James Madison Famous Quotes & Sayings

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Top 100 James Madison Quotes

#1. 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. - Author: James Madison
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#2. The Alien bill proposed in the Senate is a monster that must forever disgrace its parents. - Author: James Madison
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#3. 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. - Author: James Madison
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#4. The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to an uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. - Author: James Madison
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#5. A public debt is a public curse. - Author: James Madison
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#6. Another of my wishes is to depend as little as possible on the labour of slaves. - Author: James Madison
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#7. 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 the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution. - Author: James Madison
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#8. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. - Author: James Madison
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#9. The proposed Constitution is, in strictness, neither a national nor a federal constitution; but a composition of both. - Author: James Madison
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#10. As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. - Author: James Madison
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#11. The appointment of senators by the state legislatures ... is recommended by the double advantage of favoring a select appointment, and of giving to the state governments such an agency in the formation of the federal government, as must secure the authority of the former. - Author: James Madison
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#12. Having outlived so many of my contemporaries, I ought not to forget that I may be thought to have outlived myself. - Author: James Madison
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#13. A President is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the Constitution. - Author: James Madison
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#14. If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one ... - Author: James Madison
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#15. As to the permanent interest of individuals in the aggregated interests of the community, and in the proverbial maxim, that honesty is the best policy, present temptation is often found to be an overmatch for those considerations. - Author: James Madison
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#16. The eyes of the world being thus on our Country, it is put the more on its good behavior, and under the greater obligation also, to do justice to the Tree of Liberty by an exhibition of the fine fruits we gather from it. - Author: James Madison
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#17. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society. - Author: James Madison
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#18. The rights of man as the foundation of just Government had been long understood but the superstructures projected had been sadly defective - Author: James Madison
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#19. Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind, and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect.
[Letter to William Bradford Jr. April 1 1774] - Author: James Madison
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#20. That diabolical Hell conceived principle of persecution rages amoung some and to their eternal Infamy the Clergy can furnish their Quota of Imps for such business. - Author: James Madison
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#21. What is the structure of government that will best guard against the precipitate counsels and factious combinations for unjust purposes, without a sacrifice of the fundamental principle of republicanism? - Author: James Madison
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#22. It may well happen that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more constant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves. - Author: James Madison
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#23. [at the Constitutional Convention] the States were divided into different interests not by their difference of size, but principally from their having or not having slaves. It did not lie between the large and small States: it lay between the Northern and Southern. - Author: James Madison
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#24. Good conscience is the most valuable asset of all! - Author: James Madison
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#25. To provide employment for the poor, and support for the indigent, is among the primary, and, at the same time, not least difficult cares of the public authority. - Author: James Madison
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#26. That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest. - Author: James Madison
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#27. Conscience is the most sacred of all property. - Author: James Madison
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#28. Torrents of blood have been spilt in the world in vain attempts of the secular arm to extinguish religious discord, by proscribing all differences in religious opinions. - Author: James Madison
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#29. The Convention thought it wrong to admit in the Constitution the idea that there could be property in men. - Author: James Madison
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#30. The Presidency alone unites the conjectures of the public. - Author: James Madison
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#31. [The Senate] ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. - Author: James Madison
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#32. 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. - Author: James Madison
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#33. The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter,to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens and greater sphere of country over which the latter may be extended. - Author: James Madison
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#34. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. - Author: James Madison
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#35. The power of taxing people and their property is essential to the very existence of government. - Author: James Madison
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#36. Precedents once established are so much positive power. - Author: James Madison
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#37. Armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. - Author: James Madison
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#38. Learned Institutions ought to be favorite objects with every free people. They throw that light over the public mind which is the best security against crafty and dangerous encroachments on the public liberty. - Author: James Madison
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#39. A man has a property in his opinions and the free communication of them. - Author: James Madison
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#40. The most that the Convention could do in such a situation, was to avoid the errors suggested by the past experience of other countries, as well as of our own; and to provide a convenient mode of rectifying their own errors, as future experience may unfold them. - Author: James Madison
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#41. I go on the principle that a public debt is a public curse and in a republican government more than in any other. - Author: James Madison
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#42. [Restraints on the press] in all ages, have debauched morals, depressed liberty, shackled religion, supported despotism, and deluged the scaffold with blood. - Author: James Madison
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#43. [R]efusing or not refusing to execute a law to stamp it with its final character ... makes the Judiciary department paramount in fact to the Legislature, which was never intended and can never be proper. - Author: James Madison
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#44. One hundred and seventy-three despots would surely be as oppressive as one. - Author: James Madison
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#45. Democracy was the right of the people to choose their own tyrant. - Author: James Madison
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#46. The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. - Author: James Madison
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#47. War contains so much folly, as well as wickedness, that much is to be hoped from the progress of reason. - Author: James Madison
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#48. I flatter myself [we] have in this country extinguished forever the ambitious hope of making laws for the human mind. - Author: James Madison
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#49. The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded. - Author: James Madison
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#50. The problem to be solved is, not what form of government is perfect, but which of the forms is least imperfect. - Author: James Madison
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#51. Are not the daily devotions conducted by these legal ecclesiastics already degenerating into a scanty attendance, and a tiresome formality? - Author: James Madison
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#52. A government that does not trust it's law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is itself unworthy of trust. - Author: James Madison
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#53. 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. - Author: James Madison
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#54. There is no maxim, in my opinion, which is more liable to be misapplied, and which, therefore, more needs elucidation, than the current one, that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong. - Author: James Madison
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#55. The number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state. - Author: James Madison
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#56. The censorial power is in the people over the government, and not in the government over the people. - Author: James Madison
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#57. Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. - Author: James Madison
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#58. Because we hold it for 'a fundamental and undeniable truth', that religion or 'the duty which we owe to our Creator' and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. - Author: James Madison
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#59. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security - - Author: James Madison
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#60. From the the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results. - Author: James Madison
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#61. And if novelties are to be shunned, believe me, the most alarming of all novelties, the most wild of all projects, the most rash of all attempts, is that of rending us in pieces, in order to preserve our liberties, and promote our happiness. - Author: James Madison
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#62. Commercial shackles are generally unjust, oppressive, and impolitic. - Author: James Madison
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#63. The growing wealth aquired by them corporations never fails to be a source of abuses. - Author: James Madison
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#64. A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people. - Author: James Madison
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#65. No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. - Author: James Madison
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#66. In this relation, then, the proposed government cannot be deemed a national one; since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several states, a residuary and inviolable sovereignty over all other objects. - Author: James Madison
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#67. No error is more certain than the one proceeding from a hasty and superficial view of the subject. - Author: James Madison
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#68. The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man. - Author: James Madison
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#69. Should ardent spirits be everywhere banished from the list of drinks, it will be a revolution not the least remarkable in this revolutionary age, and our country will have its full share in that as in other merits. - Author: James Madison
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#70. What is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. - Author: James Madison
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#71. In all great changes of established governments, forms ought to give way to substance - Author: James Madison
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#72. The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home - Author: James Madison
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#73. Reason, on the contrary, assures us, that as in so great a number, a fit representative would be most likely to be found, so the choice would be less likely to be diverted from him, by the intrigues of the ambitious, or the bribes of the rich. - Author: James Madison
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#74. Philosophy is common sense with big words. - Author: James Madison
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#75. No distinction seems to be more obvious than that between spiritual and temporal matters. Yet whenever they have been made objects of Legislation, they have clashed and contended with each other, till one or the other has gained the supremacy. - Author: James Madison
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#76. All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree. - Author: James Madison
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#77. I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. - Author: James Madison
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#78. I wish not to be regarded as an advocate for the particular organizations of the several state governments ... they carry strong marks of the haste, and still stronger marks of the inexperience, under which they were framed. - Author: James Madison
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#79. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained in arms, is the best most natural defense of a free country. - Author: James Madison
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#80. Liberty is to faction what air is to fire... - Author: James Madison
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#81. In Republics, the great danger is, that the majority may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority. - Author: James Madison
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#82. I love the summer ... the warm weather, hangin out with friends, and swimmin in the warm water ... but most importantly grabin a glove and a ball and playin some softball in the heat. - Author: James Madison
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#83. To have submitted it to the legislative discretion of the States, would have been improper for the same reason; and for the additional reason that it would have rendered too dependent on the State governments that branch of the federal government which ought to be dependent on the people alone. - Author: James Madison
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#84. War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement - Author: James Madison
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#85. The establishment of the chaplainship to Congress is a palpable violation of ... constitutional principles. - Author: James Madison
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#86. [T]he powers granted by the proposed Constitution are the gift of the people, and may be resumed by them when perverted to their oppression, and every power not granted thereby remains with the people. - Author: James Madison
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#87. As the war was just in its origin and necessary and noble in its objects, we can reflect with a proud satisfaction that in carrying it on no principle of justice or honor, no usage of civilized nations, no precept of courtesy or humanity, have been infringed. - Author: James Madison
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#88. They can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society. - Author: James Madison
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#89. The happy Union of these States is a wonder; their Constitution a miracle; their example the hope of Liberty throughout the world. - Author: James Madison
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#90. If men were angels, no government would be necessary. - Author: James Madison
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#91. Quotes. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. - Author: James Madison
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#92. The real difference of interests, lay not between large and small, but between the Northern and Southern states. The institution of slavery and its consequences formed a line of discrimination. - Author: James Madison
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#93. The necessity of a senate is not less indicated by the propensity of all single and numerous assemblies, to yield to the impulse of sudden and violent passions, and to be seduced by factious leaders, into intemperate and pernicious resolutions. - Author: James Madison
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#94. 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. - Author: James Madison
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#95. Our country, if it does justice to itself, will be the workshop of liberty to the civilized world. - Author: James Madison
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#96. If our nation is ever taken over, it will be taken over from within. - Author: James Madison
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#97. These considerations and many others that might be mentioned prove, and experience confirms it, that artisans and manufacturers will commonly be disposed to bestow their votes on merchants. - Author: James Madison
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#98. There never was an assembly of men, charged with a great and arduous trust, who were more pure in their motives, or more exclusively or anxiously devoted to the object committed to them. - Author: James Madison
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#99. The purpose of the Constitution is to restrict the majority's ability to harm a minority. - Author: James Madison
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#100. [Exchange] the galling burden of bachelorship for the easy yoke of matrimony. - Author: James Madison
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