Best 549 of James Madison quotes - MyQuotes

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James Madison
By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

Disarm the people- that is the best and most effective way to enslave them.

By Anonym 14 Sep

James Madison

It is certain that every class is interested in [educational] establishments which give to the human mind its highest improvements, and to every Country its truest and most durable celebrity.

By Anonym 15 Sep

James Madison

What a perversion of the normal order of things! ... to make power the primary and central object of the social system, and Liberty but its satellite.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

But the most deplorable effect of all, is that diminution of attachment and reverence, which steals into the hearts of the people, towards a political system which betrays so many marks of infirmity, and disappoints so many of their flattering hopes. No government, any more than an individual, will long be respected, without being truly respectable; nor be truly respectable, without possessing a certain portion of order and stability.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

Every answer he [President John Adams] gives to his addressers unmasks more and more his principles and views. His language to the young men at Philadelphia is the most abominable and degrading that could fall from the lips of the first magistrate of an independent people, and particularly from a Revolutionary patriot.

By Anonym 15 Sep

James Madison

The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that is not the guide in expounding it, there may be no security.

By Anonym 15 Sep

James Madison

What becomes of the surplus of human life? It is either, 1st. destroyed by infanticide, as among the Chinese and Lacedemonians; or 2d. it is stifled or starved, as among other nations whose population is commensurate to its food; or 3d. it is consumed by wars and endemic diseases; or 4th. it overflows, by emigration, to places where a surplus of food is attainable.

By Anonym 14 Sep

James Madison

Temporary deviations from fundamental principles are always more or less dangerous. When the first pretext fails, those who become interested in prolonging the evil will rarely be at a loss for other pretexts.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

A local spirit will infallibly prevail much more in the members of Congress than a national spirit will prevail in the legislatures of the particular States.

By Anonym 14 Sep

James Madison

... large and permanent military establishments ... are forbidden by the principles of free government, and against the necessity of which the militia were meant to be a constitutional bulwark.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

If this spirit shall ever be so far debased, as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate any thing but liberty.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

And may I not be allowed to ... read in the character of the American people, in their devotion to true liberty and to the Constitution which is its palladium [protection], ... a Government which watches over ... the equal interdict [prohibition] against encroachments and compacts between religion and the state.

By Anonym 15 Sep

James Madison

The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

For the same reason that the members of the State legislatures will be unlikely to attach themselves sufficiently to national objects, the members of the federal legislature will be likely to attach themselves too much to local objects.

By Anonym 14 Sep

James Madison

Man, who preys both on the vegetable and animal species, is himself a prey to neither. He too possesses the reproductive principle far beyond the degree requisite for the bare continuance of his species. What becomes of the surplus of human life to which this principle is competent?

By Anonym 14 Sep

James Madison

The class of citizens who provide at once their own food and their own raiment, may be viewed as the most truly independent and happy.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

If there be a principle that ought not to be questioned within the United States, it is that every man has a right to abolish an old government and establish a new one. This principle is not only recorded in every public archive, written in every American heart, and sealed with the blood of American martyrs, but is the only lawful tenure by which the United States hold their existence as a nation.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

Conscience is the most sacred of all property; other property depending in part on positive law, the exercise of that being a natural and unalienable right. To guard a man's house as his castle, to pay public and enforce private debts with the most exact faith, can give no title to invade a man's conscience, which is more sacred than his castle, or to withhold from it that debt of protection for which the public faith is pledged by the very nature and original conditions of the social pact.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

I, sir, have always conceived - I believe those who proposed the constitution conceived,and it is still more fully known, and more material to observe, those who ratified the constitution conceived, that this is not an indefinite government deriving its powers from the general terms prefixed to the specified powers - but, a limited government tied down to the specified powers, which explain and define the general terms.

By Anonym 14 Sep

James Madison

Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it, as well as to that repose and confidence in the minds of the people, which are among the chief blessings of civil society.

By Anonym 15 Sep

James Madison

We may be assured by past experience, that such a practice [as some states charging high taxes on goods from other states] would be introduced by future contrivances; and both by that and a common knowledge of human affairs, that it would nourish unceasing animosities, and not improbably terminate in serious interruptions of the public tranquility.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest while we are building ideal monuments of Renown and Bliss here we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven.

By Anonym 15 Sep

James Madison

[T]he most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society. Those who are creditors, and those who are debtors, fall under a like discrimination. A landed interest, a manufacturing interest, a mercantile interest, a moneyed interest, with many lesser interests, grow up of necessity in civilized nations, and divide them into different classes, actuated by different sentiments and views.

By Anonym 14 Sep

James Madison

It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage...Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.

By Anonym 15 Sep

James Madison

The purpose of the Constitution is to restrict the majority's ability to harm a minority.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

Because the bill in reserving a certain parcel of land in the United States for the use of said Baptist Church comprises a principle and a precedent for the appropriation of funds of the United States for the use and support of religious societies, contrary to the article of the Constitution which declares that "Congress shall make no law respecting a religious establishment.

By Anonym 19 Sep

James Madison

The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

Good conscience is the most valuable asset of all!

By Anonym 14 Sep

James Madison

Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.... During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

By Anonym 15 Sep

James Madison

The primary function of government is to protect the minority of the opulent from the majority of the poor.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

As the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial departments of the United States are co-ordinate, and each equally bound to support the Constitution, it follows that each must in the exercise of its functions be guided by the text of the Constitution according to its own interpretation of it.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

In suits at common law, trial by jury in civil cases is as essential to secure the liberty of the people as any one of the pre-existent rights of nature.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

if the people are to be our governors, they must arm themselves with knowledge.

By Anonym 14 Sep

James Madison

The class of citizens who provide at once their own food and their own raiment, may be viewed as the most truly independent and happy. They are more: they are the best basis of public liberty, and the strongest bulwark of public safety. It follows, that the greater the proportion of this class to the whole society, the more free, the more independent, and the more happy must be the society itself.

By Anonym 14 Sep

James Madison

Nor is any evidence to be found, either in History or Human Nature, that nations are to be bribed out of a spirit of encroachment and aggression, by humiliations which nourish their pride, or by concessions that extend their resources and power.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

Because finally, 'the equal right of every citizen to the free exercise of his religion according to the dictates of conscience' is held by the same tenure with all his other rights. If we recur to its origin, it is equally the gift of nature; if we weigh its importance, it cannot be less dear to us; if we consider the 'Declaration of those rights which pertain to the good people of Virginia, as the basis and foundation of government,' it is enumerated with equal solemnity, or rather studied emphasis.

By Anonym 14 Sep

James Madison

The danger of disturbing the public tranquillity by interesting too strongly the public passions, is a still more serious objection against a frequent reference of constitutional questions to the decision of the whole society.

By Anonym 14 Sep

James Madison

The Constitution of the U.S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion.

By Anonym 15 Sep

James Madison

War should only be declared by the authority of the people, whose toils and treasures are to support its burdens, instead of the government which is to reap its fruits.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

[Exchange] the galling burden of bachelorship for the easy yoke of matrimony.

By Anonym 14 Sep

James Madison

The definition of the right of suffrage is very justly regarded as a fundamental article of republican government.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

I acknowledge, in the ordinary course of government, that the exposition of the laws and Constitution devolves upon the judicial. But I beg to know upon what principle it can be contended that any one department draws from the Constitution greater powers than another in marking out the limits of the powers of the several departments.

By Anonym 13 Sep

James Madison

Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our governments are too unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.

By Anonym 16 Sep

James Madison

It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

By Anonym 14 Sep

James Madison

Popular liberty might then have escaped the indelible reproach of decreeing to the same citizens, the hemlock on one day, and statues on the next.

By Anonym 15 Sep

James Madison

We have seen the mere distinction of color made in the most enlightened period of time, a ground of the most oppressive dominion ever exercised by man over man.

By Anonym 14 Sep

James Madison

The great objects which presented themselves [to the Constitutional Convention] ... formed a task more difficult than can be well conceived by those who were not concerned in the execution of it. Adding to these considerations the natural diversity of human opinions on all new and complicated subjects, it is impossible to consider the degree of concord which ultimately prevailed as less than a miracle.

By Anonym 14 Sep

James Madison

Philosophy is common sense with big words.