James Madison quotes

Born
March 16, 1751 Port Conway, Colony of Virginia, British America.

Died
June 28, 1836.

Occupation
President.

James Madison was an American statesman and Founding Father who served as the fourth President of the United States from 1809 to 1817. He is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for his pivotal role in drafting and promoting the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea.
– 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
Commercial shackles are generally unjust, oppressive, and impolitic.
– James Madison
If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
– James Madison
All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.
– James Madison
Philosophy is common sense with big words.
– James Madison
The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.
– 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
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
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
If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
– James Madison
Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power.
– 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
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
We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.
– 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
No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
– James Madison
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
The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money.
– 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
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
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
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
A man has a property in his opinions and the free communication of them.
– James Madison
The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.
– James Madison
The rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted.
– 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
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
A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people.
– James Madison
Wherever there is interest and power to do wrong, wrong will generally be done.
– 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
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
The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.
– 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
Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.
– James Madison