Madison: Foreign Relations are the Most Susceptible to Abuse

Liberty Letters, James Madison

The management of foreign relations appears to be the most susceptible of abuse of all the trusts committed to a Government, because they can be concealed or disclosed, or disclosed in such parts and at such times as will best suit particular views; and because the body of the people are less capable of judging, and are more under the influence of prejudices, on that branch of their affairs, than of any other. Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.


Source: James Madison, 13 May 1798, Letter to Thomas Jefferson, Works, 2:140-1.


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