Tuesday, December 12, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

James Madison (1751 – 1836)


Fourth (1809–1817) President of the United States.
James Madison
The right of the people to keep and bear...arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country... -- I Annals of Congress 434 (June 8, 1789).
Madison quotes
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.
Madison
Conscience is the most sacred of all property; other property depending in part on positive law, the exercise of that being a natural and unalienable right. To guard a man's house as his castle, to pay public and enforce private debts with the most exact faith, can give no title to invade a man's conscience, which is more sacred than his castle, or to withhold from it that debt of protection for which the public faith is pledged by the very nature and original conditions of the social pact.




Madison James 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.
Madison James
Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.
James Madison quotes
In a free Government, the security for civil rights must be the same as that for religious rights. It consists in the one case in the multiplicity of interests, and in the other in the multiplicity of sects. The degree of security in both cases, will depend on the number of interests and sects; and this may be presumed to depend on the extent of country and number of People comprehended under the same Government.
James Madison
You will find an allusion to some mysterious cause for a phenomenon in Stocks. It is surmised that the deferred debt is to be taken up at the next session, and some anticipated provision made for it. This may either be an invention of those who wish to sell, or it may be a reality imparted in confidence to the purchasers or smelt out by their sagacity. I have had a hint that something is intended and has dropt from 1 which has led to this speculation. I am unwilling to credit the fact, untill I have further evidence, which I am in a train of getting if it exists. It is said that packet boats & expresses are again sent from this place to the Southern States, to buy up the paper of all sorts which has risen in the market here. These & other abuses make it a problem whether the system of the old paper under a bad Government, or of the new under a good one, be chargeable with the greater substantial injustice. The true difference seems to be that by the former the few were the victims to the many; by the latter the many to the few. It seems agreed on all hands now that the bank is a certain & gratuitous augmentation of the capitals subscribed, in a proportion of not less than 40 or 50 [per cent] and if the deferred debt should be immediately provided for in favor of the purchasers of it in the deferred shape, & since the unanimous vote that no change [should] be made in the funding system, my imagination will not attempt to set bounds to the daring depravity of the times. The stock-jobbers will become the pretorian band of the Government, at once its tool & its tyrant; bribed by its largesses, & overawing it by clamours & combinations. Nothing new from abroad. I shall not be in [Philadelphia] till the close of the Week.
Madison James quotes
Congress shall never disarm any citizen unless such as are or have been in actual rebellion.
Madison
Is it not the glory of the people of America, that, whilst they have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other nations, they have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom, or for names, to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lessons of their own experience? To this manly spirit, posterity will be indebted for the possession, and the world for the example, of the numerous innovations displayed on the American theatre, in favor of private rights and public happiness.
Madison James
I have sometimes thought there could be no stronger testimony in favor of Religion or against temporal Enjoyments even the most rational and manly than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent Advocates in the cause of Christ, & I wish you may give in your Evidence in this way. Such instances have seldom occurred, therefore they would be more striking and would be instead of a "Cloud of Witnesses."
James Madison
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 his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves.




James Madison quotes
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 the money and its issuance.
James Madison
Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.
Madison quotes
If Congress can apply money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may establish teachers in every State, county, and parish, and pay them out of the public Treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post roads. In short, every thing, from the highest object of State legislation, down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress; for every object I have mentioned would admit the application of money, and might be called, if Congress pleased, provisions for the general welfare.
Madison James
The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of Government. But what is Government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?
Madison James quotes
Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be 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.
James Madison
Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged against provisions against danger, real or pretended from abroad.
James Madison quotes
We the Subscribers say, that the General Assembly of this Commonwealth have no such authority: And that no effort may be omitted on our part against so dangerous an usurpation, we oppose to it, this remonstrance; earnestly praying, as we are in duty bound, that the Supreme Lawgiver of the Universe, by illuminating those to whom it is addressed, may on the one hand, turn their Councils from every act which would affront his holy prerogative, or violate the trust committed to them: and on the other, guide them into every measure which may be worthy of his blessing, may redound to their own praise, and may establish more firmly the liberties, the prosperity and the happiness of the Commonwealth.
James Madison
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.
Madison James
Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments, the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from the acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the constituents.


© 2009–2013Quotes Privacy Policy | Contact