James Madison


James Madison Quotes

  • ''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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  • ''[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.
  • ''Despotism can only exist in darkness, and there are too many lights now in the political firmament to permit it to remain anywhere, as it has heretofore done, almost everywhere.''
    James Madison (1751-1836), U.S. president. Madison to Lafayette, November 25, 1820. Madison Papers, Library of Congress.
  • ''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.
  • ''I should not regret a fair and full trial of the entire abolition of capital punishment.''
    James Madison (1751-1836), U.S. president. Madison to G.F.H. Crockett, November 6, 1823. Madison Papers, Library of Congress.
  • ''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).
  • ''[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).
  • ''In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men ... you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.''
    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).
  • ''As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain circumspection and distrust, so there are qualities in human nature which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence.''
    James Madison (1751-1836), U.S. president. The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, p. 346, ed. Clinton Rossiter, New York (1961). The Federalist, No. 55 (February 13, 1788).
  • ''Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.''
    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).

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