James Madison

James Madison


What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? 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. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
~James Madison

"A Memorial and Remonstrance," October, 1785

Speech in the Federal Convention, June 6, 1787 (On the distinction of color for the exercise of dominion of man over man)

Speech in the Federal Convention, July 14, 1787

Speech in the Federal Convention, August 25, 1787

Speech in the Federal Convention, September 15, 1787

Letter to Thomas Jefferson, October 17,1788 (Bill of Rights)

Memorandum on an African colony for freed slaves, October 20, 1789 (On obtaining liberty for slaves)

"Property," March 29, 1792 (What man attaches value to and has a right to)

Letter to William Barry, August 4, 1822 (The importance of schools)

Letter to Thomas Jefferson, February 8, 1825 (On theprinciples of government--the bestguide for the Union)

Letter to Daniel Webster, March 15, 1833 (On nullification/secession)


"Sovereignty," 1835 (Federalism and the Revolution)

Letter to James Monroe, October 5, 1786 (On interest and happiness)