Be the Change

James Madison

image: /_images/profiles/bethechange/btc-madisonjames.jpg

James Madison, soft-spoken and unimposing in appearance, employed his considerable learned intellect and civility to convince a fledgling nation to accept a document — the Constitution of the United States and its Bill of Rights — that broke with established systems of power where monarchs ruled absolutely. Madison guided the creation, the passage and the implementation of a new model of rule — one where the people, not the government, were sovereign. The document began boldly, declaring "We the People," and set into place a system of checks and balances on governmental authority. Its 10 amendments spelled out uninfringible rights of the people: freedom of speech, of press, of religion; rights to peaceably assemble and to petition the government over grievances; rights to privacy in their homes and possessions; and legal rights of due process. James Madison, quiet, diminutive and intellectually powerful, changed the world.

"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which Knowledge gives."

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Back to Top

    Related Articles

  • Bill Evans Be the Change: Bill Evans chosen as commencement speaker

    At the 2016 Commencement Ceremony, Dr. Bill Evans invoked Mahatma Gandhi as he encouraged graduates to consider how they might be the change we want to see in the world.

Read More