20 Thomas Jefferson Quotes On Liberty To Learn Justice And Equality

Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father, who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. He is renowned for his contributions to democracy and human rights, which are often called “Jeffersonian.” He also authored the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1777), in what would become one of his most influential writings. Thomas Jefferson’s quotes on liberty are the perfect reminder for people of all ages and backgrounds to think about what freedom means to them today.

What is liberty?

The word liberty is a powerful and often misunderstood word. Liberty is a word that means many different things to many different people. Liberty is also about having choices in life without fear of punishment for making those decisions that may be different than others have made before you.

Thomas Jefferson had many quotes about liberty. He believed that in order to have true freedom, one must be educated enough to know how they want their life to look like and then make a plan for it.  These quotes are still relevant today as we confront issues such as social justice and equality.

Thomas Jefferson quotes on liberty

Types of Liberty:

The idea of liberty is a complex one. We often use the word to mean political freedom, but it can also refer to individual freedoms or even personal liberties.  Here, QuotesGeeks listed 9 types of liberty that exist.

These are:

  1. Natural Liberty
  2. Civil/Social Liberty
  3. Moral Liberty
  4. Personal Liberty
  5. Political Liberty
  6. Economic Liberty
  7. National Liberty
  8. Domestic Liberty
  9. International Liberty

Top 20 Thomas Jefferson Quotes On Liberty:

01.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Thomas Jefferson
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants -Thomas Jefferson

02.

“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.”

Thomas Jefferson

03.

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.

Thomas Jefferson

04.

It is an axiom in my mind, that our liberty can never be safe but in the hands of the people themselves, and that too of the people with a certain degree of instruction. This it is the business of the State to effect, and on a general plan.”

Thomas Jefferson

05.

Liberty is the great parent of science and of virtue; and a nation will be great in both in proportion as it is free.

Thomas Jefferson

06.

“Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”

Thomas Jefferson
Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost - Thomas Jefferson

07.

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.

Thomas Jefferson

08.

“The liberty of speaking and writing guards our other liberties.”

Thomas Jefferson

09.

Liberty is the great parent of science and of virtue; and a nation will be great in both in proportion as it is free.” 

Thomas Jefferson

10.

When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” 

Thomas Jefferson

11.

The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.” 

Thomas Jefferson
The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave - Thomas Jefferson

12.

We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed.” 

Thomas Jefferson

13.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” 

Thomas Jefferson

14.

The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.” 

Thomas Jefferson
The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time - Thomas Jefferson

15.

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” 

Thomas Jefferson

16.

We should then have only to include the north in our Confederacy, which would be of courts in the first war, and we should have such an empire for liberty as she has never surveyed since the creation.” 

Thomas Jefferson

17.

That liberty which is to go to all, and not to the few or the rich alone.” 

Thomas Jefferson

18.

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people.. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.” 

Thomas Jefferson

19.

In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to Liberty.” 

Thomas Jefferson
In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to Liberty - Thomas Jefferson

20.

There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people.” 

Thomas Jefferson

What did Jefferson say about liberty?

Thomas Jefferson said liberty depends on freedom of the press.

Who is the icon of individual liberty?

Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826) is the icon of individual liberty.

Is liberty a human right?

Yes, liberty is one of the most fundamental human rights.


Many believe they are free as long as they have the ability to speak their mind, but this isn’t true. Liberty means to be able to make your own choices without any restrictions. What do you think after reading Thomas Jefferson Quotes on Liberty? Share your thoughts with us!

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