Tag Archives: James Madison

First Principles: The Necessity of Any Government Is A Misfortune

“It has been said that all Government is an evil. It would be more proper to say that the necessity of any Government is a misfortune.”  – James Madison, 1833      

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First Principles: Those Lacking Private Morality Will Lack Public Virtue

“If individuals be not influenced by moral principles; it is in vain to look for public virtue; it is, therefore, the duty of legislators to enforce, both by precept and example, the utility, as well as the necessity of a … Continue reading

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First Principles: Freedom Is More Usually Taken Through Gradual and Silent Encroachments

“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.” – James Madison, speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788     … Continue reading

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First Principles: Without Virtue We Cannot Secure Our Nation

“Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks — no form of government can render us secure.” – James Madison (1778)        

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First Principles: Congress Is Meant To Be Limited With Enumerated Powers

“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.” — James … Continue reading

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First Principles: The Voice of Reason Is Too Often Drowned Out for Immediate and Immoderate Gains

“But the mild voice of reason, pleading the cause of an enlarged and permanent interest, is but too often drowned, before public bodies as well as individuals, by the clamors of an impatient avidity for immediate and immoderate gain.” – … Continue reading

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First Principles: Be Aware of the Jealousies That Too Often Frame the Depiction of Political Adversaries

“Were the pictures which have been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us faithful likenesses of the human character, the inference would be, that there is not sufficient virtue among men for self-government; and that nothing less than … Continue reading

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First Principles: The Advantage of Being Armed Is What Gives the People Our Ultimate Authority

“The ultimate authority … resides in the people alone. … [T]he advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any…” … Continue reading

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First Principles: Justice Is the End of Government and Civil Society

“Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 51, … Continue reading

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First Principles: To Be Respected Be Respectable

“No government, any more than an individual, will long be respected without being truly respectable; nor be truly respectable, without possessing a certain portion of order and stability.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 62, 1788      

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