James Madison

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Contents

Background 2

Education 2

Political Career during the Revolution 3

The Constitutional Convention of 1787 4

The Federalist Papers 4

Madison in Congress 5

The Democratic-Republican Party 5

Marriage 6

Secretary of State under Jefferson 6

4th President of the USA 6

The War of 1812 (Causes) 7

The War of 1812 (Events) 8

Later Life 9

Sources used 10

Bibliography 22

 

James Madison

 

JamesMadison

 

“The advice nearest to my heart and deepest in my convictions is that the Union of the States be cherished and perpetuated.” (10)

Background

James Madison (1,2) Jr., (3,6) was born (2,3) on March 16th (3,5) 1751. (2,3) in Port Conway, (5,9) King George, in the Colony of (5) Virginia. (1,4) He was an American statesman, (3) and was related to both George Washington and Zachary Taylor. (5) Like (1) his close friend Thomas Jefferson, (1,8) James Madison came from a prosperous family of (1,3) tobacco (5,6) planters (1,3) in (5) He was the eldest child of James Madison Sr., (6,10) and his wife Nelly. (6) James had a comfortable (6) upbringing on a (5,6) 5,000 (8) or ‘more than 3,000’ acre (8,10) tobacco (5,6) and grain (8) farm (5,6) called Montpelier (3,4) in the beautiful (8) county of Orange (4,8) in Virginia (1,4), where he lived all his life (except for his presidential years). (8) BUT 8 itself says he moved to Williamsburg, Virginia in 1777! (8) He had eleven brothers and sisters, (5,6) although several (5,10) five (10) of them died at a young age. (5,10) He was shy and (9) sickly child (5,9) who continued to enjoy bad health throughout his life. (9,10) He liked to stay inside and read. (5) At only 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighing 100 pounds (5,7) he was small in stature, (1,5) but fortunately, he was very intelligent. (5)

Education

In 1762, Madison was sent to a boarding school run by Donald Robertson in King and Queen County, Virginia. (10) He returned Montpelier in 1767. (10) His father had him stay home and receive private tutoring because he was concerned about Madison’s health. (10) OR AFTER being schooled at home, Madison went to preparatory (8) school (5,8) where he performed well, (5) and then (4,5) in 1769, (9,10) at 18 years old (9) he went to the College of New Jersey (today it is Princeton University), (4,5) where he received an excellent education. (1,6) The young man took to his studies (8,9) proceeding to blaze through the four-year course in only two years, (5,9) He often slept just four hours a night to make time for reading. (9) He learned a number of languages (5,6) such as Latin, Greek (6,8) and science, (6,10) OR history and government (4) geography, mathematics, rhetoric (6) and law (9) and modern Western (8) OR Greek and Roman (9) philosophy (6,8) He was continually exposed to the Christian religion and was influenced by the new thought of the eighteenth century. (8) He admired writers and thinkers like John Locke (1632–1704), Isaac Newton (1642–1727), Jonathan Swift (1667–1745), and others. (8) Madison was a founding member of the American Whig Society, a debating club in Princeton. (8) During his college career, waves of revolution rolled through the campus as protests increased against British policies, (8) and found himself drawn into the debates over independence. (1) He was Princeton University’s first graduate student (9) graduating from Princeton (5,6) in 1771. (6,10) Graduating in 1771, he stayed on to continue his studies with the school’s president, Reverend John Witherspoon. (10) He wasn’t awarded an advanced degree, but the University now considers him its original graduate student. (9) Though a natural scholar, Madison was still unsure of what career path to take after graduating, so (9) he remained at Princeton (6,9) for another year (9) OR ‘a while longer’ (9,10) and studied Hebrew (6,9) and other subjects under the direction of the school’s president, John Witherspoon. (9,10) OR Upon graduation, Madison’s health was weakening and he was forced to live at home, where he continued his education. (8) He studied political philosophy (6,8) and law, (4,5) in which he was well-read (4) although he had no intention of working as a lawyer. (6)

Political Career during the Revolution

James Madison Senior had been an influential figure in county affairs. (10) Once recovered, (8) OR a few years after college (5,6) his son followed him into politics. (5,6) Returning to Virginia in 1772, Madison soon found himself caught up in the tensions between the colonists and the British authorities. (10) Writing to college friend William Bradford, Madison sensed that “There is something at hand that shall greatly augment the history of the world.” (10) He was elected to the Orange County Committee of Safety in December of 1774 (10) and served on it (8,10) for two years. (8) By then, the American Revolutionary War (6,8) (1775 (8) 1783) (5,8) had erupted as American forces fought for independence from Great Britain. (5,8) In 1775 he joined the Virginia militia as a colonel. (10) The learned Madison was more of a writer than a fighter, though. (10) He put his talents to good use. (10) In 1776 he became a member of the Virginia legislature, (3,5) and was then elected (1,8) as a delegate (1,10) representing Orange County (10) to the revolutionary (1) Virginia convention. (1,8) There (1,6) he participated in the framing of the Virginia Constitution in 1776 (4,8) a body of laws that formally laid out the structure of a new government. (8) During this time he engaged in a now-famous debate, with Patrick Henry saying the Constitution “endangered the public liberty” and Madison countering that Henry’s arguments were “ill founded” and distorted “the natural construction of language.” Madison and his supporters eventually won the day—Virginia voted to ratify the Constitution by a margin of 89 to 79—but the bad blood remained. (9) He once lost an election because he didn’t give alcohol to voters. (9) Madison lost a 1777 bid for election to the state’s (9,10) Virginia Assembly (10) OR House of Delegates. (3,9) later to the Governor’s Council. (10) He would later write that the defeat was the result of his refusal to provide free liquor to the voters on Election Day, a common custom then known as “swilling the planters with bumbo.” The future president believed that bribing electors with booze was contrary to republican principles, but one of his opponents—who also happened to be a tavern keeper—simply “adhered to the old practice” and raked in the votes. (9) Despite the setback, (9) Madison was soon (9) in 1777, chosen for an (8,9) open (9) seat on Virginia’s Council of State. (8,9) OR elected (8) OR ‘appointed’ (10) to the governor’s council. (8,10) He moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, (8) and served there until 1779, (6) dealing with the routine problems of the Revolutionary War. (8) He was a strong supporter of the American-French alliance during the revolution, and solely handled much of the council’s correspondence with France. (10) While there he clashed with Patrick Henry over the separation of church and state. (9) As a prominent presence in Virginia politics (6) he became a leader in it. (4,6) He also began a lifelong friendship with Virginia governor Thomas Jefferson (8,10) (1743–1826). (8) He worked closely with him (1,6) to push through religious freedom statutes, (1,6) among other liberal measures. (1,8) When Madison received an appointment to serve on the committee in charge of writing Virginia’s constitution, he worked with George Mason on the draft. (10) In 1780, Madison’s (4,5) skill (8) led him to be sent as, (4,5) one of Virginia’s delegates (10) and at 29 (9) its youngest (1) member to the Continental Congress (1,3) in Philadelphia, (8,10) Pennsylvania. (8) He was influential there and worked hard (5) discussing with the other famous delegates the problems with British rule, (8) and keeping the states united against the British. (5) During the first year he became one of the leaders of the so-called nationalist group. (8) The group believed that success of the American Revolution was possible only under a strong central government. (8) Madison was among the half dozen leading promoters of stronger national government and earned a reputation as a well-informed and effective leader. (8) By the end of his service in 1783, the peace treaty with Britain was passed and the war ended. (8) In 1783, Madison returned to Virginia (8,10) and the state legislature. (10) He spent three years there helping pass Jefferson’s bill for religious freedom. (8) One of his special contributions was reworking some of the language about religious freedom. (10) He became a champion for the separation of church and state (10) and helped (8,10) get Virginia’s Statute (6,10) of (10) OR for (6) Religious Freedom, (6,10) a revised version of a document penned by Jefferson in 1777 (10) passed (6,8) in 1786. (6,10) It proclaimed “liberty of conscience for all.” (8)

The Constitutional Convention of 1787

After the War against the British was over, (5,8) delegates to a Constitutional Convention (4,6) assembled at Philadelphia (4,5) Pennsylvania, in May (8) 1787, (6,8) to decide what form of government the United States should adopt. (4,10) Before the Convention, Madison spent many hours studying government structures from around the world. (7) The convention brought together America’s leading politicians, including Benjamin Franklin (1706–1799) and John Adams (1735–1826). (8) The 36-year-old (4) Madison represented Virginia at the Convention, (6,10) and took a leading role in it. (4,5) he was a key player in all discussions. (3,7) The original intent of the convention had been to update the Articles of Confederation, (5) but Madison actively (5,6) frequently and emphatically (4) participated in the debates. (5,6) He was a federalist at heart, (10) and supported the Virginia plan for giving real power to the national government, (6,8) with a strong federal executive. (3,4) He himself had written this ‘plan’ as an outline for a possible future constitution. (6) It called for (5,6) an enlarged (8) strong central (5,6) ‘federal’ (5) ‘national’ (8) government (5,6) with a full constitution. (5) This was, he said, the best way to protect freedom and expand self-government. (8) In the Virginia Plan, he expressed his ideas about forming a three-part federal government, consisting of executive, legislative and judicial branches. (10) His basic idea was of a blended republic. (7) He thought it was important for the new structure to have a system of checks and balances, in order to prevent the abuse of power by any one group. (10) A revised version of his proposal was adopted that September, following much debate. (10) He guided George Washington (1732–1799) and other Virginia delegates to support the Virginia plan. (8) In the end, Madison became the most constructive member of the convention. (8) He composed the first drafts of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights and earned the nickname “Father of the Constitution” (2,3) for his pivotal role in drafting and promoting the United States Constitution, (3,4) the document that embodies the principles on which America is founded. (8) While he did not personally write every part of the Constitution, (4,6) many of his suggestions were incorporated into it, (6,7) including population-based representation in Congress, and the need for checks and balances. (7) The document itself faced some opposition in his native Virginia and other colonies. (10) In later years he modestly protested that the document was not “the off-spring of a single brain,” but “the work of many heads and many hands.” (4) In addition to taking part in the debates, Madison took notes on them. (8) Published after his death, these give the only full record of the convention. (8)

The Federalist Papers

After the Convention, (3) and the drafting of the constitution (6) Madison became one of the leaders in (3,6) the movement to ratify the Constitution, (3,6) both in Virginia and nationally. (3) The idea of a federal government was new to some states and many people were unsure if they wanted to join the United States. (5) Madison shared leadership in the ratification, or passing, of the Constitution with New York representative Alexander Hamilton (8,10) (1755–1804) (8) and John Jay. (3,4) He designed a strategy for the supporters of the Constitution (the Federalists) and (8) in collaboration with Hamilton and Jay he produced The (3,4) 85 (7) Federalist Papers, (3,4) which were essays (4,7) OR ‘a series of persuasive letters’ (10) on political theory for the new country, (8) describing the benefits of a strong and united federal government. (5) They were published (6,10) in 1788 and (6) printed in two (7) New York newspapers (6,7) in support of the constitution, (6) in the hope that New York would agree to ratify it. (7) One of the most famous of these is Number 51 in which Madison stated “If men were angels, no government would be necessary….” (7) They were among the most important treatises (3) in support of the Constitution (3,6) and made a major contribution to its ratification (4,5) by helping to convince states to ratify the Constitution and join the United States. (5) Madison had a lengthy and often bitter (9) rivalry with (8,9) the famed “Give me liberty, or give me death” orator (9) Patrick Henry. (8,9) who was one of the most outspoken leaders of the Anti-Federalist faction. (9) Henry blocked Madison’s appointment to the U.S. Senate in 1788, and was later accused of gerrymandering Virginia’s voting districts in a failed attempt to prevent Madison from winning a seat in the House of Representatives. (9) Back in Virginia, (10) in a dramatic (8) debate with Patrick Henry (8,10) (1736–1799) (8) Madison managed to outmanoeuvre opponents of the Constitution (10) and bring about the ratification of the Constitution in June 1788. (8,10) He and George Washington were the only presidents who signed the Constitution. (5)

Madison in Congress

Madison was a member of the new United States ‘Congress’. (1,5) As Washington’s closest adviser and as a member of the first federal House of Representatives, Madison led in establishing the new government. (8) He worked closely with President George Washington to organize the new federal government. (3) He drafted Washington’s inaugural address and helped the president during his first term. (8) In 1789, (3,6) Madison won a seat (10) in the House of Representatives in 1789 (3,6) a legislative body that he had helped envision. (10) He became a respected (1) leader in it (3,6) and served four terms in Congress. (5) He was known for his hard work and careful preparation. (1) He drafted many laws during his tenure. (6) He became an instrumental force behind the Bill of Rights, (3,4) submitting his suggested amendments to the Constitution to Congress in June 1789. (10) He called for freedom of speech and proposed public and speedy trials for those faced with charges, among other amendments, (6,10) such as one against ‘unreasonable searches and seizures’. (10) These amendments were ‘the Bill of Rights (3,4) a name given to the first ten amendments to the Constitution. (3,6) These protected the basic rights of citizens (5,6) and placed restrictions on the powers of government. (6) Madison had initially opposed the Bill of Rights because he originally thought the amendments were unnecessary and potentially harmful. (9) Like many Federalists, he believed the Constitution’s separation of powers already adequately protected personal freedoms, and he worried that any rights not explicitly enshrined in a “parchment barrier” would be easily infringed. (9) Madison only changed his mind after concluding that the lack of a Bill of Rights would be a major stumbling block in winning over his opponents and getting the Constitution ratified. (9) He also came to believe that the amendments might ingrain certain freedoms into the national consciousness and “be a good ground for an appeal” whenever the government overstepped its bounds. (9) Though still lukewarm on the need for a Bill of Rights—he privately described it as a “nauseous project” (9) Madison eventually took the lead in shepherding it through the legislative process. (7,9) and because of this he is known also as the “Father of the Bill of Rights,” (3) and so was one of the principal founders of America’s republican form of government. (8) He laid the foundation for the American way of life. (8) The Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791. (7) He also enacted the first revenue legislation. (4)

The Democratic-Republican Party

While initially a supporter of President George Washington and his administration, Madison soon found himself at odds with Washington over financial issues. (10) Madison and Jefferson campaigned against the creation of a central federal bank, calling it unconstitutional. (10) The measure was nevertheless passed in 1791. (10) Madison also opposed the privileged position (4,8) Secretary of Treasury Alexander (10) Hamilton gave to commerce and wealth, (4,8) which Madison felt would unduly bestow wealth and power upon northern financiers. (4,10) This attitude became the foundation of a political party. (4,8) Breaking with Hamilton (3,4) and the Federalist Party in 1791, (3,10) over these financial issues, he and Thomas Jefferson (2,3) (1743-1826) (2) organized the Democratic-Republican Party, (2,3) OR the Republican, or Jeffersonian, Party, (4) which was founded in January 1790 (8) OR 1792. (2) It has been called America’s first opposition political party. (2) During John Adams’ presidency, (7) the Alien and Sedition Acts were passed (3,7) to curtail certain forms of political speech. (7) In response to these, Jefferson and Madison drafted the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, (3,7) arguing that states can nullify unconstitutional laws. (3) Madison strongly opposed Jay’s Treaty, which settled differences between America and Great Britain regarding trade. (8) Madison felt that the treaty would align the United States with England in a way that would betray the nation’s principles, or standards. (8) Thus, the final ratification of Jay’s Treaty (April 1796) over Madison’s bitter opposition marked his declining influence in Congress. (8)

Marriage

The political frustrations of the years 1793 to 1800 were relieved by his happy (8) marriage in 1794 (5,6), Dolley (5,6) or Dolly (8) Payne Todd. (5,6) The couple had met in Philadelphia in 1794, and married that same year. (10) Dolley was a 26 year old (6) widow, (7,8) and a beautiful and respected woman. (8) Madison married quite late in life, at the age of 43. (6) They had no children of their own. (5) When Dolley married Madison, she was disowned by the Society of Friends as her husband was not a Quaker. (7) She only (7) had one child (6,7) by a previous marriage. (7,10) This was a son (6,10) named Payne (10) whom Madison (6) raised as his own (10) OR adopted on their marriage. (6) Eventually tiring of the political battles, (10) James and Dolley retired to Montpelier. (8,10) in 1797. (8)

Secretary of State under Jefferson

Madison didn’t stay out of government for long. (10) In 1801, he joined the administration of his longtime friend, Thomas Jefferson, serving as President Jefferson’s secretary of state. (10) Madison’s friendship with Thomas Jefferson (5,6) dated from the American Revolutionary War. (6) He had worked hard to secure Jefferson’s election as president in 1800, and (8) when Jefferson became (2,3) the third (2) U.S. president, Madison served as his secretary of state (2,3) (1801–1809). (3) In 1801 Madison inherited the Montpelier plantation after his father’s death, (3,10) and thereby came to own (3,8) hundreds of (3) or perhaps one hundred (8) or ‘dozens of’ (10) slaves (3,8) during his lifetime. (3) Madison supported Jefferson’s efforts in the acquisition of land (6,8) from France (8) from 15 present U.S. states (6) west of the Mississippi River (8) and two Canadian provinces (6) which is known as the Louisiana Purchase, (2,3) in 1803, (2) which nearly (8) doubled the nation’s size. (3) This began a push westward to expand the young nation. (8) Madison also supervised the explorations of these new lands by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. (6,10) The war between Napoleon’s France and Britain re-started (8,10) in 1803. (8) American vessels were caught in the middle. (10) This became a major crisis for the USA as both powers inflicted heavy damage on American ships (8) on the high seas. (10) Warships from both sides routinely stopped (10) and seized (4,10) American ships to prevent Americans from trading with the enemy. (10) And the American crew members were forced into service for the feuding foreign powers. (10) Madison protested that the seizure of American ships was contrary to international law. (4) The protests, John Randolph acidly commented, had the effect of “a shilling pamphlet hurled against eight hundred ships of war.” (4) After these diplomatic efforts failed (4,10) Madison promoted the 1807 embargo (4,8), or stoppage, which barred American ships from the high seas (8), OR prohibited American vessels from traveling to foreign ports and halted exports from the United States. (10) However, the nation’s economy was fragile and heavily dependent on trade with Europe. (8) The measure proved to be an economic disaster for American merchants (10) and caused a depression in the United States. (4) The embargo did not make the belligerent nations change their ways: (4) it was unpopular and did not last. (4,8)

4th President of the USA

Towards the end of Jefferson’s second term as the president, it was announced that James Madison would run for the presidency, (6) and he was elected in 1808 (3,4) for the Democratic-Republican party. (5,6) securing It was a remarkable victory, considering the poor public opinion of the Embargo Act of 1807 (3,4) and the fact that his voice was so weak that people often had difficulty hearing his speeches, (9) Madison won the election by a wide margin defeating Federalist Charles C. Pinckney and Independent Republican George Clinton. (6,10) He got nearly 70 percent of the electoral votes. (10) Between the election and the inauguration the unpopular Embargo Act was repealed. (4,8) He assumed office as the president on March 4th, 1809. (6) He was the fourth American president, serving in office from 1809 to 1817 (2,3) and the shortest. (7) Paul Jennings, a black slave who was born into bondage on his Montpelier plantation, accompanied the newly elected President to the White House as a boy. (9) His Vice Presidents were George Clinton in his first term and Elbridge Gerry in his second. (5,9) His original VP George Clinton died in 1812, and Clinton’s successor Elbridge Gerry later suffered a fatal haemorrhage in 1814, just a year and a half after taking office. (9) Both of them therefore died in office, (5,9) and having lost two vice presidents in less than three years, Madison finished his second term without a recognized number two. (9) Madison was now aged 57 (5) While contemporaries praised Madison’s fierce intelligence (9) he was a small, (4,9) wizened man, and he appeared old and worn at his inauguration; Washington Irving described him as “but a withered little apple-John.” (4) Many also commented on his timid demeanor, and quiet and retiring personality and the wife of a Virginia politician once labeled him “the most unsociable creature in existence, (9) But whatever his deficiencies in charm, (4) Madison’s wife Dolley (4,5) compensated for them with her warmth (4,9) exuberance, wit (9) and gaiety. (4) Dolley proved particularly effective in her job as the White House hostess. (9) When Thomas Jefferson’s wife had died while he was serving as president, Dolley had helped him at official state functions. (7) She retained what she learned and put on great parties at Madison’s White House. (5,7) Dolley was a charming social butterfly and (6) a popular first (5,7) lady who added to the popularity of Madison when he was the president. (6) She was the toast of Washington. (4) Her weekly receptions became a hot ticket among foreign dignitaries, intellectuals and politicians, leading writer Washington Irving to remark on the “blazing splendor of Mrs. Madison’s drawing room.” (9) She redecorated the White House and hosted the first ever Inaugural Ball. (9) By serving as the “directress” of an orphanage for young girls, she also started the tradition of first ladies taking on a public outreach project. (9) She played an important part in shaping the role of first lady. (8,9)

The War of 1812 (Causes)

As president in 1808, Madison continued his struggle to find peace in a world (8) in which France and Britain were at war. (5,8) Tensions between the United States and Great Britain. (10) There had already been issues between the two countries over the seizure of American ships and crews. (10) The British annoyed the Americans by impressing American seamen (4,7) and harassing American ships (7) by seizing their cargoes (4,5) Unfortunately, ineffective policies, (7,8) disagreement within his party, (4,8) and Cabinet restructuring would weaken Madison’s power as president. (8) In the first year of (4,7) his presidency, (2,4) the Non-Intercourse Act of 1809, (7,10) a replacement for the Embargo Act,(10) reduced the trade embargo down to two countries: (10) the United States prohibited trade with both Britain and France. (4,7) This did nothing to improve the situation. (10) American merchants disregarded the act and traded with these nations anyway. (10) As a result, American ships and crews were still preyed upon. (10) It was relatively unenforceable: (7) Madison offered that if either nation (4,7) would accept America’s view of neutral rights (4) OR worked to protect American shipping interests, (7) they would be allowed to trade, (4,7) and trade with the other nation would be forbidden. (4) Then in May, (4) 1810, Congress authorized, (4,7) by Macon’s Bill No. 2., (7) trade with both. (4) Napoleon agreed (7) OR pretended to comply (4) but Britain continued to impress soldiers, (7) As a result, late in 1810, Madison proclaimed non-intercourse with Great Britain, alone. (4) In Congress, a group of vocal politicians started to call for a war against the British. (4,10) These men, sometimes known as “War Hawks,” included Henry Clay (4,10) of Kentucky (10) and John Calhoun (4,10) of South Carolina. (10) Madison did not want to enter the war (5) but the War Hawks impelled him to give in to the pressure. (4) OR While Madison worried that the nation couldn’t effectively fight a war with Great Britain, he understood that many American citizens would not stand for these continued assaults on American ships much longer. (10) Relations with England fell apart, (8) and in June (4,10) 1st (4) 1812, he asked Congress to declare war, (4,5) and led the U.S. into the (2,3) controversial (2) War of 1812 (2,3) (1812-15) against the United Kingdom of Great (6) Britain (2,6) and Ireland, its North American colonies, and its American Indian allies. (6) While his own party supported this move, Madison faced opposition from the Federalists, who nicknamed the conflict “Mr. Madison’s War.” (10)

The War of 1812 (Events)

The war was the main event during Madison’s presidency (5,6) and it continued for more than two years. (6) Madison was hopeful for a swift victory in the new war. (8) However, several military setbacks destroyed these hopes. (8) The young Nation was not prepared to fight, (4,5) It had neither a strong army (3) nor a sound financial system. (3,8) In the early days of the war, it was apparent that the U.S. Navy was outmatched by British forces. (10) The American forces took a severe trouncing, (4,5) losing many battles. (5) There were problems with European allies. (8) Many New England preachers and politicians opposed the war, and their lack of support severely slowed the war effort and added to the president’s difficulties. (8) Another ineffective military campaign left Madison discouraged, and he suffered a nearly fatal illness in June 1813. (8) He was plagued by recurring bouts of “bilious fever” and what he described as “a constitutional liability to sudden attacks, somewhat resembling epilepsy.” (9) When America won battles at sea (7,8) in 1813, the tables seemed to be turning. (8) Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry defeated the British on Lake Erie. (7) News also arrived that two American forces had driven back a powerful British force coming down Lake Champlain in Vermont. (8) Despite this, during the war, (3,6) in 1813, (3) or 1812 (8) Madison (3,6) easily (8) won a second term as president, (3,6) beating out New York City Mayor DeWitt Clinton, (10) probably because of the several years of renewed prosperity which had blessed his Presidency before the war. (3) But problems mounted for the president. (8) The war dragged on. (10) Detroit was lost without a fight. (7) The conflict took a dark turn in 1814, when British forces invaded Maryland. (10) The summer of 1814 brought to the American battlefields thousands of battle-hardened British troops. (8) As they made their way to Washington in August, Madison and his government had to flee the capital. (10) A small but well-disciplined British force defeated the disorganized Americans as Madison watched from a nearby hillside. (8) He was one of the only presidents to accompany troops into battle. (9) Other than Abraham Lincoln, who was present at the Battle of Fort Stevens during the Civil War, Madison is the only sitting commander-in-chief to be directly involved in a military engagement. (9) When British forces marched on Washington, D.C. during the War of 1812, the bookish president borrowed a pair of duelling pistols from his treasury secretary and set off for the American lines to help rally his troops. (9) He and his entourage nearly blundered into British forces upon arriving, and they soon heard the whistle of enemy Congreve rockets overhead, prompting Madison to tell his cabinet secretaries that it “would be proper to withdraw to a position in the rear.” (9) After American militiamen were put to a rout, Madison joined his troops (9) in fleeing the city, leaving the victorious British free to torch the White House and U.S. Capitol. (8,9) The British entered Washington and set fire to the White House (4,5) the Navy Yards, the unfinished US Congress Building, the Treasury Building (7) and the Capitol. (4,9) Madison’s embarrassment was complete when he saw flames of the burning Capitol and White House while fleeing across the Potomac River. (8) Paul Jennings’ memoir includes an account of the evacuation of the White House during the War of 1812. (9) Just before the British burned down the White House, (5) when the danger of occupation was apparent, Dolley Madison fled, taking many treasures with her. (7) She showed courage in this incident, (5,7) managing to save a number of important documents (5) and a famous painting of George Washington while escaping. (5,7) In her words, “At this late hour a wagon has been procured, and I have had it filled with plate and the most valuable portable articles, belonging to the house…. (7) Our kind friend, Mr. Carroll, has come to hasten my departure, and is in a very bad humor with me, because I insist on waiting until the large picture of General Washington is secured, and it requires to be unscrewed from the wall…. (7) I have ordered the frame to be broken, and the canvas taken out.” (7) The British were not stopped until they were on their way to Baltimore, (7) Madison returned to Washington (8,9) three (8) or ‘a few’ (9) days later, (8,9) and was soon cheered by news of the British defeat in Baltimore harbour, (8) and the following month, U.S. troops were able to stop another British invasion in the North. (10) Damage to the executive mansion, though, forced him to take up residence in the city’s Octagon House. (9) The young government seemed to be falling apart due to the war. (8) The New England Federalists opposed the war and even talked secession. (4,7) They held a secret meeting known as the Hartford Convention where individuals from Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont who were opposed to Madison’s trade policies and the War of 1812 came up with a number of amendments that they wished passed to address issues that they had with the War and the embargoes. (7) The fighting finally ended (6,7) in 1814 with a stalemate, (7) and the war itself ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in 1815. (6) OR On Christmas Eve, 1814, a peace treaty was signed between Britain and America. (8) A few notable naval and military victories, (4) including the final battle of the war, (5) which was Gen. Andrew Jackson’s (4,5) impressive victory (10) at New Orleans (4,5) in 1815, even though his soldiers were outnumbered (10) convinced Americans that the War of 1812 had been gloriously successful. (4) An upsurge of nationalism resulted. (4,5) The ending of the war marked the beginning of the “Era of Good Feelings”—a period that reflected a sense of national purpose and a desire for unity among Americans. (6) It helped the country to feel they had done well and raised Madison’s popularity. (5,6) When the war ended and news about their secret meeting at Hartford came out, (7) the Federalist Party was discredited (7,8) and eventually disappeared as a national party. (4,7) The war proved to be an administrative morass, and Madison afterward supported a stronger national government (3) OR ‘ a robust yet balanced federal government’ (10) and military, as well as the national bank, which he had long opposed. (3)

Later Life

 

In March (8) 1817 (8,10) Madison retired to his tobacco plantation after leaving office. (4,6) Madison and, with the help of Thomas Jefferson. (10) During the next years, Madison (8,9) kept himself busy by running the plantation (10) on which he practised (8,9) scientific (8) agriculture (8,9). He helped Jefferson found the University of Virginia. (8,10) The school opened in 1825, with Jefferson as its rector. (10) The following year, after Jefferson’s death, (10) Madison assumed leadership of the university (9,10) being appointed as its (6,9) second (9,10) Rector (President). (6.9) OR He never held a job outside politics. (5) He advised President James Monroe (1758–1831) on foreign policy. (8) In 1826, (6) He returned officially to public life only to take part in the Virginia constitutional convention of 1829 (6,8) at Richmond for revising the Virginia state constitution. (6) He was also active in the American Colonization Society, which he had co-founded in 1816 with Robert Finley, Andrew Jackson and James Monroe. (10) This organization aimed to return freed slaves to Africa. (10) In 1833, Madison became the society’s president. (10) In retirement Madison spoke out against the disruptive states’ rights influences that by the 1830s threatened to shatter the Federal Union. (4) Book 3 appears to contradict its earlier statement that ‘This experience led him to change his political views, coming to prefer stronger state governments, before settling between the two extremes later in his life. (3) Madison’s health slowly deteriorated (5,8) forcing him more and more to be a silent observer. (8) When on his deathbed his doctor suggested that he take stimulants to keep him alive until July 4th, the same historic date that Jefferson, John Adams and James Monroe had all perished. (9) Madison turned down the offer, however, and instead (9) died (2,3) at Montpelier (5,10) on June 28th (3,5) 1836, (2,3) six days before the 60th anniversary of the nation’s birth. (9) He was 85. (5,6) He was the last person alive who had signed the US Constitution (5,9) and the last of the great founders of the American republic. (8) His last words were “I talk better lying down”. (5) After his death, his 1834 message, “Advice to My Country,” was released. (10) He had specifically requested that the note not be made public until after his passing. (10) In part of his final political comment, he wrote: (10) “The advice nearest to my heart and deepest in my convictions is that the Union of the States be cherished and perpetuated. (10) 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.” After his death, Dolley Madison published her husband’s personal papers. (8) The Madison papers offer wonderful insights into the politics of the new nation during a time of great historical significance. (8), One of Madison’s slaves, Paul Jennings, wrote the first White House memoir. (9) Jennings spent nearly three decades serving as Madison’s footman and manservant before purchasing his freedom in 1847. (9) He later recounted his experiences in 1865’s “A Colored Man’s Reminiscences of James Madison,” a short book now considered the first memoir of life in the White House. (9) Jennings described Madison as a temperate man who “always dressed wholly in black” and never owned more than one suit. (9) Madison has been ranked in the aggregate by historians as the ninth most successful president. (3) As part of the bicentennial celebration of the Constitution in 1986, the Congress created the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation. (6) The James Madison College of public policy at Michigan State University, the James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and the James Madison Institute are all named in his honour. (6) Regarded as a small, quiet intellectual, Madison used the depth and breadth of his knowledge to create a new type of government. (10) His ideas and thoughts shaped a nation, and established the rights that Americans still enjoy today. (10)

Sources used

(List of their web addresses below at ‘Bibliography’)

Like his close friend Thomas Jefferson, James Madison came from a prosperous family of Virginia planters, received an excellent education, and quickly found himself drawn into the debates over independence. (1) In 1776, he became a delegate to the revolutionary Virginia Convention, where he worked closely with Thomas Jefferson to push through religious freedom statutes, among other liberal measures. (1) The youngest member of the Continental Congress, Madison was small in stature. (1) His soft spoken, shy demeanor was a foil for his brilliant persistence in advocating his political agenda. (1) Madison emerged as a respected leader of the congress, known for his hard work and careful preparation. (1)

James Madison (1751-1836) was a founding father of the United States and the fourth American president, serving in office from 1809 to 1817. (2) An advocate for a strong federal government, the Virginia-born Madison composed the first drafts of the U.S. (2) Constitution and the Bill of Rights and earned the nickname “Father of the Constitution.” In 1792, Madison and Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) founded the Democratic-Republican Party, which has been called America’s first opposition political party. (2) When Jefferson became the third U.S. (2) president, Madison served as his secretary of state. (2) In this role, he oversaw the Louisiana Purchase from the French in 1803. (2) During his presidency, Madison led the U.S. (2) into the controversial War of 1812 (1812-15) against Great Britain. (2) After two terms in the White House, Madison retired to his Virginia plantation, Montpelier, with his wife Dolley (1768-1849). (2)

James Madison (– June 28, 1836) was an American statesman and Founding Father who served as the fourth President of the United States from 1809 to 1817. (3) He is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for his pivotal role in drafting and promoting the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. (3) Madison inherited his plantation Montpelier in Virginia and therewith owned hundreds of slaves during his lifetime. (3) He served as both a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and as a member of the Continental Congress prior to the Constitutional Convention. (3) After the Convention, he became one of the leaders in the movement to ratify the Constitution, both in Virginia and nationally. (3) His collaboration with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay produced The Federalist Papers, among the most important treatises in support of the Constitution. (3) Madison’s political views changed throughout his life. (3) During deliberations on the Constitution, he favored a strong national government, but later preferred stronger state governments, before settling between the two extremes later in his life. (3) In 1789, Madison became a leader in the new House of Representatives, drafting many general laws. (3) He is noted for drafting the first ten amendments to the Constitution, and thus is known also as the “Father of the Bill of Rights.” He worked closely with President George Washington to organize the new federal government. (3) Breaking with Hamilton and the Federalist Party in 1791, he and Thomas Jefferson organized the Democratic-Republican Party. (3) In response to the Alien and Sedition Acts, Jefferson and Madison drafted the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, arguing that states can nullify unconstitutional laws. (3) As Jefferson’s Secretary of State (1801–1809), Madison supervised the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the nation’s size. (3) Madison succeeded Jefferson as president in 1809, was re-elected in 1813, and presided over renewed prosperity for several years. (3) After the failure of diplomatic protests and a trade embargo against the United Kingdom, he led the U.S. (3) into the War of 1812. (3) The war was an administrative morass, as the United States had neither a strong army nor financial system. (3) As a result, Madison afterward supported a stronger national government and military, as well as the national bank, which he had long opposed. (3) Madison has been ranked in the aggregate by historians as the ninth most successful president. (3)

 

James Madison, America’s fourth President (1809-1817), made a major contribution to the ratification of the Constitution by writing The Federalist Papers, along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. (4) In later years, he was referred to as the “Father of the Constitution.” At his inauguration, James Madison, a small, wizened man, appeared old and worn; Washington Irving described him as “but a withered little apple-John.” But whatever his deficiencies in charm, Madison’s wife Dolley compensated for them with her warmth and gaiety. (4) She was the toast of Washington. (4) Born in 1751, Madison was brought up in Orange County, Virginia, and attended Princeton (then called the College of New Jersey). (4) A student of history and government, well-read in law, he participated in the framing of the Virginia Constitution in 1776, served in the Continental Congress, and was a leader in the Virginia Assembly. (4) When delegates to the Constitutional Convention assembled at Philadelphia, the 36-year-old Madison took frequent and emphatic part in the debates. (4) Madison made a major contribution to the ratification of the Constitution by writing, with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, the Federalist essays. (4) In later years, when he was referred to as the “Father of the Constitution,” Madison protested that the document was not “the off-spring of a single brain,” but “the work of many heads and many hands.” In Congress, he helped frame the Bill of Rights and enact the first revenue legislation. (4) Out of his leadership in opposition to Hamilton’s financial proposals, which he felt would unduly bestow wealth and power upon northern financiers, came the development of the Republican, or Jeffersonian, Party. (4) As President Jefferson’s Secretary of State, Madison protested to warring France and Britain that their seizure of American ships was contrary to international law. (4) The protests, John Randolph acidly commented, had the effect of “a shilling pamphlet hurled against eight hundred ships of war.” Despite the unpopular Embargo Act of 1807, which did not make the belligerent nations change their ways but did cause a depression in the United States, Madison was elected President in 1808. (4) Before he took office the Embargo Act was repealed. (4) During the first year of Madison’s Administration, the United States prohibited trade with both Britain and France; then in May, 1810, Congress authorized trade with both, directing the President, if either would accept America’s view of neutral rights, to forbid trade with the other nation. (4) Napoleon pretended to comply. (4) Late in 1810, Madison proclaimed non-intercourse with Great Britain. (4) In Congress a young group including Henry Clay and John C. (4) Calhoun, the “War Hawks,” pressed the President for a more militant policy. (4) The British impressment of American seamen and the seizure of cargoes impelled Madison to give in to the pressure. (4) On June 1, 1812, he asked Congress to declare war. (4) The young Nation was not prepared to fight; its forces took a severe trouncing. (4) The British entered Washington and set fire to the White House and the Capitol. (4) But a few notable naval and military victories, climaxed by Gen. (4) Andrew Jackson’s triumph at New Orleans, convinced Americans that the War of 1812 had been gloriously successful. (4) An upsurge of nationalism resulted. (4) The New England Federalists who had opposed the war–and who had even talked secession–were so thoroughly repudiated that Federalism disappeared as a national party. (4) In retirement at Montpelier, his estate in Orange County, Virginia, Madison spoke out against the disruptive states’ rights influences that by the 1830’s threatened to shatter the Federal Union. (4) In a note opened after his death in 1836, he stated, “The advice nearest to my heart and deepest in my convictions is that the Union of the States be cherished and perpetuated.”

 

Madison was the 4th President of the United States. (5) Served as President: 1809-1817 Vice President: George Clinton, Elbridge Gerry Party: Democratic-Republican Age at inauguration: 57 Born: March 16, 1751 in Port Conway, King George, Virginia Died: June 28, 1836 in Montpelier in Virginia Married: Dolley Payne Todd Madison Children: none Nickname: Father of the Constitution Biography: What is James Madison most known for? James Madison is most famous for his work on the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. (5) He was also president during the War of 1812. (5) Growing Up James grew up on a tobacco farm in the Colony of Virginia. (5) He had eleven brothers and sisters, although several of them died at a young age. (5) James was a sickly child as well and liked to stay inside and read. (5) Fortunately, he was very intelligent and performed well in school. (5) James Madisonby Gilbert Stuart He attended the College of New Jersey (today it is Princeton University) and graduated in two years. (5) He learned a number of languages and studied law as well. (5) After college Madison went into politics and within a few years became a member of the Virginia legislature. (5) Before He Became President In 1780, Madison became a member of the Continental Congress. (5) Here he became an influential member and worked hard to keep the states united against the British. (5) Working on the Constitution After the Revolutionary War was over, Madison took a lead role at the Philadelphia Convention. (5) Although the original intent of the convention was to update the Articles of Confederation, Madison led the charge to develop a full constitution and create the US federal government. (5) The idea of a federal government was new to some states and many people were unsure if they wanted to join the United States. (5) James Madison wrote many essays called the Federalist Papers to help convince states to ratify the Constitution and join the United States. (5) These papers described the benefits of a strong and united federal government. (5) Madison served four terms in the United States Congress. (5) During that time he helped the Bill of Rights get passed into law, protecting the basic rights of citizens. (5) Later, he became the Secretary of State for his friend Thomas Jefferson. (5) Dolley Madison James married Dolley Payne Todd in 1794. (5) Dolley was a popular first lady. (5) She was a lively hostess and put on great parties at the White House. (5) She was also brave. (5) Right before the British burned down the White House during the War of 1812, she managed to save a number of important documents and a famous painting of George Washington while escaping. (5) James Madison’s Presidency The main event during Madison’s presidency was the War of 1812. (5) This started because France and Britain were at war. (5) Madison did not want to enter the war, but Britain was seizing US trade ships, and he finally felt he had no choice. (5) In 1812 he asked congress to declare war on Britain. (5) Unfortunately, the US was in no position to fight the British and lost many battles, including one where the British marched on Washington DC and burned down the White House. (5) However, the final battle of the war, the Battle of Orleans, was a victory led by General Andrew Jackson. (5) This helped the country to feel they had done well and raised Madison’s popularity. (5) James Madison Source: Library of Congress How did he die? Madison’s health slowly deteriorated until he finally died at the age of 85. (5) He was the last person alive who had signed the US Constitution. (5) Fun Facts about James Madison James was 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed 100 pounds. (5) Madison and George Washington are the only presidents who signed the Constitution. (5) Both of his vice presidents, George Clinton and Elbridge Gerry, died in office. (5) He never held a job outside of politics. (5) His last words were “I talk better lying down.” Madison was related to both George Washington and Zachary Taylor. (5) Activities Take a ten question quiz about this page. (5) Biographies for Kids >> US Presidents for Kids Works Cited Which superpower would you want if you were a Superhero? Super Strength Flying Super Speed Invisibility Super Stretch More polls Did you know there are 10 Question Quizzes at the bottom of many Ducksters pages? We have 1000s of questions and are adding more all the time! 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James Madison was the fourth President of the United States, hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for the pivotal role he played in the drafting of the U.S. (6) Constitution. (6) He was also instrumental in the creation of the Bill of Rights. (6) Born as the son of a wealthy tobacco planter, Madison had a comfortable upbringing and received education in varied subjects such as Latin, Greek, science, geography, mathematics, and philosophy. (6) He also studied law though he had no intentions of working as a lawyer. (6) He developed an early interest in politics and entered the field as a young adult. (6) Madison represented Virginia at the Constitution Convention and actively participated in the debates, calling for a strong central government. (6) He wrote the Virginia Plan in which he expressed his ideas about forming a federal government, and many of his suggestions were incorporated into the constitution. (6) He also led the movement to ratify the constitution. (6) He had found a mentor in Thomas Jefferson who he met during the American Revolutionary War. (6) When Jefferson became the president, Madison served as the Secretary of State under him. (6) Madison himself succeeded Jefferson as the president and served two terms from 1809 to 1817 He was born on March 16, 1751, in Virginia as the eldest child of James Sr. (6) and his wife Nelly. (6) He had 11 siblings. (6) His father was a wealthy tobacco planter. (6) He received a good education in Latin, Greek, science, geography, mathematics, rhetoric, and philosophy from the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University, from where he graduated in 1771. (6) He remained at the college even after graduation and studied Hebrew, political philosophy, and law. (6) He served in the Virginia state legislature from 1776 to 1779 during the American Revolutionary War over the course of which he became a protégé of Thomas Jefferson. (6) Soon Madison became a prominent presence in Virginia politics. (6) He assisted Jefferson in drafting the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which was finally passed in 1786. (6) The very next year, he represented Virginia at the Constitution Convention where he wrote the Virginia Plan as an outline for a possible future constitution. (6) After the drafting of the constitution, Madison played a pivotal role in the movement to ratify it. (6) He collaborated with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay to produce ‘The Federalist Papers’ in 1788 which was circulated in New York in support of the constitution. (6) He became a leader in the new House of Representatives in 1789. (6) He drafted many laws during his tenure, the most significant of which were the Bill of Rights—the first ten amendments to the Constitution. (6) He called for freedom of speech and proposed public and speedy trials for those faced with charges, among other amendments. (6) His mentor Thomas Jefferson became the President of the United States in 1801 and he selected Madison to serve as the Secretary of State, a post he would hold for the entire tenure of Jefferson’s presidency. (6) As the Secretary of State, he supported Jefferson’s efforts in the acquisition of the Louisiana territory—known as the Louisiana Purchase—which included land from 15 present U.S. (6) states and two Canadian provinces. (6) Madison also supervised the explorations of these new lands by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. (6) Towards the end of Jefferson’s second term as the president, it was announced that James Madison would run for presidency. (6) Madison, running on the Democratic-Republican ticket, easily won the 1808 presidential election by a wide margin defeating Federalist Charles C. (6) Pinckney and Independent Republican George Clinton. (6) He assumed office as the president on March 4, 1809. (6) One of the major events that occurred during his tenure was the War of 1812, fought by the United States of America against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, its North American colonies, and its American Indian allies. (6) The war continued for more than two years, during the course of which Madison won a second term as the president. (6) The war finally ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in 1815. (6) The ending of the war marked the beginning of the “Era of Good Feelings”—a period that reflected a sense of national purpose and a desire for unity among Americans. (6) The final years of Madison’s presidency were peaceful and prosperous. (6) He stepped down from his office on March 4, 1817. (6) He retired to his tobacco plantation after leaving the office. (6) In 1826, he was appointed as the Rector (President) of the University of Virginia, and in 1829, chosen as a representative to the constitutional convention in Richmond for the revising of the Virginia state constitution. (6) James Madison is best remembered as the “Father of the Constitution” for the instrumental role he played in drafting of the United States Constitution—the supreme law of the United States of America. (6) He also drafted the first ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, which offer specific protections of individual liberty and justice and place restrictions on the powers of government. (6) James Madison married quite late in life. (6) At the age of 43, he married a 26 year old widow, Dolley Payne Todd, in 1794. (6) He adopted his wife’s only son upon their marriage. (6) Dolley was a charming and sociable lady who added to the popularity of Madison when he was the president. (6) Madison died on June 28, 1836, at the age of 85. (6) As part of the bicentennial celebration of the Constitution in 1986, the Congress created the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation. (6) The James Madison College of public policy at Michigan State University, the James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and the James Madison Institute are all named in his honor. (6)

 

James Madison (1751 – 1836) was the fourth president of the United States. (7) He was known as the Father of the Constitution and was president during the War of 1812. (7) Following are ten key and interesting facts about him and his time as president. (7) 01 of 10 FATHER OF THE CONSTITUTION Constitutional convention in Virginia, 1830 The constitutional convention in Virginia, 1830, by George Catlin (1796-1872). (7) James Madison was known as the Father of the Constitution. (7) James Madison is known as the Father of the Constitution. (7) Before the Constitutional Convention, Madison spent many hours studying government structures from around the world before coming up with the basic idea of a blended republic. (7) While he did not personally write every part of the Constitution, he was a key player in all discussions and forcefully argued for many items that would eventually make it into the Constitution including population-based representation in Congress, the need for checks and balances, and support for a strong federal executive. (7) 02 of 10 PRESIDENT DURING THE WAR OF 1812 USS Constitution USS Constitution defeating the HMS Guerriere during the war of 1812. (7) SuperStock / Getty Images Madison went to Congress to ask for a declaration of war against England that started the War of 1812. (7) This was because the British would not stop harassing American ships and impressing soldiers. (7) The Americans struggled at the beginning, losing Detroit without a fight. (7) The Navy fared better, with Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry leading the defeat of the British on Lake Erie. (7) However, the British were still able to march on Washington, not being stopped until they were on their way to Baltimore. (7) The war ended in 1814 with a stalemate. (7) 03 of 10 SHORTEST PRESIDENT James Madison full length portrait traveler1116 / Getty Images James Madison was the shortest president. (7) He measured 5’4″ tall and is estimated to have weighed about 100 pounds. (7) 04 of 10 ONE OF THREE AUTHOR OF THE FEDERALIST PAPERS Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton. (7) Library of Congress Together with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, James Madison authored the Federalist Papers. (7) These 85 essays were printed in two New York newspapers as a way to argue for the Constitution so that New York would agree to ratify it. (7) One of the most famous of these papers is #51 which Madison penned stated the famous quote “If men were angels, no government would be necessary….” 05 of 10 KEY AUTHOR OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS James Madison Library of Congress Madison was one of the main proponents for the passage of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, known collectively as the Bill of Rights. (7) These were ratified in 1791. (7) 06 of 10 CO-AUTHORED THE KENTUCKY AND VIRGINIA RESOLUTIONS President Thomas Jefferson Stock Montage/Getty Images During John Adams’ presidency, the Alien and Sedition Acts were passed to curtain certain forms of political speech. (7) Madison joined forces with Thomas Jefferson to create the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in opposition to these acts. (7) 07 of 10 MARRIED DOLLEY MADISON Dolley Madison First Lady Dolley Madison. (7) Stock Montage/Stock Montage/Getty Images Dolley Payne Todd Madison was one of the most well-loved first ladies and known as a terrific hostess. (7) When Thomas Jefferson’s wife had died while he was serving as president, she helped him at official state functions. (7) When she married Madison, she was disowned by the Society of Friends as her husband was not a Quaker. (7) She only had one child by a previous marriage. (7) 08 of 10 NON-INTERCOURSE ACT AND MACON’S BILL #2 Death of Captain Lawrence Death of Captain Lawrence in naval clash between the American frigate Chesapeake and the British ship Shannon, 1812. (7) The war had partially been fought over the British practice of impressing American sailors into service. (7) Charles Phelps Cushing/ClassicStock/Getty Images Two foreign trade bills passed during his time in office: the Non-Intercourse Act of 1809 and Macon’s Bill No. (7) 2. (7) The Non-Intercourse Act was relatively unenforceable, allowing the US to trade with all nations except France and Great Britain. (7) Madison extended the offer that if either nation worked to protect American shipping interests, they would be allowed to trade. (7) In 1810, this act was repealed with Macon’s Bill No. (7) 2. (7) It said that whichever nation stopped attacking American ships would be favored, and the US would stop trading with the other nation. (7) France Agreed but Britain continued to impress soldiers. (7) 09 of 10 WHITE HOUSE BURNED White House on Fire during the War of 1812 White House on Fire during the War of 1812. (7) Engraving by William Strickland. (7) Library of Congress When the British marched on Washington during the War of 1812, they burned many important buildings including the Navy Yards, the unfinished US Congress Building, the Treasury Building, and the White House. (7) Dolley Madison fled the White House taking many treasures with her when the danger of occupation was apparent. (7) In her words, “At this late hour a wagon has been procured, and I have had it filled with plate and the most valuable portable articles, belonging to the house…. (7) Our kind friend, Mr. (7) Carroll, has come to hasten my departure, and in a very bad humor with me, because I insist on waiting until the large picture of General Washington is secured, and it requires to be unscrewed from the wall…. (7) I have ordered the frame to be broken, and the canvas taken out.” 10 of 10 HARTFORD CONVENTION AGAINST HIS ACTIONS Hartford Convention Political Cartoon About the Hartford Convention. (7) Library of Congress The Hartford Convention was a secret federalist meeting with individuals from Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont who were opposed to Madison’s trade policies and the War of 1812. (7) They came up with a number of amendments that they wished passed to address issues that they had with the War and the embargoes. (7) When the war ended and news about the secret meeting came out, the Federalist Party was discredited and eventually fell apart. (7)

James Madison, the fourth president of the United States, was one of the principal founders of America’s republican form of government. (8) As a Founding Father he helped plan and approve the U.S. (8) Constitution and the Bill of Rights, two documents that laid the foundation for the American way of life. (8) Early life and schooling James Madison lived all his life (except for his presidential years) in the beautiful county of Orange, Virginia, on a 5,000-acre plantation that produced tobacco and grains and was worked by perhaps one hundred slaves. (8) After being schooled at home, Madison went to preparatory school and then to the College of New Jersey at Princeton. (8) The young man took to his studies, which included learning Latin and Greek. (8) Madison was continually exposed to the Christian religion and was influenced by the new thought of the eighteenth century. (8) He admired writers and thinkers like John Locke (1632–1704), Isaac Newton (1642–1727), Jonathan Swift (1667–1745), and others. (8) Madison was a founding member of the American Whig Society, a debating club in Princeton. (8) During his college career, waves of revolution rolled through the campus as protests increased against British policies. (8) American Revolution Upon graduation, Madison’s health was weakening and he was forced to live at home, where he continued his education. (8) Once recovered, Madison served on the Orange County Committee of Safety for two years. (8) By then, the American Revolution (1775–83) had erupted as American forces fought for independence from Great Britain. (8) In 1776 Madison was elected to the Virginia convention. (8) The convention decided to move for independence from Britain and drafted a new state constitution, or a body of laws that formally lay out the structure of a new government. (8) Madison’s special contribution was in strengthening the articles on religious freedom to proclaim “liberty of conscience for all.” Elected to the governor’s council in 1777, he moved to Williamsburg, Virginia. (8) For two years he dealt with the routine problems of the Revolutionary War. (8) He also began a lifelong friendship with Virginia governor Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826). (8) Madison’s skill led to his 1780 election to the Continental Congress, which brought famous delegates to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to discuss the problems with British rule. (8) During the first year he became one of the leaders of the so-called nationalist group. (8) The group believed that success of the American Revolution was possible only under a strong central government. (8) By the end of his service in 1783, the peace treaty with Britain was passed and the war ended. (8) Madison was among the half dozen leading promoters of stronger national government and earned a reputation as a well-informed and effective leader. (8) Madison spent three years in Virginia helping pass Jefferson’s bill for religious freedom and other reform measures. (8) The Constitution In May 1787 Madison attended the Constitutional Convention, whose representatives gathered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (8) The convention brought together America’s leading politicians, including Benjamin Franklin (1706–1799) and John Adams (1735–1826). (8) The convention would produce the Constitution, the document that embodies the principles on which America is founded. (8) At the convention Madison supported the Virginia plan for giving real power to the national government. (8) He guided George Washington (1732–1799) and other Virginia delegates to support this plan. (8) In the James Madison. (8) Reproduced by permission of AP/Wide World Photos. (8) James Madison. (8) Reproduced by permission of AP/Wide World Photos . (8) end, Madison became the most constructive member of the convention. (8) Madison’s basic contribution was the idea that an enlarged, strengthened national government was in fact the best way to protect freedom and expand self-government. (8) In addition to taking part in the debates, Madison took notes on them. (8) Published after his death, these give the only full record of the convention. (8) Establishment of the new government Madison shared leadership in the ratification, or passing, of the Constitution with New York representative Alexander Hamilton (1755–1804). (8) Madison designed a strategy for the supporters of the Constitution (the Federalists) and wrote portions of the Federalist Papers, which were essays on political theory for the new country. (8) In a dramatic debate with Senator Patrick Henry (1736–1799), Madison helped bring about the ratification of the Constitution in June 1788. (8) Then, as Washington’s closest adviser and as a member of the first federal House of Representatives, Madison led in establishing the new government. (8) He drafted Washington’s inaugural address, or first speech as president, and helped the president during his first term. (8) January 1790 marked the beginning of Madison’s—along with Jefferson’s—leadership of what became the Democratic-Republican party. (8) Madison opposed the privileged position Hamilton gave to commerce and wealth. (8) This attitude became the foundation of their political party. (8) Madison also greatly opposed Jay’s Treaty, which settled differences between America and Great Britain regarding trade. (8) Madison felt that the treaty would align the United States with England in a way that would betray the nation’s principles, or standards. (8) Thus, the final ratification of Jay’s Treaty (April 1796) over Madison’s bitter opposition marked his declining influence in Congress. (8) A year later he retired to Virginia. (8) The political frustrations of the years 1793 to 1800 were relieved by Madison’s happy marriage in 1794 to Dolley (or Dolly) Payne Todd. (8) Dolley, a widow, was a beautiful and respected woman. (8) Later, when Madison was elected president, she would play an important part in shaping the role of first lady. (8) Secretary of state Madison worked hard to secure Jefferson’s election as president in 1800, and in response he was appointed secretary of state. (8) Madison skillfully aided the president in the Louisiana Purchase, which acquired land west of the Mississippi River from France. (8) The purchase would nearly double the country’s size and begin a push westward to expand the young nation. (8) The renewed war between France and Britain, however, became a major crisis, as both powers inflicted heavy damage on American ships. (8) Madison promoted the 1807 embargo, or stoppage, which barred American ships from the high seas. (8) However, the nation’s economy was fragile and heavily dependent on trade with Europe. (8) The embargo did not last. (8) Madison soon accepted its repeal at the end of Jefferson’s administration. (8) As president Elected president in 1808, Madison continued his struggle to find peace in a world at war. (8) Unfortunately, ineffective policies, disagreement within his party, and Cabinet restructuring would weaken Madison’s power as president. (8) After relations with England fell apart, war was declared in June 1812. (8) Many New England preachers and politicians opposed the war, and their lack of support severely slowed the war effort and added to the president’s difficulties. (8) He nonetheless was reelected easily in 1812. (8) Madison was hopeful for a swift victory in the new war. (8) However, several military setbacks destroyed these hopes. (8) When America won battles at sea in 1813, the tables seemed to be turning. (8) But problems mounted for the president. (8) Chaos in American finance, problems with European allies, and another ineffective military campaign left Madison discouraged, and he suffered a nearly fatal illness in June 1813. (8) The young government seemed to be failing apart due to the war. (8) The summer of 1814 brought to the American battlefields thousands of battle-hardened British troops. (8) A small but well-disciplined British force defeated the disorganized Americans as Madison watched from a nearby hillside. (8) His embarrassment was complete when he saw flames of the burning Capitol and White House while fleeing across the Potomac River. (8) However, after he returned to Washington three days later, he was soon cheered by news of the British defeat in Baltimore Harbor. (8) News also arrived that two American forces had driven back a powerful British force coming down Lake Champlain in Vermont. (8) On Christmas Eve, 1814, a peace treaty was signed between Britain and America. (8) Years of retirement In March 1817 Madison retired from public office and returned to his home in Montpelier, Virginia. (8) During the next years, Madison practiced scientific agriculture, helped Jefferson found the University of Virginia, and advised President James Monroe (1758–1831) on foreign policy. (8) He returned officially to public life only to take part in the Virginia constitutional convention of 1829. (8) But his health slowly declined, forcing him more and more to be a silent observer. (8) By the time of his death on June 28, 1836, he was the last of the great founders of the American republic. (8) After his death, Dolley Madison published her husband’s personal papers. (8) The Madison papers offer wonderful insights into the politics of the new nation during a time of great historical significance. (8)

 

Founding father James Madison was born on March 16, 1751, in Port Conway, Virginia. (9) Though shy and physically frail, he forged a hugely influential political career that included guiding the Constitution through its ratification process, drafting the Bill of Rights and serving as the fourth president during the War of 1812. (9) Explore 10 surprising facts about the man often called the “Father of the Constitution.” (9) He was America’s smallest president. (9) Madison was a sickly and slightly built man who stood just 5 feet 4 inches tall and rarely tipped the scales at much more than 100 pounds. (9) His voice was so weak that people often had difficulty hearing his speeches, and he was plagued by recurring bouts of “bilious fever” and what he described as “a constitutional liability to sudden attacks, somewhat resembling epilepsy.” While contemporaries praised Madison’s fierce intelligence, many also made note of his small size and timid demeanor. (9) The wife of a Virginia politician once labeled him “the most unsociable creature in existence.” Portrait of James Madison. (9) (Credit: Public Domain) Portrait of James Madison. (9) (Credit: Public Domain) 2. (9) Madison was Princeton University’s first graduate student. (9) In 1769, an 18-year-old Madison left his family’s Montpelier plantation to attend the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). (9) He proceeded to blaze through the four-year course in only two years, often sleeping just four hours a night to make time for reading law and Greek and Roman philosophy. (9) Though a natural scholar, Madison was still unsure of what career path to take after graduating, so he remained at Princeton for another year and studied Hebrew and other subjects under the direction of the school’s president, John Witherspoon. (9) While Madison wasn’t awarded an advanced degree, the University now considers him its original graduate student. (9) 3. (9) He once lost an election because he didn’t give alcohol to voters. (9) Following a stint in the Virginia Convention in 1776, a young James Madison lost a 1777 bid for election to the state’s House of Delegates. (9) He would later write that the defeat was the result of his refusal to provide free liquor to the voters on Election Day, a common custom then known as “swilling the planters with bumbo.” The future president believed that bribing electors with booze was contrary to republican principles, but one of his opponents—who also happened to be a tavern keeper—simply “adhered to the old practice” and raked in the votes. (9) Despite the setback, Madison was soon chosen for an open seat on Virginia’s Council of State. (9) By 1780, the 29-year-old was serving as the youngest delegate to the Continental Congress. (9) Patrick Henry4. (9) Madison had a longstanding rivalry with Patrick Henry. (9) Madison’s friendship with Thomas Jefferson is considered one of the most fruitful political partnerships in American history, but he also had a lengthy and often bitter rivalry with the famed “Give me liberty, or give me death” orator Patrick Henry. (9) The two clashed over the separation of church and state while serving in the Virginia House of Delegates, and Henry later became one of the most outspoken leaders of the Anti-Federalist faction that opposed Madison’s efforts to ratify the Constitution. (9) During Virginia’s ratifying convention, the pair engaged in a now-famous debate, with Henry saying the Constitution “endangered the public liberty” and Madison countering that Henry’s arguments were “ill founded” and distorted “the natural construction of language.” Madison and his supporters eventually won the day—Virginia voted to ratify the Constitution by a margin of 89 to 79—but the bad blood remained. (9) Henry blocked Madison’s appointment to the U.S. (9) Senate in 1788, and was later accused of gerrymandering Virginia’s voting districts in a failed attempt to prevent Madison from winning a seat in the House of Representatives. (9) 5. (9) He was initially opposed to the Bill of Rights. (9) While Madison drafted the Bill of Rights and introduced it to Congress in 1789, he originally thought the amendments were unnecessary and potentially harmful. (9) Like many Federalists, he believed the Constitution’s separation of powers already adequately protected personal freedoms, and he worried that any rights not explicitly enshrined in a “parchment barrier” would be easily infringed. (9) Madison only changed his mind after concluding that the lack of a Bill of Rights would be a major stumbling block in winning over his opponents and getting the Constitution ratified. (9) He also came to believe that the amendments might ingrain certain freedoms into the national consciousness and “be a good ground for an appeal” whenever the government overstepped its bounds. (9) Though still lukewarm on the need for a Bill of Rights—he privately described it as a “nauseous project”—Madison eventually took the lead in shepherding it through the legislative process. (9) Portrait of Dolley Madison. (9) (Credit: Public Domain) Portrait of Dolley Madison. (9) (Credit: Public Domain) 6. (9) Dolley Madison helped define the role of first lady. (9) In contrast to Madison’s quiet and retiring personality, his wife Dolley was a social butterfly known for her exuberance, warmth and wit. (9) When Madison began his first term as president in 1809, she embraced the role of first lady and helped define its duties by redecorating the White House and hosting the first ever Inaugural Ball. (9) By serving as the “directress” of an orphanage for young girls, she also started the tradition of first ladies taking on a public outreach project. (9) Dolley proved particularly effective in her job as the White House hostess. (9) Her weekly receptions became a hot ticket among foreign dignitaries, intellectuals and politicians, leading writer Washington Irving to remark on the “blazing splendor of Mrs. (9) Madison’s drawing room.” 7. (9) Both of Madison’s vice presidents died in office. (9) Despite his lifelong struggles with his health, Madison proved to be more resilient than his vice presidents. (9) His original VP George Clinton died in 1812, and Clinton’s successor Elbridge Gerry later suffered a fatal hemorrhage in 1814, just a year and a half after taking office. (9) Having lost two vice presidents in less than three years, Madison finished his second term without a recognized number two. (9) View of the White House after the conflagration in August 24, 1814. (9) (Credit: Heritage Images/Getty Images) View of the White House after the conflagration in August 24, 1814. (9) (Credit: Heritage Images/Getty Images) 8. (9) He was one of the only presidents to accompany troops into battle. (9) Other than Abraham Lincoln, who was present at the Battle of Fort Stevens during the Civil War, Madison is the only sitting commander-in-chief to be directly involved in a military engagement. (9) When British forces marched on Washington, D.C. (9) during the War of 1812, the bookish president borrowed a pair of dueling pistols from his treasury secretary and set off for the American lines to help rally his troops. (9) He and his entourage nearly blundered into British forces upon arriving, and they soon heard the whistle of enemy Congreve rockets overhead, prompting Madison to tell his cabinet secretaries that it “would be proper to withdraw to a position in the rear.” After American militiamen were put to a rout, Madison joined his troops in fleeing the city, leaving the victorious British free to torch the White House and U.S. (9) Capitol. (9) Madison was able to return to Washington a few days later, but damage to the executive mansion forced him to take up residence in the city’s Octagon House. (9) 9. (9) One of Madison’s slaves wrote the first White House memoir. (9) One of the most interesting accounts of Madison’s life came courtesy of Paul Jennings, a black slave who was born into bondage on his Montpelier plantation. (9) Jennings accompanied the newly elected President to the White House as a boy, and eventually spent nearly three decades serving as Madison’s footman and manservant before purchasing his freedom in 1847. (9) He later recounted his experiences in 1865’s “A Colored Man’s Reminiscences of James Madison,” a short book now considered the first memoir of life in the White House. (9) Along with a look at Madison, whom Jennings describes as a temperate man who “always dressed wholly in black” and never owned more than one suit, the memoir also includes a firsthand account of the evacuation of the White House during the War of 1812, during which Dolley Madison oversaw the rescue of a famous portrait of George Washington. (9) constitution-signing10. (9) He declined an offer to prolong his life until July 4. (9) After leaving the presidency, Madison returned to his Montpelier plantation and spent his later years farming and serving as the second rector of his friend Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia. (9) When the 85-year-old was later on his deathbed in the summer of 1836, his doctor suggested that he take stimulants to keep him alive until July 4, the same historic date that Jefferson, John Adams and James Monroe had all perished. (9) Madison turned down the offer, however, and instead died on June 28—six days before the 60th anniversary of the nation’s birth. (9) At the time, he was the last surviving signer of the Constitution. (9)

 

The fourth U.S. (10) president, James Madison believed in a robust yet balanced federal government and is known as the “Father of the Constitution.” IN THESE GROUPS FAMOUS PEOPLE IN U.S. (10) POLITICS FAMOUS GOVERNMENT FAMOUS PEOPLE NAMED JAMES FOUNDING FATHERS Show All Groups 1 of 13« » QUOTES “The advice nearest to my heart and deepest in my convictions is that the Union of the States be cherished and perpetuated.” —James Madison Synopsis Born on March 16, 1751, in Port Conway, Virginia, James Madison wrote the first drafts of the U.S. (10) Constitution, co-wrote the Federalist Papers and sponsored the Bill of Rights. (10) He established the Democrat-Republican Party with President Thomas Jefferson, and became president himself in 1808. (10) Madison initiated the War of 1812, and served two terms in the White House with first lady Dolley Madison. (10) He died on June 28, 1836, at the Montpelier estate in Orange County, Virginia. (10) Early Life One of America’s Founding Fathers, James Madison helped build the U.S. (10) Constitution in the late 1700s. (10) He also created the foundation for the Bill of Rights, acted as President Thomas Jefferson’s secretary of state, and served two terms as president himself. (10) Born in 1751, Madison grew up in Orange County, Virginia. (10) He was the oldest of 12 children, seven of whom lived to adulthood. (10) His father, James, was a successful planter and owned more than 3,000 acres of land and dozens of slaves. (10) He was also an influential figure in county affairs. (10) In 1762, Madison was sent to a boarding school run by Donald Robertson in King and Queen County, Virginia. (10) He returned to his father’s estate in Orange County, Virginia—called Montpelier—five years later. (10) His father had him stay home and receive private tutoring because he was concerned about Madison’s health. (10) He would experience bouts of ill health throughout his life. (10) After two years, Madison finally went to college in 1769, enrolling at the College of New Jersey—now known as Princeton University. (10) There, Madison studied Latin, Greek, science and philosophy among other subjects. (10) Graduating in 1771, he stayed on a while longer to continue his studies with the school’s president, Reverend John Witherspoon. (10) Revolutionary Times Returning to Virginia in 1772, Madison soon found himself caught up in the tensions between the colonists and the British authorities. (10) He was elected to the Orange County Committee of Safety in December of 1774, and joined the Virginia militia as a colonel the following year. (10) Writing to college friend William Bradford, Madison sensed that “There is something at hand that shall greatly augment the history of the world.” The learned Madison was more of a writer than a fighter, though. (10) And he put his talents to good use in 1776 at the Virginia Convention, as Orange County’s representative. (10) Around that time, he met Thomas Jefferson, and the pair soon began what would become a lifelong friendship. (10) When Madison received an appointment to serve on the committee in charge of writing Virginia’s constitution, he worked with George Mason on the draft. (10) One of his special contributions was reworking some of the language about religious freedom. (10) In 1777, Madison lost his bid for a seat in the Virginia Assembly, but he was later appointed to the Governor’s Council. (10) He was a strong supporter of the American-French alliance during the revolution, and solely handled much of the council’s correspondence with France. (10) In 1780, he went to Philadelphia to serve as one of Virginia’s delegates to Continental Congress. (10) In 1783, Madison returned to Virginia and the state legislature. (10) There, he became a champion for the separation of church and state and helped get Virginia’s Statute of Religious Freedom, a revised version of a document penned by Jefferson in 1777, passed in 1786. (10) The following year, Madison tackled an even more challenging government composition—the U.S. (10) Constitution. (10) Father of the Constitution In 1787, Madison represented Virginia at the Constitution Convention. (10) He was a federalist at heart, thus campaigned for a strong central government. (10) In the Virginia Plan, he expressed his ideas about forming a three-part federal government, consisting of executive, legislative and judicial branches. (10) He thought it was important for this new structure to have a system of checks and balances, in order to prevent the abuse of power by any one group. (10) While many of Madison’s ideas were included in the Constitution, the document itself faced some opposition in his native Virginia and other colonies. (10) He then joined Alexander Hamilton and John Jay in a special effort to get the Constitution ratified, and the three men wrote a series of persuasive letters that were published in New York newspapers, collectively known as The Federalist papers. (10) Back in Virginia, Madison managed to outmaneuver such Constitution opponents as Patrick Henry to secure the document’s ratification. (10) Congressman and Statesman In 1789, Madison won a seat in the U.S. (10) House of Representatives, a legislative body that he had helped envision. (10) He became an instrumental force behind the Bill of Rights, submitting his suggested amendments to the Constitution to Congress in June 1789. (10) Madison wanted to ensure that Americans had freedom of speech, were protected against “unreasonable searches and seizures” and received “a speedy and public trial” if faced with charges, among other recommendations. (10) A revised version of his proposal was adopted that September, following much debate. (10) While initially a supporter of President George Washington and his administration, Madison soon found himself at odds with Washington over financial issues. (10) He objected to the policies of Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton, believing that these plans lined the pockets of wealthy northerners, and was detrimental to others. (10) He and Jefferson campaigned against the creation of a central federal bank, calling it unconstitutional. (10) Still, the measure was passed by 1791. (10) Around this time, the longtime friends abandoned the Federalist Party and created their political entity, the Democratic-Republican Party. (10) Eventually tiring of the political battles, Madison returned to Virginia in 1797 with his wife Dolley. (10) The couple had met in Philadelphia in 1794, and married that same year. (10) She had a son named Payne from her first marriage, who Madison raised as his own, and the couple retired to Montpelier. (10) (Madison would officially inherit the estate after his father’s death in 1801.) But Madison didn’t stay out of government for long. (10) In 1801, Madison joined the administration of his longtime friend, Thomas Jefferson, serving as President Jefferson’s secretary of state. (10) He supported Jefferson’s efforts in expanding the nation’s borders with the Louisiana Purchase, and the explorations of these new lands by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. (10) One of Madison’s greatest challenges played out on the high seas, with U.S. (10) ships coming under attack. (10) Great Britain and France were at war again, and American vessels were caught in the middle. (10) Warships from both sides routinely stopped and seized American ships to prevent Americans from trading with the enemy. (10) And the American crewmembers were forced into service for these feuding foreign powers. (10) After diplomatic efforts failed, Madison campaigned for the Embargo Act of 1807, which prohibited American vessels from traveling to foreign ports and halted exports from the United States. (10) Hugely unpopular, this measure proved to be an economic disaster for American merchants. (10) American President Running on the Democratic-Republican ticket, Madison won the 1808 presidential election by a wide margin. (10) He defeated Federalist Charles C. (10) Pinckney and Independent Republican George Clinton, securing nearly 70 percent of the electoral votes. (10) It was a remarkable victory, considering the poor public opinion of the Embargo Act of 1807. (10) One challenge of Madison’s first term was growing tensions between the United States and Great Britain. (10) There had already been issues between the two countries over the seizure of American ships and crews. (10) The Embargo Act was repealed in 1809, and a new act reduced the trade embargo down to two countries: Great Britain and France. (10) This new law, known as the Non-Intercourse Act, did nothing to improve the situation. (10) American merchants disregarded the act and traded with these nations anyway. (10) As a result, American ships and crews were still preyed upon. (10) In Congress, a group of vocal politicians started to call for a war against the British. (10) These men, sometimes known as “War Hawks,” included Henry Clay of Kentucky and John Calhoun of South Carolina. (10) While Madison worried that the nation couldn’t effectively fight a war with Great Britain, he understood that many American citizens would not stand for these continued assaults on American ships much longer. (10) The United States declared war on Britain in June of 1812. (10) While his own party supported this move, Madison faced opposition from the Federalists, who nicknamed the conflict “Mr. (10) Madison’s War.” In the early days of the war, it was apparent that the U.S. (10) Navy was outmatched by British forces. (10) Madison still managed to win the presidential election a few months later, beating out New York City Mayor DeWitt Clinton. (10) The War of 1812, as it is now known, dragged on into Madison’s second term. (10) The conflict took a dark turn in 1814, when British forces invaded Maryland. (10) As they made their way to Washington, Madison and his government had to flee the capital. (10) British soldiers burned many official buildings once they reached Washington that August. (10) The White House and the Capitol building were among the structures destroyed. (10) The following month, U.S. (10) troops were able to stop another British invasion in the North. (10) And Andrew Jackson, though his soldiers were outnumbered, achieved an impressive victory over the British in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. (10) Both sides agreed to end the conflict later that year, with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent. (10) Final Years Leaving office in 1817, Madison and Dolley retired once again to Montpelier. (10) Madison kept himself busy by running the plantation and serving on a special board to create the University of Virginia, with the help of Thomas Jefferson. (10) The school opened in 1825, with Jefferson as its rector. (10) The following year, after Jefferson’s death, Madison assumed leadership of the university. (10) In 1829, Madison briefly returned to public life, serving as a delegate to the state’s Constitutional Convention. (10) He was also active in the American Colonization Society, which he had co-founded in 1816 with Robert Finley, Andrew Jackson and James Monroe. (10) This organization aimed to return freed slaves to Africa. (10) In 1833, Madison became the society’s president. (10) Madison died on June 28, 1836, at the Montpelier estate. (10) After his death, his 1834 message, “Advice to My Country,” was released. (10) He had specifically requested that the note not be made public until after his passing. (10) In part of his final political comment, he wrote: “The advice nearest to my heart and deepest in my convictions is that the Union of the States be cherished and perpetuated. (10) 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.” Regarded as a small, quiet intellectual, Madison used the depth and breadth of his knowledge to create a new type of government. (10) His ideas and thoughts shaped a nation, and established the rights that Americans still enjoy today. (10)

 

Bibliography

 

  1. https://millercenter.org/president/madison
  2. http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/james-madison
  3. Wikipedia – summary of main article on Madison
  4. https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/presidents/jamesmadison
  5. http://www.ducksters.com/biography/uspresidents/jamesmadison.php
  6. http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/james-madison-jr-1742.php
  7. https://www.thoughtco.com/g00/things-to-know-about-james-madison-104743?i10c.referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.co.uk%2F
  8. http://www.notablebiographies.com/Lo-Ma/Madison-James.html
  9. http://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-james-madison
  10. https://www.biography.com/people/james-madison-9394965

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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