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

I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents

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

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

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

A good government implies two things: fidelity to the object of government, which is the happiness of the people; secondly, a knowledge of the means by which that object can be best attained.

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

Wherever there is interest and power to do wrong, wrong will generally be done.

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
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