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The essence of Government is power; and power,
by James Madison

The essence of Government is power; and power,
lodged as it must be in human hands,
will ever be liable to abuse.
- James Madison

A pure democracy is a society consisting of a small number of citizens,
who assemble and administer the government in person.
- James Madison

If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
- James Madison

Knowledge will forever govern ignorance;
and a people who mean to be their own governors must
arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.
- James Madison

 

The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only
guardian of true liberty.
- James Madison

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.
- James Madison

The executive has no right, in any case,
to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war.
- James Madison

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The people are the only legitimate fountain of power,
and it is from them that the constitutional charter,
under which the several branches of government hold their power,
is derived.
- James Madison

A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people,
trained in arms, is the best most natural defense of a free country.
- James Madison

In no instance have...
the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.
- James Madison

Commercial shackles are generally unjust,
oppressive, and impolitic.
- James Madison

Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind
and unfits it for every noble enterprise,
every expanded prospect.
- James Madison

What prudent merchant will hazard his fortunes in any
new branch of commerce when he knows not that his plans
may be rendered unlawful before they can be executed?
- James Madison

The happy Union of these States is a wonder;
their Constitution a miracle; their example the hope
of Liberty throughout the world.
- James Madison

The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.
- James Madison

The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the
provisions against danger,
real or imagined, from abroad.
- James Madison

Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected.
No man is safe in his opinions, his person,
his faculties, or his possessions.
- James Madison

Let me recommend the best medicine in the world:
a long journey,
at a mild season, through a pleasant country,
in easy stages.
- James Madison

I believe there are more instances of the abridgement
of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments
by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.
- James Madison

Each generation should be made to bear the burden of its own wars,
instead of carrying them on, at the expense of other generations.
- James Madison

The capacity of the female mind for studies of the
highest order cannot be doubted,
having been sufficiently illustrated by its works of genius,
of erudition, and of science.
- James Madison

A sincere and steadfast co-operation in promoting such
a reconstruction of our political system as would provide
for the permanent liberty and happiness of the United States.
- James Madison

All that seems indispensible in stating the account
between the dead and the living,
is to see that the debts against the latter do not
exceed the advances made by the former.
- James Madison

To suppose that any form of government will secure
liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people,
is a chimerical idea.
- James Madison

A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people.
- James Madison

It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at
home is to be charged to the provisions against danger,
real or pretended, from abroad.
- James Madison

All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.
- James Madison

I have no doubt but that the misery of the lower classes
will be found to abate whenever the Government assumes
a freer aspect and the laws favor a subdivision of Property.
- James Madison

Union of religious sentiments begets a surprising confidence.
- James Madison

The internal effects of a mutable policy poisons the
blessings of liberty itself.
- James Madison

Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty
at home is to be charged to provisions against danger,
real or pretended, from abroad.
- 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.
- James Madison

Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty,
but also by the abuse of power.
- James Madison

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land,
it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
- James Madison

We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.
- James Madison

By rendering the labor of one, the property of the other,
they cherish pride, luxury, and vanity on one side;
on the other,
vice and servility, or hatred and revolt.
- James Madison

Whenever a youth is ascertained to possess talents
meriting an education which his parents cannot afford,
he should be carried forward at the public expense.
- James Madison

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

Americans have the right and advantage of being armed -
unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments
are afraid to trust the people with arms.
- James Madison

Of all the enemies of public liberty,
war is perhaps the most to be dreaded,
because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.
- James Madison

Any reading not of a vicious species must be a good
substitute for the amusements too apt to fill up the
leisure of the labouring classes.
- James Madison

Religion flourishes in greater purity,
without than with the aid of Government.
- James Madison

War contains so much folly, as well as wickedness,
that much is to be hoped from the progress of reason.
- James Madison

What spectacle can be more edifying or more seasonable,
than that of Liberty and Learning, each leaning on
the other for their mutual and surest support?
- James Madison

A popular government without popular information or
the means of acquiring it,
is but a prologue to a farce, or a tragedy,
or perhaps both.
- James Madison

If we are to take for the criterion of truth the majority of suffrages,
they ought to be gotten from those philosophic and
patriotic citizens who cultivate their reason.
- James Madison

A man has a property in his opinions and the free communication of them.
- 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.
- James Madison

I should not regret a fair and full trial of the entire
abolition of capital punishment.
- James Madison

Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.
- James Madison

To the press alone, chequered as it is with abuses,
the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have
been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.
- James Madison

The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money.
- James Madison

The rights of persons, and the rights of property,
are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted.
- James Madison

No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
- James Madison

Despotism can only exist in darkness,
and there are too many lights now in the political
firmament to permit it to remain anywhere,
as it has heretofore done, almost everywhere.
- James Madison

In Republics, the great danger is, that the majority
may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority.
- James Madison

As long as the reason of man continues fallible,
and he is at liberty to exercise it,
different opinions will be formed.
- James Madison

The purpose of separation of church and state is to
keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife
that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries.
- James Madison

The personal right to acquire property,
which is a natural right, gives to property,
when acquired, a right to protection,
as a social right.
- James Madison

Wherever there is interest and power to do wrong,
wrong will generally be done.
- James Madison

Philosophy is common sense with big words.
- James Madison

Every nation whose affairs betray a want of wisdom
and stability may calculate on every loss which can
be sustained from the more systematic policy of its wiser neighbors.
- James Madison

As a man is said to have a right to his property,
he may be equally said to have a property in his rights.
- James Madison

The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed
which Americans possess over the people of almost every
other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
- James Madison

Do not separate text from historical background.
If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution,
which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form
of illegitimate government.
- James Madison

It will be of little avail to the people that the laws
are made by men of their own choice if the laws be
so voluminous that they cannot be read,
or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.
- James Madison

And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed,
as every past one has done, in showing that religion
and Government will both exist in greater purity,
the less they are mixed together.
- James Madison

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.
- James Madison

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.
- James Madison

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.
- James Madison

America was indebted to immigration for her settlement and prosperity.
That part of America which had encouraged them most
had advanced most rapidly in population,
agriculture and the arts.
- James Madison


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