Best quotes by the American President James Madison

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

Philosophy is common sense with big words.
  • philosophy

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

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



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

As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights.
  • Property

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.
  • abroad

The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.
  • power

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.
  • believe

Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power.
  • Liberty

The rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted.
  • government

Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.
  • ambition

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.
  • authority

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.
  • afford

If tyranny and oppression come to this land it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
  • oppression

If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
  • government

The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.
  • advancement

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.
  • blood

Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been, and ever will be pursued, until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit.
  • Justice

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.
  • cherish

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.
  • church

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

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

No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
  • continual

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

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.

The proposed Constitution is, in strictness, neither a national nor a federal constitution; but a composition of both.
  • Constitution

We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.
  • Liberty

Those who are to conduct a war cannot in the nature of things, be proper or safe judges, whether a war ought to be commenced, continued, or concluded.
  • War

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.
  • capacity


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James Madison liberty quotes

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

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.
  • abroad

Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power.
  • Liberty

The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.
  • advancement

We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.
  • Liberty

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?
  • leaning

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.
  • co-operation

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.
  • abroad

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.
  • comprises

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

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James Madison people quotes

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

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

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.
  • believe

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.
  • authority

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.
  • church

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

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.
  • branches

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.
  • advantage

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.
  • avail

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James Madison war quotes

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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.
  • authority

If tyranny and oppression come to this land it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
  • oppression

Those who are to conduct a war cannot in the nature of things, be proper or safe judges, whether a war ought to be commenced, continued, or concluded.
  • War

The Constitution expressly and exclusively vests in the Legislature the power of declaring a state of war. The separation of the power of declaring war from that of conducting it is wisely contrived to exclude the danger of its being declared for the sake of its being conducted.
  • War

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.
  • comprises

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

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James Madison power quotes

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

The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.
  • power

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.
  • believe

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.
  • branches

All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.
  • certain

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James Madison property quotes

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As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights.
  • Property

The rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted.
  • government

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.
  • cherish

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.
  • abate

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.
  • Property

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More quotes by James Madison

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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.
  • abate

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.
  • citizens

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.
  • account

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?
  • leaning



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?
  • branch

Is it not the glory of the people of America, that, whilst they have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other nations, they have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom, or for names, to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lessons of their own experience? To this manly spirit, posterity will be indebted for the possession, and the world for the example, of the numerous innovations displayed on the American theatre, in favor of private rights and public happiness.

The safety and happiness of society are the objects at which all political institutions aim, and to which all such institutions must be sacrificed.

The free system of government we have established is so congenial with reason, with common sense, and with a universal feeling, that it must produce approbation and a desire of imitation, as avenues may be found for truth to the knowledge of nations.

Equal laws protecting equal rights the best guarantee of loyalty & love of country.

Since the general civilization of mankind, 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.

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

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 & dangerous encroachments on the public liberty.

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.

In order to judge of the form to be given to this institution the Senate, it will be proper to take a view of the ends to be served by it. These were,first, to protect the people against their rulers, secondly, to protect the people against the transient impressions into which they themselves might be led.

War contains so much folly, as well as wickedness, that much is to be hoped from the progress of reason; and if any thing is to be hoped, every thing ought to be tried.

I think it absolutely necessary that the President should have the power of removing his subordinates from office; it will make him, in a peculiar manner, responsible for their conduct, and subject him to impeachment himself, if he suffers them to perpetrate with impunity high crimes or misdemeanors against the United States, or neglects to superintend their conduct, so as to check their excesses.

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; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow.

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. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

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.
  • Education

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, 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.
  • Government

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.
  • Property

The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.
  • Tyranny

The Constitution expressly and exclusively vests in the Legislature the power of declaring a state of war. The separation of the power of declaring war from that of conducting it is wisely contrived to exclude the danger of its being declared for the sake of its being conducted.
  • War

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.
  • citizens

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.
  • advanced

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.
  • branches

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.
  • co-operation

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.
  • almost

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

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.
  • background

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.
  • administered

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.
  • abroad

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.
  • angels

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.
  • advantage

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.
  • avail

All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.
  • certain

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.
  • comprises

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

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


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James Madison's Quotes About ...
Liberty
People
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