photo of James MadisonPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons
quote by 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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.

--James Madison



quote by James Madison: Nothing is so contagious as opinion, especially on questions which, being susceptible of very different glosses, beget in the mind a distrust of itself. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

Nothing is so contagious as opinion, especially on questions which, being susceptible of very different glosses, beget in the mind a distrust of itself.

--James Madison

quote by James Madison: 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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.

--James Madison

quote by James Madison: Every nation whose affairs betray a want of wisdom and stability may calculate on every loss which can be sustained from the more systematic policy of its wiser neighbors. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

Every nation whose affairs betray a want of wisdom and stability may calculate on every loss which can be sustained from the more systematic policy of its wiser neighbors.

--James Madison

quote by James Madison: There is not a shadow of right in the general government to intermingle with religion. Its least interference with it would be a most flagrant usurpation. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

There is not a shadow of right in the general government to intermingle with religion. Its least interference with it would be a most flagrant usurpation.

--James Madison




quote by 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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.

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: Toleration is not the opposite of intolerance, but is the counterfeit of it. Both are despotisms. The one assumes to itself the right of withholding liberty of conscience, the other of granting it. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

Toleration is not the opposite of intolerance, but is the counterfeit of it. Both are despotisms. The one assumes to itself the right of withholding liberty of conscience, the other of granting it.

--James Madison


quote by James Madison: The governments of Europe are afraid to trust the people with arms. If they did, the people would certainly shake off the yoke of tyranny, as America did. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

The governments of Europe are afraid to trust the people with arms. If they did, the people would certainly shake off the yoke of tyranny, as America did.

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: The most common and durable source of faction has been the various and unequal distribution of property. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

The most common and durable source of faction has been the various and unequal distribution of property.

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: People will continue to seek justice until it is found, or until liberty is lost in the pursuit. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

People will continue to seek justice until it is found, or until liberty is lost in the pursuit.

--James Madison
quote by 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with 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.

--James Madison

Longer Version:

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few... No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.


quote by James Madison: A standing army is one of the greatest mischief that can possibly happen. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

A standing army is one of the greatest mischief that can possibly happen.

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: Bills of attainder, ex-post facto laws and laws impairing the obligation of contracts are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

Bills of attainder, ex-post facto laws and laws impairing the obligation of contracts are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation.

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: The safety and happiness of society are the objects at which all political institutions aim, and to which all such institutions must be sacrificed. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

The safety and happiness of society are the objects at which all political institutions aim, and to which all such institutions must be sacrificed.

--James Madison


quote by James Madison: The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

The protection of these faculties is the first object of government.

--James Madison

quote by James Madison: Liberty is to faction what air is to fire. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

Liberty is to faction what air is to fire.

--James Madison

Longer Version:

Liberty is to faction, what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be a less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.




quote by 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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.

--James Madison



quote by James Madison: Where a majority are united by a common sentiment, and have an opportunity, the rights of the minor party become insecure. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

Where a majority are united by a common sentiment, and have an opportunity, the rights of the minor party become insecure.

--James Madison







quote by 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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.

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: A victorious and powerful ally is but another name for a master. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

A victorious and powerful ally is but another name for a master.

--James Madison
quote by 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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.

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: I should not regret a fair and full trial of the entire abolition of capital punishment. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

I should not regret a fair and full trial of the entire abolition of capital punishment.

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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.

--James Madison
quote by 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with 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.

--James Madison
quote by 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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
quote by James Madison: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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

--James Madison
quote by 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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
quote by James Madison: The rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

The rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted.

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people.

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the state governments, in times of peace and security. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the state governments, in times of peace and security.

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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.

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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.

--James Madison
quote by 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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
quote by James Madison: Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money. with background image: landscape photography of mountain
Background Photo: Caleb White

The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money.

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: Wherever there is interest and power to do wrong, wrong will generally be done. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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

--James Madison

Longer Version:

Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.... During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.


quote by James Madison: The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad.

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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

--James Madison

quote by James Madison: The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home. with background image: black and white aircraft
Background Photo: paul jespers

The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: What prudent merchant will hazard his fortunes in any new branch of commerce when he knows not that his plans may be rendered unlawful before they can be executed? with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

What prudent merchant will hazard his fortunes in any new branch of commerce when he knows not that his plans may be rendered unlawful before they can be executed?

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: A pure democracy is a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

A pure democracy is a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person.

--James Madison
quote by 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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
quote by James Madison: In Republics, the great danger is, that the majority may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

In Republics, the great danger is, that the majority may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority.

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: If we are to take for the criterion of truth the majority of suffrages, they ought to be gotten from those philosophic and patriotic citizens who cultivate their reason. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

If we are to take for the criterion of truth the majority of suffrages, they ought to be gotten from those philosophic and patriotic citizens who cultivate their reason.

--James Madison
quote by 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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

quote by James Madison: Each generation should be made to bear the burden of its own wars, instead of carrying them on, at the expense of other generations. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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
quote by James Madison: Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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

--James Madison
quote by 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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.

--James Madison
quote by 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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
quote by James Madison: As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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

--James Madison

Longer Version:

As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other, and the former will be objects to which the latter attach themselves.


quote by 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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.

--James Madison
quote by 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. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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
quote by James Madison: What spectacle can be more edifying or more seasonable, than that of Liberty and Learning, each leaning on the other for their mutual and surest support? with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

What spectacle can be more edifying or more seasonable, than that of Liberty and Learning, each leaning on the other for their mutual and surest support?

--James Madison
quote by James Madison: The happy Union of these States is a wonder; their Constitution a miracle; their example the hope of Liberty throughout the world. with background image: photo of author James Madison with quote

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

--James Madison

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