United States Capitol revolutionary war and beyond header American Flag

James Madison Quotes

These James Madison Quotes are from the years 1792-1813 and cover the period from the early days of the new government under the US Constitution to the early days of Madison's second term as President. These inspirational quotes are taken from his own letters, writings and speeches, such as his inaugural addresses and state of the union speeches. These James Madison Quotes cover such topics as the necessity for the government to respect private property, the importance of freedom of the press and the Constitution's limitations on federal power. James Madison is known as the Father of the US Constitution and became the 4th President of the United States. These James Madison Quotes are listed chronologically and there are links to more both before and after this period at the bottom of the page.

James Madison

James Madison

James Madison Quotes

"Conscience is the most sacred of all property." - Essay on Property, March 29, 1792

"A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species." - Essay on Property, March 29, 1792

"The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government." - Speech in the House of Representatives, January 10, 1794

"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." - Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, January 10, 1794

Montpelier - Home of James Madison

Montpelier - Home of
James Madison

"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." - Political Observations, April 20, 1795

"The right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon... has ever been justly deemed the only effectual guardian of every other right." - Virginia Resolutions of 1798, December 21, 1798

"Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged against provisions against danger, real or pretended from abroad." - Letter to Thomas Jefferson, May 13, 1798

"This Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact, to which the states are parties, as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact; as no further valid than they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that in case of deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose, for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them." - Virginia Resolutions of 1798, December 21, 1798

Read on for more great
James Madison Quotes

"Resolved, That the General Assembly of Virginia, doth unequivocally express a firm resolution to maintain and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of this State, against every aggression either foreign or domestic, and that they will support the Government of the United States in all measures warranted by the former." - Virginia Resolutions of 1798, December 21, 1798

"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. And can the wisdom of this policy be doubted by any one who reflects that to the press alone, checkered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression?" - Report on the Virginia Resolutions, January 20, 1800

"The right of electing the members of the government constitutes more particularly the essence of a free and responsible government. The value and efficacy of this right depends on the knowledge of the comparative merits and demerits of the candidates for public trust, and on the equal freedom, consequently, of examining and discussing these merits and demerits of the candidates respectively." - Report on the Virginia Resolutions, January 20, 1800

"The Constitution is nicely balanced with the federative and popular principles; the Senate are the guardians of the former, and the House of Representatives of the latter; and any attempts to destroy this balance, under whatever specious names or pretences they may be presented, should be watched with a jealous eye." - Speech in the United States Congress, December, 1803

"We have all been encouraged to feel in the guardianship and guidance of that Almighty Being, whose power regulates the destiny of nations." - First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1809

Read on for more
James Madison Quotes

"I repair to the post assigned me with no other discouragement than what springs from my own inadequacy to its high duties. If I do not sink under the weight of this deep conviction it is because I find some support in a consciousness of the purposes and a confidence in the principles which I bring with me into this arduous service. To cherish peace and friendly intercourse with all nations having correspondent dispositions; to maintain sincere neutrality toward belligerent nations; to prefer in all cases amicable discussion and reasonable accommodation of differences to a decision of them by an appeal to arms; to exclude foreign intrigues and foreign partialities, so degrading to all countries and so baneful to free ones; to foster a spirit of independence too just to invade the rights of others, too proud to surrender our own, too liberal to indulge unworthy prejudices ourselves and too elevated not to look down upon them in others; to hold the union of the States as the basis of their peace and happiness; to support the Constitution, which is the cement of the Union, as well in its limitations as in its authorities; to respect the rights and authorities reserved to the States and to the people as equally incorporated with and essential to the success of the general system; to avoid the slightest interference with the right of conscience or the functions of religion, so wisely exempted from civil jurisdiction; to preserve in their full energy the other salutary provisions in behalf of private and personal rights, and of the freedom of the press; to observe economy in public expenditures; to liberate the public resources by an honorable discharge of the public debts; to keep within the requisite limits a standing military force, always remembering that an armed and trained militia is the firmest bulwark of republics - that without standing armies their liberty can never be in danger, nor with large ones safe; to promote by authorized means improvements friendly to agriculture, to manufactures, and to external as well as internal commerce; to favor in like manner the advancement of science and the diffusion of information as the best aliment to true liberty; to carry on the benevolent plans which have been so meritoriously applied to the conversion of our aboriginal neighbors from the degradation and wretchedness of savage life to a participation of the improvements of which the human mind and manners are susceptible in a civilized state - as far as sentiments and intentions such as these can aid the fulfillment of my duty, they will be a resource which can not fail me." - First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1809

"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 this criminal conduct will doubtless be felt by Congress in devising further means of suppressing the evil." - State of the Union, December 5, 1810

"Whilst it is universally admitted that a well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people, and whilst it is evident that the means of diffusing and improving useful knowledge form so small a proportion of the expenditures for national purposes, I can not presume it to be unseasonable to invite your attention to the advantages of superadding to the means of education provided by the several States a seminary of learning instituted by the National Legislature within the limits of their exclusive jurisdiction, the expense of which might be defrayed or reimbursed out of the vacant grounds which have accrued to the nation within those limits." - State of the Union, December 5, 1810

Need some more James Madison Quotes?
Read on!

Such an institution, though local in its legal character, would be universal in its beneficial effects. By enlightening the opinions, by expanding the patriotism, and by assimilating the principles, the sentiments, and the manners of those who might resort to this temple of science, to be redistributed in due time through every part of the community, sources of jealousy and prejudice would be diminished, the features of national character would be multiplied, and greater extent given to social harmony. But, above all, a well-constituted seminary in the center of the nation is recommended by the consideration that the additional instruction emanating from it would contribute not less to strengthen the foundations than to adorn the structure of our free and happy system of government." - State of the Union, December 5, 1810

"The war [of 1812] has proved... that our free Government, like other free Governments, though slow in its early movements, acquires, in its progress, a force proportioned to its freedom..." - State of the Union, December 7, 1813

"To exclude foreign intrigues and foreign partialities, so degrading to all countries and so baneful to free ones; to foster a spirit of independence too just to invade the rights of others, too proud to surrender our own, too liberal to indulge unworthy prejudices ourselves and too elevated not to look down upon them in others; to hold the union of the States on the basis of their peace and happiness; to support the Constitution, which is the cement of the Union, as well in its limitations as in its authorities; to respect the rights and authorities reserved to the States and to the people as equally incorporated with and essential to the success of the general... as far as sentiments and intentions such as these can aid the fulfillment of my duty, they will be a resource which can not fail me." - Second Inaugural Address, March, 1813

"To render the justice of the war on our part the more conspicuous, the reluctance to commence it was followed by the earliest and strongest manifestations of a disposition to arrest its progress. The sword was scarcely out of the scabbard before the enemy was apprised of the reasonable terms on which it would be resheathed." - Second Inaugural Address, March, 1813

"I do therefore issue this my proclamation, recommending to all who shall be piously disposed to unite their hearts and voices in addressing at one and the same time their vows and adorations to the Great Parent and Sovereign of the Universe that they assemble on the second Thursday of September next in their respective religious congregations to render Him thanks for the many blessings He has bestowed on the people of the United States: that He has blessed them with a land capable of yielding all the necessaries and requisites of human life, with ample means for convenient exchanges with foreign countries; that He has blessed the labors employed in its cultivation and improvement; that He is now blessing the exertions to extend and establish the arts and manufactures which will secure within ourselves supplies too important to remain dependent on the precarious policy or the peaceable dispositions of other nations, and particularly that He has blessed the United States with a Political constitution founded on the will and authority of the whole people and guaranteeing to each Individual security, not only of his person and his property, but of those sacred rights of conscience so essential to his present happiness and so dear to his future hopes; that with those expressions of devout thankfulness be joined supplications to the same Almighty Power that He would look down with compassion on our infirmities: that He would pardon our manifold transgressions and awaken and strengthen in all the wholesome purposes of repentance and amendment: that in this season of trial and calamity He would preside in a particular manner over our public councils and inspire all citizens with a love of their country and with those fraternal affections and that mutual confidence which have so happy a tendency to make us safe at home and respected abroad: and that as He was graciously pleased heretofore to smile on our struggles against the attempts of the Government of the Empire of which these States then made a part to wrest from them the rights and privileges to which they were entitled in common with every other Part and to raise them to the station or an independent and sovereign people, so He would now be pleased in like manner to bestow His blessing on our arms in resisting the hostile and persevering efforts of the same power to degrade us on the ocean, the common inheritance of all, from rights and immunities belonging and essential to the American people as a coequal member of the great community of independent nations; and that, inspiring our enemies with moderation, with justice, and with that spirit of reasonable accommodation which our country has continued to manifest, we may be enabled to beat our swords into Plowshares and to enjoy in peace every man the fruits of his honest industry and the rewards of his lawful enterprise." - Proclamation, July 23, 1813

"The destiny of the United States [is] to be a great, a flourishing, and a powerful nation..." - State of the Union, December, 1813


Red Stars

Thanks for reading James Madison Quotes with
Revolutionary War and Beyond!

We have lots more James Madison Quotes for you!

Did you enjoy these James Madison Quotes? Check out these inspirational quotations from some other Founding Fathers





Like This Page?

Facebook Comments

people have commented on this page. Share your thoughts about what you just read! Leave a comment in the box below.




Sign up for our FREE newsletter
American Beginnings
Email

First Name

Then

More about American Beginnings
Our very first book is now available! Understand Your Rights Because You're About to Lose Them!
Learn more about the threat to your freedom today!






[?] Subscribe To
This Site

XML RSS
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines



Bookmark and Share

Please comment

Thank you for making this one of the fastest growing sites on American history!

Thanks also to the SBI software that made this site possible.

Please leave a comment on this page.

 




Revolutionary War and Beyond Copyright © 2008-2014