10 Best Quotes of James Madison

James Madison was a founding father and also known as the Father of the Constitution.

He was the fourth US President.

He was the author of the Federalist Papers.

As he was prolific in both his speeches and his writings, there are many quotes attributed to him.

Here are 10 of the best:

  1. Another of my wishes is to depend as little as possible on the labor of slaves.
  2. Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe 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
  3. It is an established maxim that birth is a criterion of allegiance. Birth however derives its force sometimes from place and sometimes from parentage, but in general place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States;
  4. No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause; because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. With equal, nay with greater reason, a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time.
  5. Should an unwarrantable measure of the federal government be unpopular in particular States, which would seldom fail to be the case, or even a warrantable measure be so, which may sometimes be the case, the means of opposition to it are powerful and at hand.
  6. 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.
  7. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.
  8. 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
  9. Some degree of abuse is inseparable from the proper use of every thing; and in no instance is this more true than in that of the press. It has accordingly been decided, by the practice of the states, that it is better to leave a few of its noxious branches to their luxuriant growth, than, by pruning them away, to injure the vigor of those yielding the proper fruits.
  10. American citizens are instrumental in carrying on a traffic in enslaved Africans, equally in violation of the laws of humanity and in defiance of those of their own country. The same just and benevolent motives which produced interdiction in force against the criminal conduct will doubtless be felt by Congress in devising further means of suppressing the evil.
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