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James Madison Quotes

Here are quotes by one of America's greatest founding fathers, James Madison, and related quotations about America's founding. For more history, see Founding Fathers.

Founding Fathers Quotes

No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value, or is stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty than that on which the objection is founded. The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.

James Madison, Federalist No. 48, February 1, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

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.

James Madison, speech in the Congress of the United States, June 18, 1789

Founding Fathers Quotes

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, letter to Benjamin Rush, March 7, 1790

Founding Fathers Quotes

Nothing more than a change of mind, my dear.

James Madison, responding to his niece asking what was wrong, June 28, 1836

Founding Fathers Quotes

On the distinctive principles of the Government ... of the U. States, the best guides are to be found in... The Declaration of Independence, as the fundamental Act of Union of these States.

James Madison, letter to Thomas Jefferson, February 8, 1825

Founding Fathers Quotes

One hundred and seventy-three despots would surely be as oppressive as one.

James Madison, Federalist No. 48, February 1, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

Public opinion sets bounds to every government, and is the real sovereign in every free one.

James Madison, Public Opinion, December 19, 1791

Founding Fathers Quotes

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

James Madison, letter to William Bradford, April 1, 1774

Founding Fathers Quotes

Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it, as well as to that repose and confidence in the minds of the people, which are among the chief blessings of civil society.

James Madison, Federalist No. 37, January 11, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

Such an institution may be sometimes necessary as a defense to the people against their own temporary errors and delusions.

James Madison, Federalist No. 63

Founding Fathers Quotes

Such will be the relation between the House of Representatives and their constituents. Duty gratitude, interest, ambition itself, are the cords by which they will be bound to fidelity and sympathy with the great mass of the people.

James Madison, Federalist No. 57, February 19, 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

That diabolical Hell conceived principle of persecution rages among some and to their eternal Infamy the Clergy can furnish their Quota of Imps for such business,

James Madison, letter to William Bradford, January 24, 1774

Founding Fathers Quotes

That the most productive system of finance will always be the least burdensome.

James Madison, Federalist No. 39, January 1788

Founding Fathers Quotes

The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice. Every shilling which they overburden the inferior number is a shilling saved to their own pockets.

James Madison, Federalist No. 10, November 23, 1787

Founding Fathers Quotes

The best service that can be rendered to a Country, next to that of giving it liberty, is in diffusing the mental improvement equally essential to the preservation, and the enjoyment of the blessing.

James Madison, letter to Littleton Dennis Teackle, March 29, 1826

Founding Fathers Quotes

The civil rights of none, shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext infringed.

James Madison, proposed amendment to the Constitution, given in a speech in the House of Representatives, 1789

Founding Fathers Quotes

The diversity in the faculties of men from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government.

James Madison, Federalist No. 10, November 23, 1787

Founding Fathers Quotes

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

James Madison, speech in the Virginia constitutional convention, Dec 2, 1829

Founding Fathers Quotes

The eyes of the world being thus on our Country, it is put the more on its good behavior, and under the greater obligation also, to do justice to the Tree of Liberty by an exhibition of the fine fruits we gather from it.

James Madison, letter to James Monroe, December 16, 1824

Founding Fathers Quotes

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 control one part from invading the rights of another, and at the same time sufficiently controlled itself, from setting up an interest adverse to that of the entire Society.

James Madison, letter to Thomas Jefferson, October 24, 1787



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