60+ George Washington Quotes to Remember: Lessons for Modern Leaders

Inspiration from the Ages: George Washington's Timeless Quotes

Mayuri Meshram
By Mayuri Meshram  - Editor

Ever thought about what made America’s first president, George Washington, so wise and important? He was a smart leader who helped the country grow. Let’s explore George Washington quotes

We’ll travel through his quotes about winning battles, important principles, leadership, freedom, never giving up, and finding happiness.

Join us as we learn from George Washington’s wisdom that still matters today in our busy world.

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Famous George Washington Quotes

  • Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well-tried before you give them your confidence.
  • Nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular Nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated.
  • Let your discourse with men of business be short and comprehensive.
  • No punishment, in my opinion, is too great, for the man who can build his greatness upon his country’s ruin.
  • Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.
  • It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.
  • If to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disapprove of, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair. The rest is in the hands of God.
  • Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.
  • Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.
  • … Overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty.
  • Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone, and let your hand give in proportion to your purse.
  • I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy.
  • 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.
  • Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone.
  • Nothing can be more hurtful to the service, than the neglect of discipline; for that discipline, more than numbers, gives one army the superiority over another.
  • There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet the enemy.
  • Lenience will operate with greater force, in some instances than rigor. It is therefore my first wish to have all of my conduct distinguished by it.
  • To persevere in one’s duty, and be silent is the best answer to calumny.

Inspiring George Washington Quotes

  • Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light.
  • Real men despise battle, but will never run from it.
  • If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
  • We must consult our means rather than our wishes.
  • Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in the exclusion of religious principle.
  • Where are our Men of abilities? Why do they not come forth to save their Country?
  • To encourage literature and the arts is a duty which every good citizen owes to his country.
  • The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.
  • 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.
  • Paper money has had the effect in your state that it will ever have, to ruin commerce, oppress the honest, and open the door to every species of fraud and injustice.
  • Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by individuals.
  • I conceive a knowledge of books is the basis upon which other knowledge is to be built.
  • It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.
  • If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.
  • To form a new Government requires infinite care, and unbounded attention; for if the foundation is badly laid the superstructure must be bad.
  • 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.
  • I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman’s cares.
  • But if we are to be told by a foreign power what we shall do, and what we shall not do, we have Independence yet to seek, and have contended hitherto for very little.
  • Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.
  • 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.
  • The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.
  • The Hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.
  • Happiness depends more upon the internal frame of a person’s own mind than on the externals in the world.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I wish from my soul that the legislature of this State could see the policy of a gradual Abolition of Slavery.
  • A sensible woman can never be happy with a fool.
  • Few people have the virtue to withstand the highest bidder.
  • 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.
  • The liberty enjoyed by the people of these states of worshiping Almighty God agreeably to their conscience is not only among the choicest of their blessings but also of their rights.
  • 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 Quotes on Leadership, Freedom

  • Your love of liberty – your respect for the laws – your habits of industry – and your practice of moral and religious obligations, are the strongest claims to national and individual happiness.
  • Democratical States must always feel before they can see: it is this that makes their Governments slow, but the people will be right at last.
  • Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.
  • In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.
  • Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.
  • No morn ever dawned more favorable than ours did; and no day was every more clouded than the present! Wisdom and good examples are necessary at this time to rescue the political machine from the impending storm.
  • Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.
  • Honesty will be found on every experiment, to be the best and only true policy. Let us then as a nation be just.
  • 99% of failures come from people who make excuses.
  • The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.
  • Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.
  • Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country.
  • 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.
  • A man’s intentions should be allowed in some respects to plead for his actions.
  • 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.
  • Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country.
  • 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.
  • The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.
  • It is better to be alone than in bad company.
  • I shall make it the most agreeable part of my duty to study merit and reward the brave and deserving.
  • It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.
  • Nothing is a greater stranger to my breast, or a sin that my soul more abhors, than that black and detestable one, ingratitude.
  • I’ll die on my feet before I’ll live on my knees!
  • Some day, following the example of the United States of America, there will be the United States of Europe.
  • Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.
  • Every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more, that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome.

Brief Introduction of George Washington

George Washington (1732-1799) was the first President of the United States, serving from 1789 to 1797. He is considered one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and played a crucial role in the American Revolutionary War.

Here are some important points about Washington:

  • Washington led the American army during the war for independence from Britain and helped the colonists win.
  • He helped create the United States and was involved in writing the Constitution, which is like the country’s rulebook.
  • Washington became the first President in 1789 and served two terms. He set important examples for future presidents.
  • Washington had a home called Mount Vernon in Virginia, which is now a famous historic site.
  • People respected Washington for being honest and having strong values. He was called the “Father of His Country.”
  • Washington started traditions like being called “Mr. President” and having a group of advisors called the Cabinet.

FAQs On George Washington

What is George Washington famous for?

George Washington is famous for being the first President of the United States, leading the American Revolutionary War, and playing a pivotal role in establishing the foundations of the United States of America.

What is George Washington’s slogan?

George Washington did not have an official slogan. However, one of the popular sayings associated with him is “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

What is George Washington’s last word?

There is some debate about George Washington’s last words. According to historical accounts, his attending physician, Dr. James Craik, asked Washington if he wanted his family to be notified that he was near death. Washington is said to have replied, “No, let me go quietly. I want to die in peace.”

What is George Washington’s philosophy?

George Washington’s philosophy can be summarized by his commitment to principles such as patriotism, honor, virtue, and civic duty. His philosophy revolved around the ideals of the American Revolution and the preservation of the young nation’s democratic principles.

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By Mayuri Meshram Editor
Mayuri is a professional content writer, she loves motivating people and inspiring them to pursue their dreams. Sharing quotes, proverbs, and sayings of great authors to touch people's lives to make it better.