Saturday, November 27, 2010

On Bringing up children

"From all that I had read of History of Government, of human life, and manners, I [have] drawn this conclusion, that the manners of women [are] the most infallible Barometer, to ascertain the degree of Morality and Virtue in a Nation.  All that I have since read and all the observation I have made in different Nations, have confirmed me in this opinion.  The Manners of Women, are the surest Criterion by which to determine whether a Republican Government is practicable, in a Nation or not.  The Jews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Swiss, the Dutch, all lost their public Spirit, their Republican principles and habits, and their Republican Forms of Government when they lost the Modesty and Domestic Virtues of their women...
The foundations of national Morality must be laid in private Families.  In vain are Schools, Academies and universities instituted if loose Principles and licentious habits are impressed upon Children in their earliest years.
The Mothers are the earliest and most important Instructors of youth."

John Adams


Erin said...

This is very nice and very interesting to contemplate today. The irony, of course, is the way he raised his family. Though, maybe he is saying that it was all his wife's responsibility?

Anonymous said...

Very cool, and so right! At least I like to think so! ;-) ~Cassie H