Tory Historian's blog - Quotation from James Madison

Posted by Tory Historian Friday, December 16, 2011 ,

In Federalist 51, James Madison (or it might have been Alexander Hamilton) wrote:‎

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.
Tory Historian has always though that it is the practical and rational attitude of the Founding Fathers to the people (or the People, if one prefers) which is so attractive about their ideas. Here were no utopian idealists who saw what they wanted to see but hard-headed individuals who knew that there was no such thing as an ideal politician or an ideal voter.


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