U.S. Presidents

1

The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.

1789

1797

George Washington

2

Liberty, according to my metaphysics is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. It implies thought and choice and power.

1797

1801

John Adams

3

…some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this Government is not strong enough;

1801

1809

Thomas Jefferson

4

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be…

1809

1817

James Madison

5

To what, then, do we owe these blessings? It is known to all that we derive them from the excellence of our institutions.

1817

1825

James Monroe

6

Union, justice, tranquillity, the common defense, the general welfare, and the blessings of liberty—all have been promoted by the Government under…

1825

1829

John Quincy Adams

7

But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to…

1829

1837

Andrew Jackson

8

...in all the attributes of a great, happy, and flourishing people we stand without a parallel in the world.

1837

1841

Martin Van Buren

9

I too well understand the dangerous temptations to which I shall be exposed from the magnitude of the power which it has been the pleasure of the…

1841

1841

William Harrison

10

Wealth can only be accumulated by the earnings of industry and the savings of frugality...

1841

1845

John Tyler

11

Mexico has passed the boundary of the United States, has invaded our territory and shed American blood upon the American soil.

1845

1849

James K. Polk

12

...I shall make honesty, capacity, and fidelity indispensable prerequisites to the bestowal of office...

1849

1850

Zachary Taylor

13

The great law of morality ought to have a national as well as a personal and individual application.

1850

1853

Millard Fillmore

14

The storm of frenzy and faction must inevitably dash itself in vain against the unshaken rock of the Constitution.

1853

1857

Franklin Pierce

15

Next in importance to the maintenance of the Constitution and the Union is the duty of preserving the Government free from the taint or even the…

1857

1861

James Buchanan

16

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the fight as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we…

1861

1865

Abraham Lincoln

17

Legislation can neither be wise nor just which seeks the welfare of a single interest at the expense and to the injury of many... 

1865

1869

Andrew Johnson

18

It was my fortune, or misfortune, to be called to the office of Chief Executive without any previous political training.

1869

1877

Ulysses S. Grant

19

It is the desire of the good people of the whole country that sectionalism as a factor in our politics should disappear.

20

There can be no permanent disfranchised peasantry in the United States.

1881

1881

James A. Garfield

21

Experience has shown that the trade of the East is the key to national wealth and influence.

1881

1885

Chester A. Arthur

22

It is a plain dictate of honesty and good government that public expenditures should be limited by public necessity...

1885

1889

Grover Cleveland

23

...opportunities offered to the individual to secure the comforts of life are better than are found elsewhere and largely better than they were here…

1889

1893

Benjamin Harrison

24

It is a plain dictate of honesty and good government that public expenditures should be limited by public necessity...

1893

1897

Grover Cleveland

25

War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed; peace is preferable to war in almost every contingency. 

1897

1901

William McKinley

26

...legislation will generally be both unwise and ineffective unless undertaken after calm inquiry and with sober self-restraint. 

1901

1909

Theodore Roosevelt

27

Our international policy is always to promote peace.

1909

1913

William Taft

28

The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty.

1913

1921

Woodrow Wilson

29

Our most dangerous tendency is to expect too much of government, and at the same time do for it too little. 

1921

1923

Warren G. Harding

30

The fundamental precept of liberty is toleration.

1923

1929

Calvin Coolidge

31

In the soil poisoned by speculation grew those ugly weeds of waste, exploitation, and abuse of financial power.

1929

1933

Herbert Hoover

32

And the love of freedom is still fierce and steady in the nation today.

33

No government is perfect. One of the chief virtues of a democracy, however, is that its defects are always visible...

1945

1953

Harry S. Truman

34

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.

35

Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans...

1961

1963

John F. Kennedy

36

We believe that all men have certain unalienable rights. Yet many Americans do not enjoy those rights.

1963

1969

Lyndon B. Johnson

37

In any organization, the man at the top must bear the responsibility. That responsibility, therefore, belongs here, in this office. I accept it.

1969

1974

Richard Nixon

38

We are bound together by the most powerful of all ties, our fervent love for freedom and independence, which knows no homeland but the human heart.

1974

1977

Gerald Ford

39

We simply must have faith in each other, faith in our ability to govern ourselves, and faith in the future of this Nation.

1977

1981

Jimmy Carter

40

…let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and our hope.…

1981

1989

Ronald Reagan

41

We are approaching the conclusion of an historic postwar struggle between two visions: one of tyranny and conflict and one of democracy and freedom.

1989

1993

George H. W. Bush

42

Our democracy must be not only the envy of the world but the engine of our own renewal.

1993

2001

Bill Clinton

43

Today, we affirm a new commitment to live out our nation's promise through civility, courage, compassion and character.

2001

2009

George W. Bush

44

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

2009

2017

Barack Obama

45

...we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag.