James Madison Quotes

Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks -- no form of government can render us secure. To suppose liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.

James Madison

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

James Madison

It is sufficiently obvious, that persons and property are the two great subjects on which Governments are to act; and that the rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted. These rights cannot be separated

James Madison

The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government

James Madison

Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms.

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 nation which reposes on the pillow of political confidence, will sooner or later end its political existence in a deadly lethargy

James Madison

Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Government

James Madison

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

James Madison

Union of religious sentiments begets a surprising confidence

James Madison

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

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

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

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

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

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 today can guess what is will be tomorrow

James Madison
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