James Madison (March 16, 1751–June 28, 1836) was the fourth (1809–1817) President of the United States. He was co-author, with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton, of the Federalist Papers, and is traditionally regarded as the "Father of the United States Constitution."
Madison was born in King George County, Virginia. His parents Colonel James Madison, Sr (March 27, 1723 – February 27, 1801) and Eleanor Rose "Nellie" Conway (January 9, 1731 – February 11, 1829) were the prosperous owners of the tobacco plantation in Orange County, Virginia where James spent most of his childhood years. In 1769, James left the plantation to attend Princeton University (it was called the College of New Jersey at the time), finishing its four-year course in two years, but exhausting himself from overwork in the process. When he regained his health, he became a protegé of Thomas Jefferson. In this capacity he became a prominent figure in Virginia state politics, helping to draft their declaration of religious freedom and persuading Virginia to give their northwestern territories (consisting of most of modern-day Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee) to the Continental Congress.
In the 1780s, Madison helped convince the political leaders of the time to call for a convention to replace the ineffective Articles of Confederation. Madison was the best prepared delegate at the Constitutional Convention, and his overall influence at Philadelphia in 1787 has led some historians to call him the "Father of the Constitution." Madison called for a strong central government with a bicameral legislature. When the issue arose of how states would be represented in the new Congress, Madison was one of the strongest advocates of state representation depending on population.
His notes from the Constitutional Convention are the best documentary evidence we have as to the thinking of what Thomas Jefferson (who was in France at the time) called an "assembly of demi-gods." To support Constitutional ratification in New York State, Madison put aside his doubts to work with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay to write the Federalist Papers, which are considered the definitive contemporary commentary on the Constitution of the USA. Madison's arguments were powerfully influenced by the political thought of Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu.
Madison wrote thirty of the eighty essays that comprise the Federalist Papers. His most famous passage comes in Federalist No. 51:
- "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 forming a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."
When the Constitution was ratified, Madison became a U.S. Representative from his home state of Virginia. It was he who successfully proposed the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, based on earlier work by George Mason. The chief characteristic of Madison's time in Congress was his desire to limit the power of the federal government. It was when he and the other followers of Thomas Jefferson denied the power of the federal government to form its own bank that the first political parties in the United States were formed: the Federalists, who followed Hamilton and believed in a strong central government, and the Democratic-Republicans, who followed Jefferson and believed strongly in limiting centralized power.
At 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m) and 100 pounds (45 kg), Madison was the nation's shortest president. He was frequently ill. In 1794, Madison married his wife Dolley (Dolley Madison), who cut as attractive and vivacious a figure as he did a sickly and antisocial one. It was Dolley who is largely credited with inventing the role of "First Lady" as political ally to the president.
In 1797 Madison left Congress; in 1801 he became Jefferson's Secretary of State. In 1808, he ran for president in his own right, and won, largely on the strength of his abilities in foreign affairs at a time when United Kingdom (Britain) and France were both on the edge of war with the United States. Both countries were blockading the ports of the other, preventing American commerce with either. In the end, Britain's efforts to destroy American maritime commerce put them over the top. In 1810, a bill was passed that would break off relations with any nation that would not remove the blockade: France did, and Britain did not.
The ensuing War of 1812 was not a wonderful success; the British won victory after victory, including a temporary occupation of Washington, D.C., when Madison was driven out. The British also armed American Indians in the West, including the Shawnee under their leader Tecumseh. Neither side was terribly enthusiastic about the war, however: the British had nothing to gain, and in the United States, New England threatened secession if the war was not ended. In 1814, the Treaty of Ghent ended the war. The Battle of New Orleans (1815), in which Andrew Jackson distinguished himself, was fought several months after the end of the war, the news not having reached the Louisiana territory in time. The major lasting effect for the political face of the country was the end of the Federalist party, who were considered traitors when they opposed the war.
After leaving office, Madison retired to Montpelier, his farm in Virginia. He was briefly the rector of the University of Virginia, but spent most of his days farming. Madison was the first president of the American Colonization Society, which bought passage for free black Americans to the Society's colony in west Africa, Liberia. When he died on June 28, 1836, by the terms of his will, $2000 were bequeathed to the ACS through its tireless agent Ralph Randolph Gurley but his "ownership in the negroes and people of color" he bequeathed to his wife.http://www.jamesmadisonmus.org/resources/will.htm
Madison's portrait was on the U.S. $5000 bill. There were about twenty different varieties of $5000 issued between 1861 and 1946, and all but three had James Madison.
Supreme Court appointments
Madison appointed the following Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States:
- James Madison: Writings by James Madison (1999, ISBN 1883011663)
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html
You may copy and modify it as long as the entire work (including additions) remains under this license.
You must provide a link to http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html
To view or edit this article at Wikipedia go to http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Madison
Entertainment Network. A Cyprus
Roussos Music Entertainment Company. All Rights Reserved.
are licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. You may copy and
modify it as long as the entire work (including additions) remains under
this license. You must provide a link to http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html.
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.
All trademarks and service marks including Napster,
MP3 Player, iRock,
MP3 Player, iRiver,
MP3 Players + iTunes,
Musical Instrument Equipment Store, BMG
Music Service, Columbia
House DVD Club, eBay,
Musical Instruments, Billboard,
Yahoo Search Marketing, MusicMatch,
Music Plus, Billboard
Stone Magazine, Walmart
and Noble book store, CDUniverse,
are property of their respective owners. Music.us has no affiliation with
but offers alternative services. Disclaimer: Uploading or downloading
of copyrighted works without permission or authorization of copyright
holders may be illegal and subject to civil or criminal liability and
penalties. Please buy
music and refrain from any illegal downloading activity. User
submitted free content, including Wikipedia encyclopedia or modification
thereof by end users, do not reflect the views and opinions of Music.us
and are for educational and research development purposes. Our website
offers advanced search for bands and artists bio and albums and browse
options for artist band biographies resources and information. We offer
blogs and community building tools for authors, bands and users. The Music.us
Entertainment Network is web's most comprehensive one-stop shopping, community
networking and education site. Find song lyrics, guitar tablature, posters,
ring tones, free MP3 downloads and hourly updating news feeds on musicians
and any genre style including rock,
and B, blues,
- Site Map
- MP3 - Music Downloads
- Song Lyrics