James Madison Quotes on War, Stimulus, Property Rights

Since the founding fathers quotes with respect to their views on our country, and reasons for many of the provisions in our Constitution can be ascertained from historical records which are in the public domain for all to see, publish or expound on at will, below are some of James Madison's comments with respect to Congressional legislation (such as the recent stimulus), war and citizen's property rights.

Mr. Madison is credited with being the father of the Constitution actually, so felt his thoughts in light of the challenges America is now facing might be of interest to those of you who believe still in the America of the founders rather than the America it has become:

"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."

"With respect to the two words "general welfare," I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators."

"The executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war."

"The personal right to acquire property, which is a natural right, gives to property, when acquired, a right to protection, as a social right."

"The rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted."

"War should only be declared by the authority of the people, whose toils and treasures are to support its burdens, instead of the government which is to reap its fruits."

"Wherever there is interest and power to do wrong, wrong will generally be done."

"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." 

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