James Madison quotes look at religious and civil liberty along with a deep look into American politics. From reading his quotes one can clearly see James Madison was a deep thinker and dwelt on the governance of his country. Madison was the protege of Thomas Jefferson who was taught by Benjamin Franklin. He made many comments on democracy and similar issues and had issues with men wielding power. He was famously known for the separation of Church and State.
James Madison Jr. was an American Founding Father and was the fourth President of the United States of America. He was a diplomat, philosopher, American statesman and lawyer. His philosophical views can be seen in his quotes. He joins men like George Washington and others who are called the Founding Fathers of America. Below are a number of quotes from American icon.
“The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.”
“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty."
“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 in blood for centuries."
“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
“Philosophy is common sense with big words.”
"Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments, the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from the acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the constituents."
“It may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency to usurpation on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded agst. by an entire abstinence of the Govt. from interference in any way whatsoever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect agst. trespasses on its legal rights by others."
“The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted."
“A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, selfappointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."
“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives. A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy or perhaps both.'"
“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 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."
“Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."
“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind, and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect."
“The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people."
“History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance."
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce. ... The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State."
“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
"Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together."
“You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself."
"Equal laws protecting equal rights…the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country."
“Besides the danger of a direct mixture of religion and civil government, there is an evil which ought to be guarded against in the indefinite accumulation of property from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by ecclesiastical corporations. The establishment of the chaplainship in Congress is a palpable violation of equal rights as well as of Constitutional principles. The danger of silent accumulations and encroachments by ecclesiastical bodies has not sufficiently engaged attention in the U.S."
"Learned institutions ought to be favorite objects with every free people. They throw that light over the public mind which is the best security against crafty and dangerous encroachments on the public liberty."
“Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties or his possessions."
“The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home."
“As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights."
“It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But 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. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."
"The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments, in times of peace and security."
“If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."
“Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as by the abuses of power."
“Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together."
“Let me recommend the best medicine in the world a long journey at a mild season through a pleasant country in easy stages."
“...But besides the danger of a direct mixture of Religion & civil Government, there is an evil which ought to be guarded agst in the indefinite accumulation of property from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by ecclesiastical corporations.
“In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the U. S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion. The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them; and these are to be paid out of the national taxes. Does not this involve the principle of a national establishment, applicable to a provision for a religious worship for the Constituent as well as of the representative Body, approved by the majority, and conducted by Ministers of religion paid by the entire nation.
“Liberty is to faction what air is to fire..."
“Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other."
“[T]here remains [in some parts of the country] a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Govt. & Religion neither can be duly supported. Such indeed is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded agst."
“It is *essential* to such a government, that it be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion, or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans, and claim for their government the honorable title of republic."
“A good Government implies two things: first, fidelity to the object of Government, which is the happiness of the People; secondly, a knowledge of the means by which that object can be best attained."
“During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."
“If we are to be one Nation in any respect, it clearly ought to be in respect to other Nations."
“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."
James Madison quotes are very in depth in the political sphere and touch some very sensitive issues. When it comes to liberty, there is no middle ground and his quotes readily share the idea of freedom for all. I hope his quotes prove an inspiration to all who seek liberation.