James Madison

James Madison

James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836) was an American statesman and Founding Father who served as the fourth President of the United States from 1809 to 1817. He is hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for his pivotal role in drafting and promoting the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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America was indebted to immigration for her settlement and prosperity. That part of America which had encouraged them most, had advanced most rapidly in population, agriculture and the arts.

Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.

The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.

All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.

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.

It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.

If men were angels no government would be necessary.

The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad.

Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power.

In Republics the great danger is that the majority may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority.

The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.

The happy Union of these States is a wonder, their Constitution a miracle, their example the hope of Liberty throughout the world.

It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.

I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.

As long as the reason of man continues fallible and he is at liberty to exercise it different opinions will be formed.

What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? 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.

Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.

Any reading not of a vicious species must be a good substitute for the amusements too apt to fill up the leisure of the labouring classes.

A sincere and steadfast co-operation in promoting such a reconstruction of our political system as would provide for the permanent liberty and happiness of the United States.

There is no maxim in my opinion which is more liable to be misapplied and which therefore more needs elucidation than the current one that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong.

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