Quotes by James Madison


The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.
– James Madison
A pure democracy is a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person.
– 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.
– 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.
– James Madison
Democracy is the most vile form of government... democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention: have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property: and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.
– James Madison
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.
– James Madison
If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
– 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.
– 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.
– James Madison
Learned Institutions ought to be favorite objects with every free people. They throw that light over the public mind which is the best security against crafty and dangerous encroachments on the public liberty.
– James Madison
Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power.
– James Madison
No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
– 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.
– 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 .
– 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.
– James Madison
The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to an uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government.
– James Madison
The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.
– James Madison
The executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war.
– James Madison
The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad.
– James Madison
The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.
– James Madison