Ten Core Values » #2 – Public and Private Virtue

#2 – Public and Private Virtue

John Adams said, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”[1] Morality and virtue are the foundation of our republic and necessary for a society to be free. Virtue is an inner commitment and voluntary outward obedience to principles of truth and moral law. Private virtue is the character to govern oneself according to moral law at all times. Public virtue is the character to voluntarily sacrifice or subjugate personal wants for the greater good of other individuals or the community. Specific moral virtues include charity, justice, courage, temperance, reverence, prudence, and honesty. These virtues are the moral fiber and moving force to act in accordance with wisdom. Our scholars embrace these virtues and seek to incorporate them in the John Adams Academy community through which these virtues are cultivated and practiced.


[1] John Adams, “Letter from John Adams to Massachusetts Militia,” 11 October 1798.