James Madison

James
Madison
1751
1836

4th President of the United States

Author Quotes

Commercial shackles are generally unjust, oppressive, and impolitic.

A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people.

A man has a property in his opinions and the free communication of them.

The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.

We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.

In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.

All men having power ought to be mistrusted.

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. Where there is an excess of liberty, the effect is the same, though from an opposite cause. Government is instituted to protect property of every sort, as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government that alone is a just government which impartially secures to every man whatever is his own.

The most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society.

Of all the evils to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, and debts, and taxes, are the known instruments for bringing the many under the dominion of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds are added to those of subduing the force of the people! No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: the one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects... The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man; and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity, according to the different circumstances of civil society... The inference to which we are brought is, that the causes of faction cannot be removed, and that the relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its effects.

A just security to property is not afforded by that government under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species; where arbitrary tax invade the domestic sanctuaries of the rich and excessive taxes grind the faces of the poor; where the keenness and competitions of want are deemed an insufficient spur to labor, and taxes are again applied by an unfeeling policy as another spur; in violation of that sacred property which heaven, in decreeing man to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow, kindly reserved to him in the small repose that could be spared from the supply of his necessities.

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.

Author Picture
First Name
James
Last Name
Madison
Birth Date
1751
Death Date
1836
Bio

4th President of the United States