Born in 1751, Madison was brought up in Orange County, Virginia, and attended Princeton (then called the College of New Jersey). A student of history and government, well-read in law, he participated in the framing of the Virginia Constitution in 1776, served in the Continental Congress, and was a leader in the Virginia Assembly.
Madison made a major contribution to the ratification of the Constitution by writing, with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, the Federalist essays. In later years, when he was referred to as the “Father of the Constitution,” Madison protested that the document was not “the off-spring of a single brain,” but “the work of many heads and many hands.”
In Congress, he helped frame the Bill of Rights and enact the first revenue legislation. Out of his leadership in opposition to Hamilton’s financial proposals, which he felt would unduly bestow wealth and power upon northern financiers, came the development of the Republican, or Jeffersonian, Party.
Madison was elected President in 1808.
Here is a selection of James Madison’s words:
Each generation should be made to bear the burden of its own wars, instead of carrying them on, at the expense of other generations. ~JM
I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. ~JM
If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. ~JM
In Republics, the great danger is, that the majority may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority. ~JM
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. ~JM
Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. ~JM
No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. ~JM
Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad. ~JM
The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. ~JM
We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. ~JM
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. ~JM
I think James Madison would have liked Ron Paul.
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