Elihu Root quotes

  • Men do not fail; they give up trying.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Giving Up #Men #Trying

  • The wolf always charges the lamb with muddying the stream.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Lambs #Streams

  • Human life is held in much higher esteem, and the taking of it, whether in private quarrel or by judicial procedure, is looked upon much more seriously than it was formerly.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Chance #Life Is #Quarrels

  • Honest people, mistakenly believing in the justice of their cause, are led to support injustice.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Believe #People #Justice

  • Moral disarmament is to safeguard the future; material disarmament is to save for the present, that there may be a future to safeguard.
    -- Elihu Root

    #May #Moral #Disarmament

  • The worst, the hardest, the most disagreeable thing that you may have to do may be the thing that counts most, because it is the hard discipline, and it alone, that makes possible the highest efficiency.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Discipline #May #Efficiency

  • I observe that there are two entirely different theories according to which individual men seek to get on in the world. One theory leads a man to pull down everybody around him in order to climb up on them to a higher place. The other leads a man to help everybody around him in order that he may go up with them.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Men #Order #Two

  • It is not uncommon in modern times to see governments straining every nerve to keep the peace, and the people whom they represent, with patriotic enthusiasm and resentment over real or fancied wrongs, urging them forward to war.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Real #War #Patriotic

  • The law of the survival of the fittest led inevitably to the survival and predominance of the men who were effective in war and who loved it because they were effective.
    -- Elihu Root

    #War #Men #Law

  • The attractive idea that we can now have a parliament of man with authority to control the conduct of nations by legislation or an international police force with power to enforce national conformity to rules of right conduct is a counsel of perfection.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Men #Ideas #Perfection

  • Prejudice and passion and suspicion are more dangerous than the incitement of self-interest or the most stubborn adherence to real differences of opinion regarding rights.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Real #Passion #Rights

  • There is so much of good in human nature that men grow to like each other upon better acquaintance, and this points to another way in which we may strive to promote the peace of the world.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Men #World #May

  • Human nature must have come much nearer perfection than it is now, or will be in many generations, to exclude from such a control prejudice, selfishness, ambition, and injustice.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Ambition #Perfection #Selfishness

  • About half the practice of a decent lawyer is telling would-be clients that they are damned fools and should shut up.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Practice #Fool #Clients

  • The framers of the Constitution realized that . . . there needed to be some guardian of the sober second thought, and so they created the Senate to fulfill that high and vitally important duty.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Political #Important #Constitution

  • The growth of modern constitutional government compels for its successful practice the exercise of reason and considerate judgment by the individual citizens who constitute the electorate.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Exercise #Successful #Practice

  • To deal with the true causes of war one must begin by recognizing as of prime relevancy to the solution of the problem the familiar fact that civilization is a partial, incomplete, and, to a great extent, superficial modification of barbarism.
    -- Elihu Root

    #War #Civilization #Causes

  • No nation now sets forth to despoil another upon the avowed ground that it desires the spoils.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Desire #Spoil

  • It is not a question of religion, or of creed, or of party; it is a question of declaring and maintaining the great American principle of eternal separation between Church and State.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Party #Church #Principles

  • Nobody knows through how many thousands of years fighting men have made a place for themselves while the weak and peaceable have gone to the wall.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Wall #Fighting #Men

  • War was forced upon mankind in his original civil and social condition.
    -- Elihu Root

    #War #Social #Mankind

  • The line of least resistance in the progress of civilization is to make that theoretical postulate real by the continually increasing force of the world's public opinion.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Real #Civilization #Progress

  • The limitation upon this mode of promoting peace lies in the fact that it consists in an appeal to the civilized side of man, while war is the product of forces proceeding from man's original savage nature.
    -- Elihu Root

    #War #Lying #Men

  • Nothing is more important in the preservation of peace than to secure among the great mass of the people living under constitutional government a just conception of the rights which their nation has against others and of the duties their nation owes to others.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Rights #Government #People

  • Claims of right and insistence upon obligations may depend upon treaty stipulations, or upon the rules of international law, or upon the sense of natural justice applied to the circumstances of a particular case, or upon disputed facts.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Law #Justice #May

  • Politics is the practical exercise of the art of self-government, and somebody must attend to it if we are to have self-government; somebody must study it, and learn the art, and exercise patience and sympathy and skill to bring the multitude of opinions and wishes of self-governing people into such order that some prevailing opinion may be expressed and peaceably accepted. Otherwise, confusion will result either in dictatorship or anarchy. The principal ground of reproach against any American citizen should be that he is not a politician. Everyone ought to be, as Lincoln was.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Art #Exercise #Self

  • It is only through the power of association that those of any calling exercise due influence in their communities.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Exercise #Community #Calling

  • I guess you will have to go to jail. If that is the result of not understanding the Income Tax Law, I will meet you there. We shall have a merry, merry time, for all our friends will be there. It will be an intellectual center, for no one understands the Income Tax Law except persons who have not sufficient intelligence to understand the questions that arise under it.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Law #Jail #Understanding

  • Gradually, everything that happens in the world is coming to be of interest everywhere in the world, and, gradually, thoughtful men and women everywhere are sitting in judgment upon the conduct of all nations.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Sadness #Thoughtful #Men

  • When a teacher of the future comes to point out to the youth of America how the highest rewards of intellect and devotion can be gained, he may say to them, not by subtlety and intrigue; not by wire pulling and demagoguery; not by the arts of popularity; not by skill and shiftiness in following expediency; but by being firm in devotion to the principles of manhood and the application of morals and the courage of righteousness in the public life of our country; by being a man without guile and without fear, without selfishness, and with devotion to duty, devotion to his country.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Country #Teacher #Art

  • It is to be observed that every case of war averted is a gain in general, for it helps to form a habit of peace, and community habits long continued become standards of conduct.
    -- Elihu Root

    #War #Long #Community

  • The point of departure of the process to which we wish to contribute is the fact that war is the natural reaction of human nature in the savage state, while peace is the result of acquired characteristics.
    -- Elihu Root

    #War #Wish #Departure

  • Cruelty to men and to the lower animals as well, which would have passed unnoticed a century ago, now shocks the sensibilities and is regarded as wicked and degrading.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Animal #Men #Aggravation

  • The theoretical postulate of all diplomatic discussion between nations is the assumed willingness of every nation to do justice.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Justice #Rehabilitation #Discussion

  • The methods of peace propaganda which aim at establishing peace doctrine by argument and by creating a feeling favorable to peace in general seem to fall short of reaching the springs of human action and of dealing with the causes of the conduct which they seek to modify.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Spring #Fall #Creating

  • In the first place, when there is a policy of intentional aggression, inspired by a desire to get possession of the territory or the trade of another country, right or wrong, a pretext is always sought.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Country #Desire #Territory

  • The mere assemblage of peace loving people to interchange convincing reasons for their common faith, mere exhortation and argument to the public in favor of peace in general fall short of the mark.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Faith #Fall #People

  • Secretary of War Stanton used to get out of patience with Lincoln because he was all the time pardoning men who ought to be shot.
    -- Elihu Root

    #Patience #War #Men

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