102+ Best Citizenship Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Inspirational citizenship quotes will get you through anything when the going gets tough and help you succeed in every aspect of life.

Famous Citizenship Quotes

Strengthening our identity is one way or reinforcing people’s confidence and sense of citizenship and well being.  David Blunkett

I have been living in this country nine years longer than you have. Do you realize that? Yet I am prevented by law from becoming a citizen. I am prevented by law from owning land. I am now separated from my family without cause.

The American ideal is not that we all agree with each other, or even like each other, every minute of the day. It is rather that we will respect each other’s rights, especially the right to be different, and that, at the end of the day, we will understand that we are one people, one country, and one community, and that our well being is inextricably bound up with the well being of each and every one of our fellow citizens. C. Everett Koop

Everything can be explained to the people, on the single condition that you want them to understand.

The most important thing an institution does is not to prepare a student for a career but for a life as a citizen. Frank Newman

If the thing is feasible, the first to do it ought to be an Englishman.

Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. Abraham Lincoln

The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern. Lord Acton

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.  Margaret Mead

A government of laws, and not of men. John Adams

I honestly feel like it’s our responsibility as citizens of the world to ground ourselves in selflessness and all do our part. Solange Knowles

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. John Adams

Citizenship comes first today in our crowded world. No man can enjoy the privileges of education and thereafter with a clear conscience break his contract with society. To respect that contract is to be mature, to strengthen it is to be a good citizen, to do more than your share under it is noble.  Isaiah Bowman

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain. John Adams

Citizenship is the chance to make a difference to the place where you belong. Charles Handy

Not only every juror’s right but his Duty to find the Verdict according to his own best Understanding, Judgment and Conscience, tho in Direct opposition to the Direction of the Court. John Adams

No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime. Young people must be included from birth. A society that cuts off from its youth severs its lifeline. Kofi Annan

If there have been those who doubted whether a confederated representative democracy were a government competent to the wise and orderly management of the common concerns of a mighty nation, those doubts have been dispelled. John Quincy Adams

The old emphasis upon superficial differences that separate peoples must give way to education for citizenship in the human community. Norman Cousins

No oppression is so heavy or lasting as that which is inflicted by the perversion and exorbitance of legal authority. Joseph Addison

The best principles of our republic secure to all its citizens a perfect equality of rights. Thomas Jefferson

It is always easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them. Alfred Adler

Education is the process by which the individual relates himself to the universe, give himself citizenship in the changing world, shares the race’s mind and enfranchises his own soul. John Finley

Suffrage is the pivotal right. Susan B. Anthony

Active citizenship begins with an envisioning of the desired outcome and a conscious application of spiritual principles. Dennis Kucinich

Totalitarianism is never content to rule by external means, namely, through the state and a machinery of violence; thanks to its peculiar ideology and the role assigned to it in this apparatus of coercion, totalitarianism has discovered a means of dominating and terrorizing human beings from within. Hannah Arendt

Citizenship is an attitude, a state of mind, an emotional conviction that the whole is greater than the part and that the part should be humbly proud to sacrifice itself so that the whole may live.  Robert A. Heinlein

He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must either be a beast or a god. Aristotle

The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight. Theodore Roosevelt

For, if liberty and equality, as some persons suppose, are chiefly to be found in a democracy, it must be so by every department of government being alike open to all; but as the people are in the majority, and what they vote is law, it follows that such a state is a democracy. Aristotle

We are citizens of the world. The tragedy of our times is that we do not know this. Woodrow Wilson

They should rule who are able to rule best. Aristotle

We all have an obligation as citizens of this earth to leave the world a healthier, cleaner, and better place for our children and future generations. Blythe Danner

Judges ought to remember that their office is just dicere and not jus dare; to interpret law and not to make or give law. Francis Bacon

A generation that acquires knowledge without ever understanding how that knowledge can benefit the community is a generation that is not learning what it means to be citizens in a democracy. Elizabeth L. Hollander

One of the keys to the survival of free institutions is the relationship between private and public life, the way citizens do, or do not, participate in the public sphere. Robert N. Bellah

Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy

Two of the most basic components of a good life are success in one’s work and the joy that comes from serving one’s community. And the two are so closely intertwined that a person cannot usually have one without having the other. Robert N. Bellah

Ensuring the access of all citizens to government information and to essential information for human development is a must for every democratic society. Koïchiro Matsuura

A union of government and religion tends to destroy government and degrade religion. The history of governmentally established religion, both in England and in this country, showed that whenever the government had allied itself with one particular form of religion, the inevitable result had been that it had incurred the hatred, disrespect and even contempt of those who held contrary beliefs. That same history showed that many people had lost their respect for any religion that had relied upon the support of the government to spread its faith. Hugo L. Black

I remind myself of the power of thought and how it’s my obligation as a citizen and student of humanity to propel compassion. Alyssa Milano

Loyalty must arise spontaneously from the hearts of people who love their country and respect their government. Hugo L. Black

As global citizens, it is our responsibility to become active participants in our democracy, and to make sure that everyone’s civil rights are protected. Robert Alan Silverstein

The public welfare demands that constitutional cases must be decided according to the terms of the Constitution itself, and not according to judges’ views of fairness, reasonableness, or justice. I have no fear of constitutional amendments properly adopted, but I do fear the rewriting of the Constitution by judges under the guise of interpretation. Hugo L. Black

Our true nationality is humankind. H.G. Wells

Without deviation, without exception, without any ifs, buts, or whereases, freedom of speech means you shall not do something to people for views they have, express, speak, or write. Hugo L. Black

The human heart is the first home of democracy. It is where we embrace our questions: Can we be equitable? Can we be generous? Can we listen with our whole beings, not just our minds, and offer our attention rather than our opinion? And do we have enough resolve in our hearts to act courageously, relentlessly, without giving up, trusting our fellow citizens to join us in our determined pursuit  a living democracy? Terry Tempest Williams

If men were wise, the most arbitrary princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the freest government is compelled to be a tyranny. William Blake

We need to become good citizens in the global village, instead of competing. What are we competing for  to drive more cars, eat more steaks? That will destroy the world. Yuan Lee

Freedom comes in individual packages. Shirley Boone

What do I owe to my times, to my country, to my neighbors, to my friends? Such are the questions which a virtuous man ought often to ask himself. Johann Lavater

A democracy must remain at home in all matters which affect the nature of her institutions. William Borah

We have created a society where individual rights and freedoms, compassion and diversity are core to our citizenship. Justin Trudeau

Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. Louis Brandeis

A passive and ignorant citizenry will never create a sustainable world. Andrew Gaines

Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist. Edmund Burke

No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated. Nelson Mandela

Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters. Edmund Burke

Religion creates community, community creates altruism and altruism turns us away from self and toward the common good. There is something about the tenor of relationships within a religious community that makes it the best tutorial in citizenship and good neighborliness. Jonathan Sacks

The best way to enhance freedom in other lands is to demonstrate here that our democratic system is worthy of emulation. Jimmy Carter

Every good citizen adds to the strength of a nation. Gordon Hinckley

The experience of democracy is like the experience of life itself always changing, infinite in its variety, sometimes turbulent and all the more valuable for having been tested in adversity. Jimmy Carter

Without free, self respecting, and autonomous citizens there can be no free and independent nations. Without internal peace, that is, peace among citizens and between the citizens and the state, there can be no guarantee of external peace. Vaclav Havel

We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different dreams. Jimmy Carter

As citizens, we all have an obligation to intervene and become involved  it’s the citizen who changes things. Jose Saramago

The fact that a man is to vote forces him to think. You may preach to a congregation by the year and not affect its thought because it is not called upon for definite action. But throw your subject into a campaign and it becomes a challenge. John Jay Chapman

We should never take the privilege of our citizenship for granted. Jane D. Hull

Democracy is not an easy form of government, because it is never final; it is a living, changing organism, with a continuous shifting and adjusting of balance between individual freedom and general order. İlka Chase

Be the change you want to see in the world and, if you can’t be that change, then either get out of the way of the person who wants to be that change or support the individual with your financial resources.

The average man votes below himself; he votes with half a mind or a hundredth part of one. A man ought to vote with the whole of himself, as he worships or gets married. A man ought to vote with his head and heart, his soul and stomach, his eye for faces and his ear for music; also when sufficiently provoked) with his hands and feet The question is not so much whether only a minority of the electorate votes. The point is that only a minority of the voters votes. G. K. Chesterton

Our nation will succeed or fail to the degree that all of us  citizens and businesses alike  are active participants in building strong, sustainable and enriching communities.

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. G.K. Chesterton

In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life and they lost it all  security, comfort and freedom When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free.

Of the three forms of government, monarchy, aristocracy, and the people, the best is a mixture of all three for each one taken on its own can lead to disaster. Kings can be capricious, aristocrats, self-interested, and an unbridled multitude enjoying unwanted power more terrifying then a conflagration or a raging sea. Cicero

The era of big government is over, but the era of big challenge is not. We need an era of big citizenship. There are many important people at this summit, but the most important title is citizen. This is our republic. Let us keep it! President Bill Clinton     Submitted by Redd Torres Eakin

Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. Winston Churchill

We are not going to dwell on those things that divide us. We are going to rejoice in those things that keep us together to make this a better country to reach down and back to touch every young person in need!Gen. Colin Powell     Submitted by Redd Torres Eakin

The empires of the future are the empires of the mind. Winston Churchill

Your corn is ripe today, mine will be so tomorrow. ‘Tis profitable for us both that I should labor with you today, and that you should aid me tomorrow. I have no kindness for you, and know you have as little for me. I will not, therefore, take any pains upon your account  Here then I leave you to labor alone; you treat me in the same manner. The seasons change, and both of us lose our harvests for want of mutual confidence and security.

A right is not what someone gives you; it’s what no one can take from you. Ramsey Clark

My country is the world, and my religion is to do good. Thomas Paine     Submitted by Dena Spanos  Hawkey

Government is a trust and the officers of the government are trustees, and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people. Henry Clay

The debt that each generation owes to the past, it must pay to the future. Abigail Scott Dunaway    Submitted by Carol Freed

Democracy is a small, hard core of common agreement, surrounded by a rich variety of individual differences. James B. Conant

When we dream alone, it is only a dream, but when we dream together, it is the beginning of reality.

Men speak of natural rights, but I challenge anyone to show where in nature any rights existed or were recognized until there was established for their declaration and protection a duly promulgated body of corresponding laws. Calvin Coolidge

In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it. Marianne Williamson     Submitted by Alan D. Finney, Volunteer Coordinator KUHF Radio, Texas, USA

“The prospects for stable democracy in a country are improved if its citizens and leaders strongly support democratic, ideas, values, and practices. The most reliable support comes when these beliefs and predispositions are embedded in the country’s culture and are transmitted, in large part, for one generation to the next. In other words, the country possesses a democratic political culture. Robert Dahl, 1998

It is from the numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. Robert F. Kennedy     Submitted by Carol Freed

To consider the Supreme Court of the United States strictly as a legal institution is to underestimate its significance in the American political system. For it is also a political institution, an institution, that is to say, for arriving at decisions on controversial questions of national policy. As a political institution, the court is highly unusual, not least because Americans are not quite willing to accept the fact that it is a political institution and not quite capable of denying it; so that frequently we take both positions at once. This is confusing to foreigners, amusing to logicians, and rewarding to ordinary Americans who thus manage to retain the best of both worlds. Robert Dahl

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man’s freedom. You can only be free if I am free. Clarence Darrow

I have never been especially impressed by the heroics of people convinced that they are about to change the world. I am more awed by  those who  struggle to make one small difference after another. Ellen Goodman     Submitted by James Noonan, Volunteer Program Manager, The Horizons Initiative, Boston, MA

Agitation and mutability are inherent in the nature of democratic republics, just as stagnation and sleepiness are the law of absolute monarchies. Alexis de Tocqueville

This is the true joy in life being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy

 Better use has been made of association and this powerful instrument of action has been applied for more varied aims in America than anywhere else in the world. Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. For the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake.

Democratic nations care but little for what has been, but they are haunted by visions of what will be; in this direction their unbounded imagination grows and dilates beyond all measure. Democracy, which shuts the past against the poet, opens the future before him.Alexis de Tocqueville

I think it may be admitted as a general and constant rule that among civilized nations the warlike passions will become more rare and less intense in proportion as social conditions are more equal. Alexis de Tocqueville

Life is no brief candle to me. It’s a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got to hold up for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations. George Bernard Shaw     Submitted by Harvey LeCato, Certified Trainer, Sertoma Int’l, Colorado

It cannot be repeated too often that nothing is more fertile in prodigies than the art of being free; but there is nothing more arduous than the apprenticeship of liberty. Alexis de Tocqueville