My Favorite Quotes From James Madison, Author Of Our Constitution


"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."

- James Madison

A quote the Supreme Court should have tacked up for all the see.

"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."

- James Madison

"Each generation should be made to bear the burden of its own wars, instead of

carrying them on, at the expense of other generations."

- James Madison

"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."

- James Madison

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

- James Madison

To all those who believe that the DHS is there for us.

"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."

- James Madison


"The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the

instruments of tyranny at home."

- James Madison

In relation to the belief that the government has the authority to dispense and control social benefits:

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which

granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money

of their constituents."

- James Madison

In relation to Bills in Congress composed of thousands of pages that no one reads before passing:

"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."

- James Madison


"What prudent merchant will hazard his fortunes in any new branch of

commerce when he knows not that his plans may be rendered unlawful before

they can be executed?"

- James Madison

"The capacity of the female mind for studies of the highest order cannot be

doubted, having been sufficiently illustrated by its works of genius, of erudition,

and of science."

- James Madison

On the non-benefit of welfare in general:

"The class of citizens who provide at once their own food and their own raiment,

may be viewed as the most truly independent and happy."

- James Madison

On declaring war:

"The executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is

or is not cause for declaring war."

- James Madison

"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."

- James Madison