Quotation by John Adams

A government of laws, and not of men.
John Adams (1735–1826), U.S. statesman, president. The Works of John Adams, vol. 4, ed. Charles Francis Adams (1851). Novanglus Papers, Boston Gazette, no. 7 (1774).

This phrase, taken from one of the articles published in the Boston Gazette, was attributed by Adams to English political theorist and republican, James Harrington (1611- 1677), whose actual words were, "the empire of laws and not of men" (Oceana, 1656). The words were incorporated by Adams into the Massachusetts Constitution (1780).
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