James Madison Quotes & Wallpapers

James Madison
Total Quotes: 599


The great desideratum in Government is, so to modify the sovereignty as that it may be sufficiently neutral between different parts of the Society to controul one part from invading the rights of another, and at the same time sufficiently controuled itself, from setting up an interest adverse to that of the entire Society. James Madison
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Among the numerous advantages promised by a well-constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. James Madison
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Experience has instructed us that no skill in the science of government has yet been able to discriminate and define, with sufficient certainty, its three great provinces the legislative, executive, and judiciary; or even the privileges and powers of the different legislative branches. James Madison
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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. James Madison
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But cool and candid people will at once reflect, that the purest of human blessings must have a portion of alloy in them, that the choice must always be made, if not of the lesser evil, at least of the GREATER, not the PERFECT good; and that in every political institution, a power to advance the public happiness, involves a discretion which may be misapplied and abused. James Madison
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Attempts to enforce by legal sanctions, acts obnoxious to so great a proportion of Citizens, tend to enervate the laws in general, and to slacken the bands of Society. If it be difficult to execute any law which is not generally deemed necessary or salutary, what must be the case, where it is deemed invalid and dangerous? And what may be the effect of so striking an example of impotency in the Government, on its general authority? James Madison
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When men exercise their reason coolly and freely, on a variety of distinct questions, they inevitably fall into different opinions, on some of them. When they are governed by a common passion, their opinions if they are so to be called, will be the same. James Madison
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The genius of Republican liberty, seems to demand on one side, not only that all power should be derived from the people; but, that those entrusted with it should be kept in dependence on the people, by a short duration of their appointments; and, that, even during this short period, the trust should be placed not in a few, but in a number of hands. James Madison
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It is a misfortune incident to republican government, though in a less degree than to other governments, that those who administer it, may forget their obligations to their constituents, and prove unfaithful to their important trust. James Madison
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Liberty and order will never be perfectly safe until a trespass on the Constitution provisions for either, shall be felt with the same keenness that resents and invasion of the dearest rights... James Madison
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Is the appointment of Chaplains to the two Houses of Congress consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom? In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the U. S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion. The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them, and these are to be paid out of the national taxes. Does this not involve the principle of a national establishment ... ? James Madison
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No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. James Madison
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Despotism can only exist in darkness, and there are too many lights now in the political firmament to permit it to remain anywhere, as it has heretofore done, almost everywhere. James Madison
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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
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All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree. James Madison
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The class of citizens who provide at once their own food and their own raiment, may be viewed as the most truly independent and happy. James Madison
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All that seems indispensible in stating the account between the dead and the living, is to see that the debts against the latter do not exceed the advances made by the former. James Madison
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The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting Usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity. James Madison
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Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government. James Madison
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WHEN THE BALL IS COMING AT 100 MPH FROM PITCHER THERES NOTHING SOFT ABOUT THAT James Madison
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The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. James Madison
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The power of taxing people and their property is essential to the very existence of government. James Madison
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Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any Manner contrary to their conscience. James Madison
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Some degree of abuse is inseparable from the proper use of everything. James Madison
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[The human mind] finds more facility in assenting to the self-existence of an invisible cause possessing infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, than in the self-existence of the universe, visibly destitute of these attributes, and which may be the effect of them. James Madison
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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. And if that is not the guide in expounding it, there may be no security. James Madison
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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
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I own myself the friend to a very free system of commerce, and hold it as a truth, that commercial shackles are generally unjust, oppressive and impolitic. James Madison
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In Europe, charters of liberty have been granted by Power. In America ... charters of power [are] granted by liberty. James Madison
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The growing wealth aquired by them corporations never fails to be a source of abuses. James Madison
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Where a majority are united by a common sentiment, and have an opportunity, the rights of the minor party become insecure. James Madison
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[A]ll power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people. That government is instituted and ought to be exercised for the benefit of the people; which consists in the enjoyment of life and liberty and the right of acquiring property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. That the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their government whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purpose of its institution. James Madison
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Every man who loves peace, every man who loves his country, every man who loves liberty ought to have it ever before his eyes that he may cherish in his heart a due attachment to the Union of America and be able to set a due value on the means of preserving it. James Madison
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[A]s it must be admitted that the remedy under the Constitution lies where it has been marked out by the Constitution; and that no appeal can be consistently made from that remedy by those who were and still profess to be parties to it, but the appeal to the parties themselves having an authority above the Constitution or to the law of nature & of nature's God. James Madison
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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 that any form of government will secure 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
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Reason, on the contrary, assures us, that as in so great a number, a fit representative would be most likely to be found, so the choice would be less likely to be diverted from him, by the intrigues of the ambitious, or the bribes of the rich. James Madison
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Frequent elections are unquestionably the only policy by which this dependence and sympathy can be effectually secured. But what particular degree of frequency may be absolutely necessary for the purpose, does not appear to be susceptible of any precise calculation; and must depend on a variety of circumstances with which it may be connected. Let us consult experience, the guide that ought always to be followed, whenever it can be found. 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. James Madison
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The passions, therefore, not the reason, of the public would sit in judgment. But it is the reason, alone, of the public, that ought to control and regulate the government. The passions ought to be controlled and regulated by the government. James Madison
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I have appealed to our own experience for the truth of what I advance on this subject [that the legislative power is the predominant power]. Were it necessary to verify this experience by particular proofs, they might be multiplied without end. I might find a witness in every citizen who has shared in, or been attentive to, the course of public administrations. James Madison
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It would have marked a want of foresight in the convention, which our own experience would have rendered inexcusable. James Madison
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I regret, as much as any member, the unavoidable weight and duration of the burdens to be imposed; having never been a proselyte to the doctrine, that public debts are public benefits. I consider them, on the contrary, as evils which ought to be removed as fast as honor and justice will permit. James Madison
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[I]n the next place, to show that unless these departments be so far connected and blended as to give to each a constitutional control over the others, the degree of separation which the maxim requires, as essential to a free government, can never in practice be duly maintained. James Madison
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[T]he great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachment of the others. James Madison
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As the war was just in its origin and necessary and noble in its objects, we can reflect with a proud satisfaction that in carrying it on no principle of justice or honor, no usage of civilized nations, no precept of courtesy or humanity, have been infringed. James Madison
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An armed and trained militia is the firmest bulwark of republics - that without standing armies their liberty can never be in danger, nor with large ones safe... James Madison
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In no part of the Constitution is more wisdom to be found than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not the executive department. ... The trust and the temptation would be too great for any one man. James Madison
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It is vain to say that enlightened statesmen will always be able to adjust their interests. Enlightened men will not always be at the helm. James Madison
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Precedents once established are so much positive power. James Madison
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Government destitute of energy, will ever produce anarchy. James Madison
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Whilst we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess and observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offense against God, not against man:To God, therefore, not to man, must an account of it be rendered. James Madison
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...several of the first presidents, including Jefferson and Madison, generally refused to issue public prayers, despite importunings to do so. Under pressure, Madison relented in the War Of 1812, but held to his belief that chaplains shouldn't be appointed to the military or be allowed to open Congress. James Madison
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To consider the degree of concord which ultimately prevailed as less than a miracle. James Madison
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There is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust. James Madison
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A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest while we are building ideal monuments of Renown and Bliss here we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven. James Madison
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And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together. James Madison
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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
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Commercial shackles are generally unjust, oppressive, and impolitic. James Madison
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If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one.... James Madison
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It was by the sober sense of our citizens that we were safely and steadily conducted from monarchy to republicanism, and it is by the same agency alone we can be kept from falling back. James Madison
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Cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ. James Madison
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The Convention thought it wrong to admit in the Constitution the idea that there could be property in men. James Madison
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Outlets for the freed blacks are alone wanted for the erasure of the blot from our Republican character. James Madison
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It is a misfortune, inseparable from human affairs, that public measures are rarely investigated with that spirit of moderation which is essential to a just estimate of their real tendency to advance or obstruct the public good; and that this spirit is more apt to be diminished than prompted, by those occasions which require an unusual exercise of it. James Madison
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Disarm the people- that is the best and most effective way to enslave them. James Madison
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The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people. James Madison
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There is an evil which ought to be guarded against in the indefinite accumulation of property from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by...corporations. The power of all corporations ought to be limited in this respect. The growing wealth acquired by them never fails to be a source of abuses. James Madison
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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
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War should only be declared by the authority of the people, whose toils and treasures are to support its burdens, instead of the government which is to reap its fruits. James Madison
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In order to judge of the form to be given to this institution the Senate, it will be proper to take a view of the ends to be served by it. These were, first, to protect the people against their rulers, secondly, to protect the people against the transient impressions into which they themselves might be led. James Madison
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