„Character, not circumstances, makes the man.“

"Democracy and Education" http://web.archive.org/20071031084046/www.historycooperative.org/btw/Vol.4/html/222.html, speech, Institute of Arts and Sciences, Brooklyn NY (30 September 1896)

Booker T. Washington photo
Booker T. Washington47
African-American educator, author, orator, and advisor 1856 - 1915

Related quotes

George Henry Lewes photo

„Instead, therefore, of saying that Man is the creature of Circumstance, it would be nearer the mark to say that Man is the architect of Circumstance. It is Character which builds an existence out of Circumstance.“

—  George Henry Lewes British philosopher 1817 - 1878

The Life and Works of Goethe (1855; repr. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1856) vol. 1, p. 30, often misattributed to Thomas Carlyle.
Context: Instead, therefore, of saying that Man is the creature of Circumstance, it would be nearer the mark to say that Man is the architect of Circumstance. It is Character which builds an existence out of Circumstance. Our strength is measured by our plastic power. From the same materials one man builds palaces, another hovels, one warehouses, another villas.

Edward Young photo

„The man that makes a character makes foes.“

—  Edward Young English poet 1683 - 1765

To Mr. Pope, epistle I, l. 28 (1730).

James Allen photo
Wayne W. Dyer photo
Plutarch photo

„It is circumstance and proper measure that give an action its character, and make it either good or bad.“

—  Plutarch ancient Greek historian and philosopher 46 - 127

Life of Agesilaus II
Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)

Ralph Waldo Emerson photo
Clifford D. Simak photo
Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

„One circumstance that helped our character development: we were needed.“

—  Dwight D. Eisenhower American general and politician, 34th president of the United States (in office from 1953 to 1961) 1890 - 1969

At Ease: Stories I Tell to Friends (1967); also quoted in Childhood Revisited (1974) by Joel I. Milgram and Dorothy June Sciarra, p. 90
Context: One circumstance that helped our character development: we were needed. I often think today of what an impact could be made if children believed they were contributing to a family's essential survival and happiness. In the transformation from a rural to an urban society, children are — though they might not agree — robbed of the opportunity to do genuinely responsible work.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. photo

„The character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done.“

—  Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. United States Supreme Court justice 1841 - 1935

Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47, 52 (3 March 1919).

Megan Whalen Turner photo
Ralph Waldo Emerson photo

„Nature magically suits the man to his fortunes, by making these the fruit of his character.“

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson American philosopher, essayist, and poet 1803 - 1882

1860s, The Conduct of Life (1860)

John C. Maxwell photo

„Circumstances does not make the man; it reveals him to himself. That is true only if you allow it to.“

—  John C. Maxwell American author, speaker and pastor 1947

Book Sometimes you win Sometimes you Learn

Benjamin Disraeli photo

„Man is not the creature of circumstances, circumstances are the creatures of men. We are free agents, and man is more powerful than matter.“

—  Benjamin Disraeli British Conservative politician, writer, aristocrat and Prime Minister 1804 - 1881

Book VI, Chapter 7.
Books, Coningsby (1844), Vivian Grey (1826)

Robert Owen photo

„Man is the creature of circumstances.“

—  Robert Owen Welsh social reformer 1771 - 1858

"The Philanthropist".

Napoleon I of France photo

„As a rule it is circumstances that make men.“

—  Napoleon I of France French general, First Consul and later Emperor of the French 1769 - 1821

Napoleon : In His Own Words (1916)

Paul Newman photo

„A man with no enemies is a man with no character.“

—  Paul Newman American actor and film director 1925 - 2008

Quoted in Paul Newman: A Life in Pictures, ed. Yann-Brice Dherbier and Pierre-Henri Verlhac (2006), p. 120
As quoted in Words of Wisdom : From the Greatest Minds of All Time (2004) by Mick Farren
Variant: If you don't have enemies, you don't have character.

Letitia Elizabeth Landon photo
Mark Twain photo

„It is not worth while to try to keep history from repeating itself, for man's character will always make the preventing of the repetitions impossible.“

—  Mark Twain American author and humorist 1835 - 1910

Mark Twain in Eruption: Hitherto Unpublished Pages About Men and Events (1940) edited by Bernard DeVoto

Thomas Paine photo

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“