A government of laws, and not of men.

John Adams (1735-1826) American lawyer, Founding Father, statesman, US President (1797-1801)
“Novanglus” #7, Boston Gazette (6 Mar 1775)

Adams credited the line to James Harrington (1611-77), who wrote of "the empire of laws and not of men" (The Commonwealth of Oceana (1656)). Adams later used the term in the Massachusetts Constitution, Bill of Rights, article 30 (1780).

Added on 20-Jan-09 | Last updated 10-Jul-16
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