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date: 06 February 2023

James Madison 1751–1836
American Democratic Republican statesman, 4th President 1809–17 

  1. Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.
    The Federalist (1787) no. 10
  2. The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results.
    The Federalist (1787) no. 10
  3. If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
    The Federalist (1788) no. 51
  4. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.
    speech in Virginia Convention, 16 June 1788
  5. The class of citizens who provide at once their own food and their own raiment, may be viewed as the most truly independent and happy.
    ‘Republican Distribution of Citizens’ in National Gazette 5 March 1792, in R. Ketcham (ed.) Selected Writings of James Madison (2006)
  6. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
    Political Observations 20 April 1795, in R. Ketcham (ed.) Selected Writings of James Madison (2006)
  7. The advancement and diffusion of knowledge…is the only guardian of true liberty.
    letter to George Thomson, 30 June 1825, Letters and other Writings of James Madison (1865) vol. 3