James Madison Quotes
A man has a property in his opinions and the free communication of them.
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.
A pure democracy is a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person.
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.
A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained in arms, is the best most natural defense of a free country.
A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people.
All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.
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.
Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights.
As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed.
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.
Commercial shackles are generally unjust, oppressive, and impolitic.
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.
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.
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 Profile
March 16, 1751
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