Quotations – I


“It is the ferment of ideas, the clash of disagreeing judgments, the privilege of the individual to develop his own thought and shape his own character which makes progress possible.”

Source: “American Legion Convention,” on October 6, 1925.


“It is not industry, but idleness, that is degrading.”

Source: Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge, p. 68.


“There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no one independence quite so important, as living within your means.”

Source: Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge, p. 159.


“It can not be too often pointed out that the fundamental conception of American institutions is regard for the individual. The rights which are so clearly asserted in the Declaration of Independence are the rights of the individual. The wrongs of which that instrument complains, and which it asserts it is the purpose of its signers to redress, are the wrongs of the individual. Through it all runs the recognition of the dignity and worth of the individual, because of his possession of those qualities which are revealed to us by religion. It is this conception alone which warrants the assertion of the universal right to freedom. America has been the working out of the modern effort to provide a system of government and society which would give to the individual that freedom which his nature requires.”

Source: “Education: the Cornerstone of Self-Government,” on July 4, 1924. As found in Foundations of the Republic.


“Inflation is repudiation.”

Source: “Our Heritage From Hamilton,” on January 11, 1922. As found in The Price of Freedom.


“Restricted immigration is not an offensive but purely a defensive action. It is not adopted in criticism of others in the slightest degree, but solely for the purpose of protecting ourselves. We cast no aspersions on any race or creed, but we must remember that every object of our institutions of society and government will fail unless America be kept American.

Source: “Accepting The Republican Presidential Nomination,” on August 14, 1924. As found in The Mind of the President, p. 216-217.

“We are all agreed, whether we be Americans of the first or of the seventh generation on this soil, that is not desirable to receive more immigrants than can reasonably be assured of bettering their condition by coming here. For the sake both of those who would come and more especially of those already here, it has been thought wise to avoid the danger of increasing our numbers too fast. It is not a reflection on any race or creed. We might not be able to support them if their numbers were too great. In such event, the first sufferers would be the most recent immigrants, unaccustomed to our life and language and industrial methods. We want to keep wages and living conditions good for everyone who is now here or who may come here.

“As a nation, our first duty must be those who are already our inhabitants, whether native or immigrants.”

Source: “The Genius Of America,” on October 16, 1924. As found in The Mind of the President, p. 222.

“We ought to have no prejudice against an alien because he is an alien. The standard which we apply to our inhabitants is that of manhood, not place of birth. Restrictive immigration is to a large degree for economic purposes. It is applied in order that we may not have a larger annual increment of good people within our borders that we can weave into our economic fabric in such a way as to supply their needs without undue injury to ourselves.”

Source: “State Of The Union,” on December 8, 1925. As found in Messages and Papers of the Presidents.

“Those who do not want to be partakers of the American spirit ought not to settle in America.”

Source: “First Annual message To The Congress,” on December 6, 1923. As found in Adequate Brevity, p. 50.

“We have certain standards of life that we believe are best for us. We do not ask other nations to discard theirs, but we do wish to preserve ours. Standards, government and culture under our free institutions are not so much a matter of constitutions and laws as of public opinion, ways of thought and methods of life of the people. We reflect on no one in wanting immigrants who will be assimilated into our ways of thinking and living. Believing we can best serve the world in that way, we restrict immigration.”

Source: Calvin Coolidge Says, December 13, 1930.


“The can be no national greatness which does not rest upon the personal integrity of the people.”

Source: “Our Heritage From Hamilton,” on January 11, 1922. As found in The Price of Freedom.

Investment, Overseas

“Much of the criticism of the starting of foreign branches by our industries is short sighted. All the business on earth cannot be done within the confines of the United States. One disadvantage in world trade is the lower standards of living in other countries. Foreign branches will carry our methods and standards, which will be contagious. Pressure of low standard production will be reduced. International finance will be more stable.

“Usually foreign branches will use or machinery and raw materials and increase local prosperity. That will make customers who are better able to absorb our exports. Meantime the tariff gives the advantage in our markets to domestic producers.

“The problem has a broader aspect. It is our duty to take care of or own people. That we can do. But a backward, undeveloped world instead of being a help is a menace. Peace requires arrangements by which other people can prosper. It is our duty to contribute of our capital and our skill to that prosperity. Such a course in the end will provide more employment, increase our material welfare and give us the satisfaction of having borne our part of the burden of civilization.”

Source: Calvin Coolidge Says, November 12, 1930.

Click the links below to go to various sections of the collection.

A  |  B  |  C  |  D  |  E  |  F  |  G  |  H  |  I  |  J  |  L
M  |  N  |  O  |  P  |  R  |  S  |  T  |  V  |  W  |  X