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John Acton Quotes

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John Acton
January 10, 1834 - June 19, 1902
Nationality: English
Category: Historian
Subcategory: English Historian

Far from being the product of a democratic revolution and of an opposition to English institutions, the constitution of the United States was the result of a powerful reaction against democracy, and in favor of the traditions of the mother country.


The greatest men, you can quote for everything.


By a series of violent shocks, the nations in succession have struggled to shake off the Past, to reverse the action of Time and the verdict of success, and to rescue the world from the reign of the dead.


Liberty is the prevention of control by others.


History provides neither compensation for suffering nor penalties for wrong.


Save for the wild force of Nature, nothing moves in this world that is not Greek in its origin.


By liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in doing what he believes is his duty against the influence of authority and majorities, custom and opinion.


Liberty is the condition of duty, the guardian of conscience. It grows as conscience grows. The domains of both grow together. Liberty is safety from all hindrances, even sin. So that Liberty ends by being Free Will.


The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.


Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.


The fate of every democracy, of every government based on the sovereignty of the people, depends on the choices it makes between these opposite principles, absolute power on the one hand, and on the other the restraints of legality and the authority of tradition.


If the past has been an obstacle and a burden, knowledge of the past is the safest and the surest emancipation.


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