Quotations From JAMES MADISON

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  • 31.
    Commercial shackles are generally unjust, oppressive, and impolitic.
    James Madison (1751-1836), U.S. president. Speech in Congress, April 9, 1789. W.T. Hutchinson et al., The Papers of James Madison, vol. 12, p. 71, Chicago and Charlottesville, Virginia (1962-1991).
  • 32.
    Of all the enemies of public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded.
    James Madison (1751-1836), U.S. president. Political observations, April 20, 1775. W.T. Hutchinson et al., The Papers of James Madison, vol. 15, p. 518, Chicago and Charlottesville, Virginia (1962-1991).

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  • 33.
    A distinction of property results from that very protection which a free Government gives to unequal faculties of acquiring it.
    James Madison (1751-1836), U.S. president. Madison to Thomas Jefferson, October 24, 1787. W.T. Hutchinson et al., The Papers of James Madison, vol. 10, pp. 213-14, Chicago and Charlottesville, Virginia (1962-1991).
  • 34.
    War contains so much folly, as well as wickedness, that much is to be hoped from the progress of reason.
    James Madison (1751-1836), U.S. president. "Universal Peace" (January 31, 1792). W.T. Hutchinson et al., The Papers of James Madison, vol. 14, p. 207, Chicago and Charlottesville, Virginia (1962-1991).

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  • 35.
    I go by the great republican principle, that the people will have the virtue and intelligence to select men of virtue and wisdom [to the offices of government].
    James Madison (1751-1836), U.S. president. Speech at the Virginia Convention, June 20, 1788. W.T. Hutchinson et al., The Papers of James Madison, vol. 11, p. 163, Chicago and Charlottesville, Virginia (1962-1991).

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  • 36.
    If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
    James Madison (1751-1836), U.S. president. The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, p. 322, ed. Clinton Rossiter, New York (1961). The Federalist, No. 51 (February 6, 1788).
  • 37.
    [In government] the constant aim is to divide and arrange the several offices in such a manner as that each may be a check on the other—that the private interest of every individual may be a sentinel over the public rights.
    James Madison (1751-1836), U.S. president. The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, p. 322, ed. Clinton Rossiter, New York (1961). The Federalist, No. 51 (February 6, 1788).
  • 38.
    Should ardent spirits be everywhere banished from the list of drinks, it will be a revolution not the least remarkable in this revolutionary age, and our country will have its full share in that as in other merits.
    James Madison (1751-1836), U.S. president. Madison to A. Jackson, October 11, 1835. Madison Papers, Library of Congress. Approving President Jackson's proposal for a temperance crusade.
  • 39.
    [Exchange] the galling burden of bachelorship for the easy yoke of matrimony.
    James Madison (1751-1836), U.S. president. Madison to J.K. Paulding, ca. 1830. Madison Papers, Library of Congress. To a young friend.
  • 40.
    Were it possible so to accelerate the intercourse between every part of the globe that all its inhabitants could be united under the superintending authority of an ecumenical Council, how great a portion of human evils would be avoided.
    James Madison (1751-1836), U.S. president. Notes, 1817. Madison Papers, Library of Congress.
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