Top quotes by James Madison

James Madison's top quotes. '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?'

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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?

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

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A pure democracy is a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person.

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The rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted.

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The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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What spectacle can be more edifying or more seasonable, than that of Liberty and Learning, each leaning on the other for their mutual and surest support?

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

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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.

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Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect.

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If men were angels, no government would be necessary.

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

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The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries.

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If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.

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