied - “Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom; and a great empire and little minds go ill together.”

3. roberto
Moses Lake, WA,
July 4, 2014

I loved all of these quotes. I wonder what each of those patriots would say or do if they were here today and saw how the country is and what they would say to our politicians. It is sad and frighting that we don't have political leaders Republican or Democrat,or a people that have the passion or the heart for independence and freedom that the leaders of the revolution had. Today we trip all over political correctness and allow the country slide into self destruction.

4. Sharm
New Berlin, WI,
July 5, 2014

I would like the option of listing in one file all the individual items you provide in your frequent long lists that require looking at individually one by one . I like to study them by printing them out.

5. I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Provo, UT,
July 3, 2015

Here's another quote:

"You seem... to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps... Their power is the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves."

Thomas Jefferson, in 1820

The states are no longer free nor independent as long as we abide the opinions of a judicial oligarchy. We are a nation founded on self-governance and rights derived from our creator, not the government. To that end, I will not abide it. I will never recognize or perform any act which requires my endorsement of SSM.