"The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution
was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious
sentiments of their duties and obligations ...
This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and
affections of the people, was the real American Revolution."
by:
John Adams
(1735-1826) Founding Father, 2nd US President
Date:
February 13, 1818
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Reader comments about this quote:
Hmmm: the People could have cared less about any kind of revolution. It was the leaders of the nation who wanted war. The Revolutionary War was unnecessary just as most wars are.
 -- A.Jurgensen, Stuart, FL
 
I think John Adams hit the nail on the head. There could not have been a Revolutionary War without first a Revolution for change in the hearts and minds of the colonists first. So to, if the American people want to change things in their government, they must first come together as one people of one mind and one resolve. It almost seems to me, though, at this point in time, we are not yet at that point of critical mass to usher in the changes that need to occur to return America to it's pure Constitutinal roots.
 -- KS, Somewhere,USA
 
 -- Anonymous 
What a ridiculous, idiotic comment by A. Jurgensen. You are an absolute fool and don't know your history at all. Real Americans bled and died so that you would have the freedom to make such a foolish post. Our Founding Fathers believed that our Republic could only survive if the citizenry remained informed. Your ignorance is speeding up our eventual destruction.
 -- S. Smith, Williamsburg, VA
 
Mr. Jurgensen what Adams is saying is that there had become an estrangement or break in the feeling of being British. I believe this quote is from a much larger piece in which Adams said that during the religious awakening of 1730 the people started thinking differently. In the "Religious History of the American People" Sydney Ahlstrom said that the American sentiment towards "independence" went something like this. In the 1400's northern Europeans decided that "We don't need the Pope anymore, in 1730 the Colonists decided we don't need the Archbishop of Canterbury anymore." This type of standing up and being independent was breathtaking and revolutionary in its own right and after all of the trials and tribulations between 1730 and 1776, the Colonists came to the easy conclusion "You know what we don't need that King either." The true revolution was the breaking with British and European custom in politcal and social order, the end of monarchy, nobility and church domination, in the hearts and minds of the people. The war would have been unnecessary if the Brits would have got smarter sooner. If they would or could have come to accomodation with the new way of Colonial thinking. I don't think it ever would have happened. This is what revolution is about; two immovable ways of thinking unable to accomodate each other. If you have studied it you would know that some Colonies were more of one mind and some another but the uprisings in Massachusetts was authentically from the people and the miracle of unity with them from the other Colonies was from the people.
 -- Bruce, 'Bama
 
Brilliant...
 -- Logan, Memphis, TN
 
Bruce, said well, and further the religious break was partly based on the belief that the individual was just as entitled to communication with Deity as was the crown.
 -- Mike, Norwalk
 
Liberation is a process. Humankind has been liberating itself for millennia -- sometimes backsliding from time to time, but in general each generation brings a bit more freedom 'from' the old ideas that have bound them to custom and compulsion. Indeed this mirrors the individual path of awakening and self-reliance. We free ourselves from old superstitions and the power structures that build up around them. We take a stand for free thought, reason, mutual respect, and independence. It takes a while for the slave mentality to fall to the wayside -- and it takes dissidents to truly free a people. The power structures today still lay claim to nearly every aspect of our lives -- our labors (why are we compelled to work for the state?), our marriages (why do we need a license to marry?), our children (why are our children tagged and numbered at birth?), our land (why do we pay rent for our land?), our money (why are we using interest-bearing Monopoly money for trade?), our bodies (why can the state arrest you for putting something in your body?) -- and on and on. We are still blind to all those little bondages -- even insisting upon them. I think it is inevitable that another revolution is coming -- must come -- because life is truly a process of liberation and ultimately civilization will reflect that liberation within. Indeed, the truth shall set you free.
 -- E Archer, NYC
 
Archer you are not speaking of freedom you are speaking of anarchy. You seem to forget that our government was formed from the people and our constitution bears the words "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America". However corrupt our current system has become We The People still posses the power to change it. Your nihilistic post is evidience of your anti social status in our society. We have chosen as a people to be a social republic and agreed as a majority to construct laws (the constitution) to provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare and yes inhibit influences that undermine our society. You reference a Utopian society in your rhetoric and we all know this is fantasy. What we all can do is work together to improve our current situation with realistic goals in mind.
 -- Sam, Alabama
 
I would like to ad if you fellow Americans will hear it. When we say things like "you are an absolute fool" we undermine our own credibility. We can argue our points and beliefs with words of meaning without personal attacks.
 -- Sam, Alabama
 
All of those little things like marriage licenses, property taxes, drug laws, and so on that Archer mentioned used to be anathema to Americans. No one would have thought of paying a tax on their income much less on their own house. All of these taxes are about controlling the individual, not funding the government. We could easily fund the government on a fee for service basis. That would not leave government bureaucrats in control, however. We could choose to not purchase their "service" after all. Sam, you are correct about ad hominem attacks. They simply expose the weakness of an argument.
 -- Ken, Allyn, WA
 
I totally disagree with Sam in AL. concerning his statement about Archer in NYC. In a REPUBLIC the individual is sovereign and you think and speak in terms of I, not we. Your thinking is collective,we,the group mentality. Archer is not speaking of anarchy, he is not antisocial. ALL thinking and action inherently originates with the individual and the individual's inalienable rights must be respected by everyone including any group, government. SELF GOVERNMENT IS PRIMARY and the individual is responsible and accountable for his actions. His interaction with others [society] must conform with each others individual rights and respect for them. What Archer renumerates are exactly as he declares them-bondage. No where in the Constitution is there authority given for this usurpation of power, it is tyranny! Free the individuals mind from contradictions and false premises and truly free him and then the nation can have a chance for freedom. Jesus Christ saves individuals first and foremost in building His Kingdom and we should learn from His example. Regards everyone
 -- DAVE, Punta Gorda, Fl.
 
 -- Anonymous 
I believe you are absolutely correct MIKE. The idea is that each of us are independent from each other because we each report directly to the man upstairs. The teaching was and is that we are independent as far as any hierarchy up or down goes but since we all report to the samd Top Guy we are therefore all equal in His sight and thus we are all brothers and sisters. ARCHER you are talking about the future some of us are discussing the quotations about the past revolution.KEN we are the way we are because it is the way we want to be. We have had a society without compulsory education. If education was fee for service and you opted to not purchase an education for your child where would that leave the quality of our society. Why do all societies have communal property, taxes, roads and street lites etcetera. Do you suggest an individual put a quarter in each street light as he walks down the boulevard? People have been paying taxes on incomes and wealth for thousands of years. Read the history of King Mathias of Hungary who raised taxes on the nobility and peasants alike built up the army and kept the Turks at bay. The bureau system of government was created in the late 1800's to free the government from the spoils system, political hacks and cronyism. I guess the best example of the benefits of the Bureau was Eiliott Ness and the Untouchables. Apparently Ken you would like to replace professional public servants with political hacks every four or eight years. That is what Condi Rice tried to do by demoting the Pro Richard Clarke and the AG Ashcroft tried to do by ignoring the Professional Aciting Director of the FBI. The result was 911. Good thinking Ken. Yes DAVE whether people believe or not Jesus and Judeo/Christian teaching is that we all have equality before God, but it follows in scripture as well as secular logic that since we are all equal we are all on the same level and that level is for the believers, "Brothers and Sisters" and for the secular, "Citizens". The concept of brotherhood and citizenhood is somewhat different than the concept of "individuality". I have read that all 6 billion of the worlds human beings could live in Texas on a parcel of land. I don't recall whether it was an acre or what (that is not significant). The issue is that it would not be sufficient for these folks to act as purely individual entities. They would not be able to move from their property. Could not travel without trespassing etcetera. I think you should be able to see how absurd is the no tax, no cooperation among peoples, no use of the the word "we" or "us" and the worship of the word "I" positions are. Freedom is only vaguely a philosophical proposition it is much more a practical proposition based on the population size. FINALLY YOU ARE ALL ON GOOD GROUND IN YOUR DEBATING BECAUSE PLATO AND ARISTOTLE SAID IT ALL SO MANY YEARS AGO: Plato said that all of the children belong to all of us, they are all our children. Aristotle said later that that is nonsense, everyone knows that we love our own children and families better. I don't think it has been resolved yet who was right. I don't think there is a resolution. I think there has to be a balance and there has to be WISDOM.
 -- Bruce, 'Bama
 
Change begins in the heart. Agreeing with John Adams.
 -- Katie
 
Cool quote. I have to do a writing assignment on it and I was wondering if it should be affected instead of effected. I know that e means cause and a means change. I'm not sure.
 -- Solomani, Motown
 
Was this Revolution again revived with the likes of Ron Paul? Will it continue now that he has let us down, like other conservative cowards who failed to demand Obama prove he is a natural born citizen, but the burdens increase and the frustrations grow yet we don't appear to be the people We The People once were...looks like the German-Jesuit EU will conquer US and seize control and put us to work for them. www.davidbenariel.org
 -- David Ben-Ariel, Toledo
 
I think America would disassemble before being conquered, although I think there is a long time before even that occurs. And spare me the "you're un-American" name calling, because it is just the way it goes. Governments form with high hopes and may last hundreds, maybe even thousands of years. Eventually they will all fall though. To expect America to last forever and ever would be asking too much. I agree with Archer, eventually Americans are going to become fed up with their unnecessary laws and the resistrictions government places on them, that they will want another revolution. And not to an anarchy set up like previously stated. When Americans decided to make their own government they didn't expect an entirely new set up. We still paid taxes and kept many of the previous laws. It was just the ridiculous ones we excluded. And if you consider the Boston Tea Party anarchy, then maybe anarchy has more appeal than implied.
 -- Summer, New Hampshire
 
A more complete understanding of the impetus to revolt in the 1770’s is made apparent in Governeur Morris’s comments about the French Revolutionaries not being capable of self government. He recognized that what distinguished Americans was the tradition that commenced when they started coming to the New World in the early 1600’s. They came to make their own way more or less without overseers such as accompanied Spanish expansion into the New World. Dumped on a wild and sometimes hostile terrain and dependent primarily on their own resources, they learned quickly to govern themselves. And having done so they eventually realized that a remote King and a correspondingly remote British Parliament were not to their liking. It is nice to be able to trace the philosophical roots from the Judeo-Christian to Locke to founding fathers; and similarly satisfying to credit faith, religion and God. However, the reality had more to do with the practical matters of surviving harsh winters, of ascertaining how best to share and overcome hardships, and a lot of hard work. With our present wealth and foolish quests for “fairness” “security” and the similarly fanciful goals of socialism we’ve seemingly forgotten what we learned in our historical gestation during the 150 years prior to our revolution.
 -- Albert, Friday Harbor
 
Yes the Founders were diests. They were not religious in the sense of the word we understand. They understood that the Roman Church had cast a pall over the spirit of the message Jesus brought. Jesus said he did not come to change the law and that not one wit of the law would be changed until all these things come to pass, "these things" including the heaven and earth passing away and new ones forming. Since that hasn't been done we are still observant tof the law. He did relieve the law of sacrifice, since he bacme that. But the law telling us not to be respecter of persons, their positions, those who subvert the law and publican being extortioners, driving the money changers our with violent physical force... All these things we are supposed to do and the Founders knew it.

God did not set a king over the people, the people demanded it. Four kings later there was a revolt due to the oppression of the king, the ministers and those in high places commited against the people. The amount of tribute collected by the king was six hundred, three score and six talents of gold, 666. It is not about the Boogy Man, its about human nature monopolizing power and abusing it. Jesus was one of the foremost political speakers of the day. He fulfilled the law when he called out those who subverted and perverted the law. hypocrites he called them. "Study the scriptures to show your self approved", he said. There was no new testament then, figure that out for yourselves. He did not say let someone else study and follow them he told you to do it, "Greater things will you do than I". The same goes for the Founding Documents, and the Constitution. Look and see, no one here really knows because those who would monopolize power don't want us to know so they can keep us from uniting.
 -- Dennis, Fairbanks
 
 
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