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Quotation of the Day…

… is from a speech given by James Madison to the constitutional convention in Philadelphia on June 29, 1787:

In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate.  Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body.  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.  Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended.  Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.

This quotation appears on page 25 of the Independent Institute’s 2010 re-issue of the 1972 edition of the late Arthur A. Ekirch, Jr.’s, excellent 1956 volume, The Civilian and the Military: A History of the American Antimilitarist Tradition.