The Best James Madison quotes

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In honor of Presidents’ Day, we are taking a look at the life of James Madison, the Father of the Constitution. Madison was born in 1751 in Virginia and played a pivotal role in American history. He was a leader in the fight for independence from Britain, and he helped write the Constitution and Bill of Rights. As president, Madison faced many challenges including war with Britain and the secession of states. Despite these difficulties, Madison is considered one of our nation’s most successful presidents. Learn more about this fascinating figure by reading our blog post.

We are glad to present you the deepest Constitution, Free, Liberty, Power, Public, Property, Human Beings Famous quotes from James Madison, and much more.


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About James Madison

birth of the author

March 16, 1751

death of the author

June 28, 1836

deathcause of the author

Cause Of Death:
Congestive Heart Failure

political of the author

Political Party:

education of the author

College Of New Jersey

occupation of the author

Politician, Farmer

country of the author


institution of the author

Virginia Militia

date of the author

Years Of Service:

army of the author



The censorial power is in the people over the government, and not in the government over the people. โ€” James Madison

Power is of an encroaching nature. โ€” James Madison

Precedents once established are so much positive power. โ€” James Madison

In Europe, charters of liberty have been granted by Power. In America … charters of power [are] granted by liberty. โ€” James Madison

power is of an encroaching nature James Madison quote

Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as by the abuses of power. โ€” James Madison

Wherever there is interest and power to do wrong, wrong will generally be done. โ€” James Madison

Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. โ€” James Madison

The very definition of tyranny is when all powers are gathered under one place. โ€” James Madison

No power over the freedom of religion [is] delegated to the United States by the Constitution. โ€” James Madison

precedents once established are so much positive power James Madison quote

Every word of [the Constitution] decides a question between power and liberty. โ€” James Madison

All power in human hands is liable to be abused. โ€” James Madison

The regulation of commerce, it is true, is a new power; but that seems to be an addition which few oppose and from which no apprehensions are entertained. โ€” James Madison

The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted. โ€” James Madison

For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? โ€” James Madison

liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as by the abuses of power James Madison quote

All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree. โ€” James Madison

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


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The danger from legislative usurpations, which, by assembling all power in the same hands, must lead to the same tyranny as is threatened by executive usurpations. โ€” James Madison

What is James Madison best known for?

James Madison created the basic framework for the U. S. Constitution and helped write the Bill of Rights.

He is therefore known as the Father of the Constitution. He served as the fourth U. S.


The constitution supposes, what the History of all Governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. โ€” James Madison

Nothing could be more irrational than to give the people power, and to withhold from them information without which power is abused. โ€” James Madison

wherever there is interest and power to do wrong wrong will generally be done James Madison quote

Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives. โ€” James Madison

The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature. โ€” James Madison

What a perversion of the normal order of things! … to make power the primary and central object of the social system, and Liberty but its satellite. โ€” James Madison


We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. โ€” James Madison

In no instance have the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people. โ€” James Madison

we are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties James Madison quote

The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty. โ€” James Madison

Our country, if it does justice to itself, will be the workshop of liberty to the civilized world. โ€” James Madison

The temple through which alone lies the road to that of Liberty. โ€” James Madison

An armed and trained militia is the firmest bulwark of republicsโ€“that without standing armies their liberty can never be in danger, nor with large ones safe. โ€” James Madison

What spectacle can be more edifying or more seasonable than that of liberty and learning, each leaning on the other for their natural and surest support. โ€” James Madison

in no instance have the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people James Madison quote

To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. โ€” James Madison

The advancement of science and the diffusion of information [is] the best aliment to true liberty. โ€” James Madison

Liberty is to faction what air is to fire… โ€” James Madison

The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous. It poisons the blessings of liberty itself. โ€” James Madison

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. โ€” James Madison

the advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty James Madison quote

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. โ€” James Madison

The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable. โ€” James Madison

People will continue to seek justice until it is found, or until liberty is lost in the pursuit. โ€” James Madison

Popular liberty might then have escaped the indelible reproach of decreeing to the same citizens, the hemlock on one day, and statues on the next. โ€” James Madison

The security intended to the general liberty consists in the frequent election and in the rotation of the members of Congress. โ€” James Madison

A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. โ€” James Madison

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. โ€” James Madison

As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. โ€” James Madison

If this spirit shall ever be so far debased, as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate any thing but liberty. โ€” James Madison

Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty, may have found an established Clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just Government instituted to secure & perpetuate it needs them not. โ€” James Madison


Conscience is the most sacred of all property. โ€” 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. โ€” James Madison

The most common and durable source of faction has been the various and unequal distribution of property. โ€” James Madison

A man has a property in his opinions and the free communication of them. โ€” James Madison

The power of taxing people and their property is essential to the very existence of government. โ€” James Madison

conscience is the most sacred of all property James Madison quote

A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species. โ€” James Madison

Property] embraces everything to which a man may attach a value and have a right. โ€” James Madison

What did James Madison accomplish?

Besides creating the basic outline for the U. S. Constitution, James Madison was one of the authors of the Federalist papers.
As secretary of state under Pres. Thomas Jefferson, he oversaw the Louisiana Purchase. He and Jefferson founded the Democratic-Republican Party.

Let the influx of money be ever so great, if there be no confidence, property will sink in value… The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money. โ€” 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. โ€” James Madison

Democracies have been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death. โ€” James Madison

a man has a property in his opinions and the free communication of them James Madison quote

The personal right to acquire property, which is a natural right, gives to property, when acquired, a right to protection, as a social right. โ€” James Madison

Redundant Thematics

In James Madison Statements


From the the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results. โ€” James Madison

The Convention thought it wrong to admit in the Constitution the idea that there could be property in men. โ€” James Madison

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. โ€” James Madison

Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society. โ€” James Madison

A distinction of property results from that very protection which a free Government gives to unequal faculties of acquiring it. โ€” James Madison


The Presidency alone unites the conjectures of the public. โ€” James Madison

The President is responsible to the public for the conduct of the person he has nominated and appointed. โ€” James Madison

It may well happen that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more constant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves. โ€” James Madison

I go on the principle that a public debt is a public curse and in a republican government more than in any other. โ€” James Madison

the presidency alone unites the conjectures of the public James Madison quote

The public has] the habit now of invalidating opinions emanating from me by reference to my age and infirmities. โ€” James Madison

I]t is the reason alone, of the public, that ought to control and regulate the government. โ€” James Madison


A wellโ€“instructed people alone can be permanently a free people. โ€” James Madison

In a free government the security for civil rights must be the same as that for religious rights. โ€” James Madison

What was James Madisonโ€™s education?

James Madison was privately educated before attending the College of New Jersey, which became Princeton University, where he studied classical languages, mathematics, rhetoric, geography, and philosophy as well as Hebrew and political philosophy


That is not a just government where arbitrary restrictions, exemptions, and monopolies deny to part of its citizens that free use of their faculties, and free choice of their occupations. โ€” James Madison

a well instructed people alone can be permanently a free people James Madison quote

No free country has ever been without Parties, which are a natural offspring of freedom. โ€” James Madison

Large and permanent military establishments … are forbidden by the principles of free government, and against the necessity of which the militia were meant to be a constitutional bulwark. โ€” James Madison

A wellโ€“regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. โ€” James Madison

The right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon . . . has ever been justly deemed the only effectual guardian of every other right. โ€” James Madison

There are songs that come free from the blueโ€“eyed grass, from the dust of a thousand country roads. This is one of them. โ€” Robert James Waller

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. โ€” James Madison

A people armed and free, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition and is a bulwark for the nation against foreign invasion and domestic oppression. โ€” James Madison


A President is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the Constitution. โ€” James Madison

The proposed Constitution is, in strictness, neither a national nor a federal constitution; but a composition of both. โ€” James Madison

The purpose of the Constitution is to restrict the majority’s ability to harm a minority. โ€” James Madison

a president is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the constitution James Madison quote

The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded. โ€” James Madison

The Constitution of the United States was created by the people of the United States composing the respective states, who alone had the right. โ€” James Madison

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

I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. โ€” James Madison

What can be more reasonable than that when crowds of them [immigrants] come here, they should be forced to renounce everything contrary to the spirit of the constitution[?] โ€” James Madison

the purpose of the constitution is to restrict the majority s ability to harm a minority James Madison quote

An efficient militia is authorized and contemplated by the Constitution and required by the spirit and safety of free government. โ€” James Madison

How did James Madison get into politics?

James Madison was elected to Virginiaโ€™s 1776 Revolutionary convention, where he drafted a guarantee of religious freedom.
He was later appointed to the Virginia Council of State, and in 1780 he was elected as the youngest member of the Continental Congress.

I consider the difference between a system founded on the legislatures only, and one founded on the people, to be the true difference between a league or treaty and a constitution. โ€” James Madison

Nothing has yet been offered to invalidate the doctrine that the meaning of the Constitution may as well be ascertained by the Legislative as by the Judicial authority. โ€” James Madison

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. โ€” James Madison

Can it be of less consequence that the meaning of a Constitution should be fixed and known, than a meaning of a law should be so? โ€” James Madison

The Federal Constitution forms a happy combination in this respect; the great and aggregate interests being referred to the national, the local and particular, to the state legislatures. โ€” James Madison

Our Constitution represents the work of the finger of Almighty God. โ€” James Madison

The express authority of the people alone could give validity to the Constitution. โ€” James Madison


But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflection on human nature? โ€” James Madison

Christianity] existed and flourishes, not only without the support of human laws, but in spite of every opposition from them. โ€” James Madison

but what is government itself but the greatest of all reflection on human nature James Madison quote

It is possible that these may all be insufficient to control the caprice and wickedness of man. But are they not all that government will admit, and all that human prudence can devise? โ€” James Madison

The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venal love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace. โ€” James Madison

Happily for America, happily, we trust, for the whole human race, they pursued a new and more noble course. They accomplished a revolution which has no parallel in the annals of human society. โ€” James Madison

This policy of supplying by opposite and rival interests, the defect of better motives, might be traced through the whole system of human affairs, both private and public. โ€” James Madison

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