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Old 21 November 2012, 02:13 PM
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Icon605 John Adams on national debt

I keep seeing this quote attributed to John Adams. Other sites say it's bogus.

"There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt."
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Old 21 November 2012, 02:35 PM
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The Miller Center has a speech from John Adams (on the XYZ affair) where he calls for the "regular extinguishment of the public debt". But this was never referred to as a means of conquering a nation.
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Old 21 November 2012, 02:43 PM
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If he said/believed that, it didn't stop him from trying to obtain loans to the (future) US from at least one European country (Holland) during the Revolution. Although I suppose he may have considered it a last resort.
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Old 21 November 2012, 03:03 PM
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Multiple uses of this quote put it at 1826, the year when John Adams died. The Online Library of Liberty (which doesn't seem to be as biased as it sounds) has a collection of words from John Adams around this time. None of them reference debt.

But they do have this quote in a 1825 letter to Jefferson:
Quote:
Books that cannot bear examination, certainly ought not to be established as divine inspiration by penal laws. ... as long as they continue in force as laws, the human mind must make an awkward and clumsy progress in its investigations. I wish they were repealed. The substance and essence of Christianity, as I understand it, is eternal and unchangeable, and will bear examination forever, but it has been mixed with extraneous ingredients, which I think will not bear examination, and they ought to be separated.
And in 1824, Adams wrote, "It is long since I have ceased to write, read, speak, or think upon theories of government, and now, at half way on my eighty-ninth year, I am incapable of either."

He might have had a sudden revival of his ability, but none of his later letters talk about theories of government.
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Old 21 November 2012, 03:49 PM
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What is it that makes John Adams so popular with the neo-cons and Tea Party, anyway?
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Old 21 November 2012, 04:31 PM
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Ignorance? The sentimentalization of history?
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Old 27 November 2012, 03:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
What is it that makes John Adams so popular with the neo-cons and Tea Party, anyway?
Great people of the past. Anything they say must be an absolute truth. The can't have a bad day, be prejudice about something or just be plan wrong.
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Old 27 November 2012, 03:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Ignorance?
I was going to post this exact word when I noticed great minds think alike.
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Old 27 November 2012, 03:57 AM
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So we've conquered China, then? They'd be pretty screwed if we didn't pay up. Or is it that they've conquered us by...giving us billions upon billions of dollars at incredibly low rates?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
What is it that makes John Adams so popular with the neo-cons and Tea Party, anyway?
IME, he's not all that popular with them. Adams favored centralized government a little too much for their tastes. They tend to prefer Jefferson.
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Old 27 November 2012, 06:21 AM
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I've seen a lot more stuff attributed to Adams being floated around by right wingers than Jefferson. And most of the attempts to claim Jefferson into the fold seem to be about trying to whitewash his stances on things like religion's role in the government and the government's role in running the country.
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Old 11 January 2013, 12:13 AM
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Default Another John Adam's quote

I've gotten tired of seeing these types on misinformation be shared I decided to create my own.

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