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IPFS News Link • Bill of Rights

Timely Lessons About Tyranny from the Father of the Constitution

• John & Nisha Whitehead - The Rutherford Institute

Although Madison initially felt that the inclusion of a bill of rights in the originally ratified Constitution was unnecessary to its success, Thomas Jefferson persuaded him that "a bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, & what no just government should refuse, or rest on inferences."

The Bill of Rights drafted by Madison—the first ten amendments to the Constitution—was a document so revolutionary at the time that it would come to be viewed as the epitome of American liberty. The rights of the people reflected in those ten amendments encapsulated much of Madison's views about government, the corrupting influence of power, and the need for safeguards against tyranny.

Madison's writings speak volumes to the present constitutional crisis in the country.

Read them and weep.  

"The accumulation of all powers, Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny." — James Madison

"The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived." — James Madison

"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 standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." — James Madison

"Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression." — James Madison


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