James Madison

James Madison

James Madison, Jr. (March 16, 1751 (O.S. March 5) – June 28, 1836) was an American statesman and political theorist, the fourth President of the United States (1809–1817). He is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being instrumental in the drafting of the United States Constitution and as the key champion and author of the United States Bill of Rights. He served as a politician much of his adult life. Like other Virginia statesmen in the slave society, he was a slaveholder and part of the élite; he inherited his plantation known as Montpelier, and owned hundreds of slaves during his lifetime to cultivate tobacco and other crops.

After the constitution had been drafted, Madison became one of the leaders in the movement to ratify it. His collaboration with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay produced the Federalist Papers (1788). Circulated only in New York at the time, they would later be considered among the most important polemics in support of the Constitution. He was also a delegate to the Virginia constitutional ratifying convention, and was instrumental to the successful ratification effort in Virginia. Like most of his contemporaries, Madison changed his political views during his life. During the drafting and ratification of the constitution, he favored a strong national government, though later he grew to favor stronger state governments, before settling between the two extremes late in his life.

In 1789, Madison became a leader in the new House of Representatives, drafting many basic laws. He is notable for drafting the first ten amendments to the Constitution, and thus is known as the "Father of the Bill of Rights". Madison worked closely with President George Washington to organize the new federal government. Breaking with Hamilton and what became the Federalist Party in 1791, Madison and Thomas Jefferson organized what they called the Republican Party (later called by historians the Democratic-Republican Party) He co-authored, along with Thomas Jefferson, the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in 1798 to protest the Alien and Sedition Acts.

As Jefferson’s Secretary of State (1801–1809), Madison supervised the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the nation’s size. After his election to the presidency, he presided over renewed prosperity for several years. As president (1809–17), after the failure of diplomatic protests and a trade embargo against Great Britain, he led the nation into the War of 1812. He was responding to British encroachments on American honor and rights; in addition, he wanted to end the influence of the British among their Indian allies, whose resistance blocked United States settlement in the Midwest around the Great Lakes. Madison found the war to be an administrative nightmare, as the United States had neither a strong army nor financial system; as a result, he afterward supported a stronger national government and a strong military, as well as the national bank, which he had long opposed.

Read more about James MadisonEarly Life and Education, Early Political Career, Father of The Constitution, Federalist Papers and Ratification Debates, Member of Congress, Founding The Democratic-Republican Party, Marriage and Family, United States Secretary of State 1801–1809, Election of 1808, Presidency 1809–1817, Later Life, Legacy

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... Minister Plenipotentiary to France Continental Congress 1785–1789 James Monroe Minister Plenipotentiary to France George Washington 1794–1796 Minister to Britain Thomas ...
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... The second inauguration of James Madison as the fourth President of the United States was held on Thursday, March 4, 1813, in the House chamber of the U.S ... marked the commencement of the second four-year term of James Madison as President and the only term (which lasted approximately one and a half years) of Elbridge Gerry as Vice ... John Marshall, Chief Justice, administered the oath of office to Madison ...
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Famous quotes containing the words james madison, madison and/or james:

    [Let] the Union of the States be cherished and perpetuated. Let the open enemy to it be regarded as a Pandora with her box opened; and the disguised one, as the Serpent creeping with his deadly wiles into paradise.
    James Madison (1751–1836)

    The essence of government is power, and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.
    —James Madison (1751–1836)

    When the Revolutionaries ran short of gun wadding the Rev. James Caldwell ... broke open the church doors and seized an armful of Watts’ hymnbooks. The preacher threw them to the soldiers and shouted, “Give ‘em Watts, boys—give ‘em Watts!”
    —For the State of New Jersey, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)