James Madison Quotes

- Notable James Madison Quotes Index -

Born: March 16, 1751,
Birth Country:
Died: , June 28, 1836
Occupation: 4th President of the United States

1.
A man has a property in his opinions and the free communication of them.
- James Madison

2.
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

3.
A pure democracy is a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person.
- James Madison

4.
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

5.
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

6.
A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people.
- James Madison

7.
All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.
- James Madison

8.
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

9.
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

10.
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

11.
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

12.
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

13.
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

14.
If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
- James Madison

15.
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

16.
In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men you must first enable the government to control the governed and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
- James Madison

17.
In Republics, the great danger is, that the majority may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority.
- James Madison

18.
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

19.
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

20.
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

21.
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

22.
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

23.
Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power.
- James Madison

24.
No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
- James Madison

25.
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

26.
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

27.
Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Government.
- James Madison

28.
The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.
- James Madison

29.
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

30.
The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money.
- James Madison

31.
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

32.
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

33.
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.
- James Madison

34.
The essence of Government is power and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.
- James Madison

35.
The executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war.
- James Madison

36.
The happy Union of these States is a wonder their Constitution a miracle their example the hope of Liberty throughout the world.
- James Madison

37.
The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad.
- James Madison

38.
The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.
- James Madison

39.
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

40.
The rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted.
- James Madison

41.
The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.
- James Madison

42.
To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea.
- James Madison

43.
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

44.
War contains so much folly, as well as wickedness, that much is to be hoped from the progress of reason.
- James Madison

45.
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

46.
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

47.
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

48.
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

49.
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

50.
Wherever there is interest and power to do wrong, wrong will generally be done.
- James Madison

Quotes by James Madison

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