John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton

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John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton (1834–1902) was an English Catholic historian, politician, and writer.[1]

Famous quote by Lord Acton

  • "You say that people in authority are not to be snubbed or sneered at from our pinnacle of conscious rectitude. I really don t know whether you exempt them because of their rank, or of their success and power, or of their date.... But if we might discuss this point until we found that we nearly agreed, and if we do agree thoroughly about the impropriety of Carlylese denunciations and Pharisaism in history, I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favoured presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against holders of power increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." - Letter to Mandell Creighton, April 5th, 1887[2][3]


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