45 Notable Quotes By James Madison, Father Of The American Constitution
4th President of the United States
Founder / Co Founder:
Democratic Party, Democratic-Republican Party, 30th Indiana Infantry Regiment, The United States Constitutional Convention
James Madison, known as the ‘Father of the American Constitution’ was also the ‘Founding Father’, and the fourth President of America. Madison was a great politician who always strived for a strong and transparent democracy. He advocated the need for a constitution and played a pivotal role in its development. Madison was the ‘Secretary of State’ to Thomas Jefferson, and contributed to major reforms that America underwent. Madison was an architect of ideas and stood responsible for reforms like the ‘Virginia Plan’, ‘Federalist Papers’ and ‘The Bill of Rights’. He also co-founded the ‘Republican Democratic Party’ and the ‘University of Virginia’ with Jefferson. Madison’s thoughts on political issues was valued even after his retirement. His quotations and thoughts are very valuable in speheres of political thought and democracy. His ideas, polices, works and thoughts were able to bring about changes in the U.S. Here is a compilation of James Madison quotes on religion, government, democracy, constitution, liberty etc.
The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty. I believe 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. Philosophy is common sense with big words. The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted. Equal laws protecting equal rights…the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country. A well-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. Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. 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. [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. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government. History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind, and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect.
[Letter to William Bradford Jr. April 1 1774] You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives. Democracy is the most vile form of government. All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. 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. 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. Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as by the abuses of power. 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. Let me recommend the best medicine in the world a long journey at a mild season through a pleasant country in easy stages. The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home Liberty is to faction what air is to fire... Knowledge will forever govern ignorance. 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. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. A good Government implies two things: first, 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. Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits
it for every noble enterprize, every expanded prospect. If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were
to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would
be necessary. If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. [The Senate] ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. 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. If we are to be one Nation in any respect, it clearly ought to be in respect to other Nations.
Where we see the same faults followed regularly by the same misfortunes, we may reasonably think that if we could have known the first we might have avoided the others.
In no instance have the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.
The censorial power is in the people over the government, and not in the government over the people.
But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflection on human nature?
Expirience is the oracle of truth
The Presidency alone unites the conjectures of the public. ...we should never think of separation except for repeated and enormous violations