Perseverance means sticking to one’s goals and continuing to pursue them in the face of opposition or discouragement, for a long period of time – perhaps even a lifetime. Citizens can persevere by continuing to pursue their goals even when they face obstacles.

President John Quincy Adams asserted that with “courage and perseverance,…difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.” An American entrepreneur once said, “I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”

The Founders persevered in expressing their grievances to the British Crown, eventually breaking away from England. They persevered in their goal of establishing a republican form of government by framing the Constitution after the Articles of Confederation proved inadequate. Anti-Federalists persevered in their demands for a bill of rights. Many citizens have persevered through years of court struggles in order to to secure their rights.

American individuals who have exhibited perseverance include Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, Abraham Lincoln, William Jennings Bryan, Douglas MacArthur, and Martin Luther King, Jr.