JAMES MADISON JR. (March 16 , 1751 – June 28, 1836) was an American
statesman and Founding Father who served as the fourth President of
United States from 1809 to 1817. He is hailed as the "Father of
the Constitution" for his pivotal role in drafting and promoting the
Constitution and the Bill of Rights .
Madison inherited his plantation Montpelier in
Virginia and therewith
owned hundreds of slaves during his lifetime. 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 . After
the Convention, he became one of the leaders in the movement to ratify
the Constitution, both in
Virginia and nationally. His collaboration
Alexander Hamilton and
John Jay produced
The Federalist Papers
The Federalist Papers ,
among the most important treatises in support of the Constitution.
Madison's political views changed throughout his life. 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.
In 1789, Madison became a leader in the new House of Representatives
, drafting many general laws. 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. Breaking with
Hamilton and the
Federalist Party in 1791, he and Thomas Jefferson
Democratic-Republican Party . In response to the Alien
and Sedition Acts , Jefferson and Madison drafted the Kentucky and
Virginia Resolutions , arguing that states can nullify
As Jefferson's Secretary of State (1801–1809), Madison supervised
Louisiana Purchase , which doubled the nation's size. Madison
succeeded Jefferson as president in 1809, was re-elected in 1812, and
presided over renewed prosperity for several years. After the failure
of diplomatic protests and a trade embargo against the United Kingdom
, he led the U.S. into the
War of 1812
War of 1812 . The war was an administrative
morass, as the
United States had neither a strong army nor financial
system. As a result, Madison afterward supported a stronger national
government and military, as well as the national bank , which he had
long opposed. Madison has been ranked in the aggregate by historians
as the ninth most successful president.
* 1 Early life and education
* 1.1 Religion
* 2 Military service and early political career
* 3 Father of the
The Federalist Papers
The Federalist Papers and ratification debates
* 5 Member of Congress
* 5.1 Father of the Bill of Rights
* 5.2 Debates on foreign policy
* 5.3 Founding the Democratic-Republican party
* 6 Marriage and family
United States Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State 1801–1809
* 7.1 Election of 1808
* 8 Presidency 1809–1817
* 8.1 Bank of the
* 8.2 Prelude to war
War of 1812
War of 1812
* 8.4 Military action
* 8.5 Postwar economy and internal improvements
* 8.6 Indian policy
* 9 Later life
* 10 Legacy
* 11 See also
* 12 References
* 13 Sources
* 14 Further reading
* 14.1 Biographies
* 14.2 Analytic studies
* 14.3 Historiography
* 14.4 Primary sources
* 15 External links
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
James Madison, Jr., was born on March 16, 1751, (March 5, 1751, Old
Julian calendar ) at Belle Grove Plantation near Port Conway,
Virginia , to father
James Madison, Sr. , and mother Nelly Conway
Madison . He grew up as the oldest of twelve children, with seven
brothers and four sisters. Three of James Jr.'s brothers died as
infants, including one who was stillborn . In the summer of 1775, his
sister Elizabeth (age 7) and his brother Reuben (age 3) died from a
dysentery epidemic that swept through Orange County because of
contaminated water. His father,
James Madison, Sr. (1723–1801), was
a tobacco planter who grew up on a plantation, then called Mount
Pleasant , which he had inherited upon reaching adulthood. He later
acquired more property and slaves, and with 5,000 acres (2,000 ha), he
became the largest landowner and a leading citizen in the Piedmont.
James Jr.'s mother,
Nelly Conway Madison (1731–1829), was born at
Port Conway, the daughter of a prominent planter and tobacco merchant.
In these years, the southern colonies were becoming a slave society,
in which slave labor powered the economy and slaveholders formed the
From age 11 to 16, young "Jemmy" Madison was sent to study under
Donald Robertson, an instructor at the Innes Plantation in King and
Virginia , in the Tidewater region. Robertson was a
Scottish teacher who tutored a number of prominent plantation families
in the South. From Robertson, Madison learned mathematics, geography,
and modern and classical languages—he became especially proficient
in Latin. He attributed his instinct for learning "largely to that man
At age 16, he returned to Montpelier , where he began a two-year
course of study under the Reverend Thomas Martin in preparation for
college. Unlike most college-bound Virginians of his day, Madison did
not attend the
College of William and Mary
College of William and Mary , where the lowland
Williamsburg climate—more susceptible to infectious disease—might
have strained his delicate health. Instead, in 1769, he enrolled at
the College of New Jersey, now
Princeton University , where he became
roommates and close friends with poet
Philip Freneau . Madison
proposed in vain to Freneau's sister Mary. Madison at Princeton
University. Portrait by
James Sharples .
Through diligence and long hours of study that may have compromised
his health, Madison graduated in 1771. His studies included Latin ,
Greek , science , geography , mathematics , rhetoric , and philosophy
. Great emphasis was placed on speech and debate also; Madison helped
found the American Whig Society , in direct competition to fellow
Aaron Burr 's Cliosophic Society. After graduation, Madison
remained at Princeton to study Hebrew , in which he became quite
fluent , and political philosophy under the university president, John
Witherspoon , before returning to Montpelier in the spring of 1772.
Madison studied law from his interest in public policy rather than the
intent to practice law.
Although educated by Presbyterian clergymen, young Madison was an
avid reader of English deist tracts. As an adult, Madison paid little
attention to religious matters. Though most historians have found
little indication of his religious leanings after he left college,
some scholars indicate he leaned toward deism . Others maintain that
Madison accepted Christian tenets and formed his outlook on life with
a Christian world view.
MILITARY SERVICE AND EARLY POLITICAL CAREER
After graduation from Princeton, Madison became interested in the
relationship between the American colonies and Great Britain, which
deteriorated over the issue of British taxation. In 1774, Madison took
a seat on the local Committee of Safety, a patriot pro-revolution
group that oversaw the local militia. This was the first step in a
life of public service that his family's wealth facilitated. In
October 1775, at the start of the
American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War , he was
commissioned as the colonel of the Orange County militia, serving as
his father's second-in-command until his election as a delegate to the
Virginia Convention , which produced Virginia's first
constitution . Congressman Madison, age 32 by Charles Willson
Virginia constitutional convention, Madison supported the
Virginia Declaration of Rights , though he argued that it should
contain stronger protections for freedom of religion . He had earlier
witnessed the persecution of Baptist preachers in Virginia, who were
arrested for preaching without a license from the established Anglican
Church . He collaborated with the Baptist preacher
Elijah Craig to
promote constitutional guarantees for religious liberty in Virginia.
Thomas Jefferson , who became a mentor to Madison, drafted
Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom , which was finally passed
Madison served on the
Virginia governor's Council of State from 1777
to 1779, at which point he was elected to the Congress of the
Confederation . The country faced a difficult war against Great
Britain , as well as runaway inflation , financial troubles, and lack
of cooperation between the different levels of government. Madison
worked to make himself an expert on financial issues, becoming deeply
involved in congressional committees, becoming a legislative workhorse
and a master of parliamentary coalition building. Frustrated by the
failure of the states to supply needed requisitions, Madison proposed
a standing army, a permanent navy, and the ability of Congress to
compel states to meet their war-time obligations. Madison also
Virginia to give up its claims to northwestern
territories—consisting of most of modern-day
Ohio and points
west—to the Continental Congress. After serving Congress from 1781
to 1783, Madison won election to the
Virginia House of Delegates in
Madison served in the
Virginia House of Delegates from 1784 to 1786.
During these years in the House of Delegates, Madison grew
increasingly frustrated with what he saw as excessive democracy. He
criticized the tendency for delegates to cater to the particular
interests of their constituents, even if such interests were
destructive to the state at large. In particular, he was troubled by a
law that denied diplomatic immunity to ambassadors from other
countries, and a law that legalized paper money. He thought
legislators should be "disinterested" and act in the interests of
their state at large, even if this contradicted the wishes of
constituents. Madison believed this "excessive democracy" was the
cause of a larger social decay which he and others (such as
Washington) thought had resumed after the revolution and was nearing a
tipping point—Shays\' Rebellion was an example.
FATHER OF THE CONSTITUTION
Philadelphia Convention Page one of the original
of the U.S.
Articles of Confederation established the
United States as an
association of sovereign states with a weak central government. This
arrangement was met with disapproval, and was mostly unsuccessful
after the war. Congress had no power to tax, and was unable to pay
debts from the Revolution, which concerned Madison and other
nationalists, such as Washington and
Alexander Hamilton , who feared
national bankruptcy and disunion. The historian
Gordon S. Wood has
noted that many leaders, including Madison and Washington, feared more
that the revolution had not fixed the social problems that had
triggered it and that the excesses ascribed to the King were being
seen in the state legislatures. Shays\' Rebellion is often cited as
the event that forced the issue; Wood argues that many at the time saw
it as only the most extreme example of democratic excess.
As Madison wrote, "a crisis had arrived which was to decide whether
the American experiment was to be a blessing to the world, or to blast
for ever the hopes which the republican cause had inspired." Madison
initially hoped to amend the Articles of Confederation, and at the
1786 Annapolis Convention , he supported the calling of another
convention to consider amending the Articles. After winning election
to another term in the Congress of the Confederation, Madison helped
convince the other Congressmen to authorize the Philadelphia
convention for the purposes of proposing new amendments. But Madison
had come to believe that the ineffectual Articles had to be superseded
by a new constitution, and he began preparing for a convention that
would do more than merely propose amendments. Madison was pivotal in
persuading Washington to attend the 1787 convention—he knew how
instrumental the general would be to the adoption of a new
Years earlier Madison had pored over crates of books that Jefferson
sent him from
France on various forms of government. The historian
Douglas Adair called Madison's work "probably the most fruitful piece
of scholarly research ever carried out by an American." As a quorum
was being reached for the convention to begin, the 36-year-old Madison
wrote what became known as the
Virginia Plan , an outline for a new
constitution. Many delegates were surprised to learn that the plan
called for the abrogation of the Articles and the creation of a new
constitution, to be ratified by special conventions in each state
rather than the state legislatures. Nonetheless, with the assent of
prominent attendees such as Washington and
Benjamin Franklin , the
delegates went into a secret session to consider the creation of a new
constitution. Though the
Virginia Plan was an outline rather than a
draft of a possible constitution, and though it was extensively
changed during the debate (especially by
John Rutledge and James
Wilson in the
Committee of Detail ), its use at the convention led
many to call Madison the "Father of the Constitution".
During the course of the Convention, Madison spoke over two hundred
times, and his fellow delegates rated him highly. William Pierce wrote
that "... every Person seems to acknowledge his greatness. In the
management of every great question he evidently took the lead in the
Convention ... he always comes forward as the best informed Man of any
point in debate." Madison recorded the unofficial minutes of the
convention, and these have become the only comprehensive record of
what occurred. The historian
Clinton Rossiter regarded Madison's
performance as "a combination of learning, experience, purpose, and
imagination that not even Adams or Jefferson could have equaled."
Gordon Wood argues Madison's frustrating experience in the Virginia
legislature years earlier most shaped his constitutional views. Wood
notes that the governmental structure in both the
Virginia Plan and
the final constitution were not innovative, since they were copied
from the British government, had been used in the states since 1776,
and numerous authors had already argued for their adoption at the
national level. The controversial elements in the
Virginia Plan were
removed, and the rest was commonly accepted as necessary for a
functional government (state or national) for decades, hence Madison's
contribution was considered more qualitative. Wood argues that, like
most national politicians of the late 1780s, Madison believed that the
problem was less with the
Articles of Confederation than with the
nature of the state legislatures. He believed the solution was to
restrain the excesses of the states. This required more than an
alteration in the Articles of Confederation; it required a change in
the character of the national compact. The ultimate question before
the convention, Wood notes, was not how to design a government but
whether the states should remain sovereign, whether sovereignty should
be transferred to the national government, or whether the constitution
should settle somewhere in between.
Those, like Madison, who thought democracy in the state legislatures
was excessive and insufficiently "disinterested", wanted sovereignty
transferred to the national government, while those (like Patrick
Henry ) who did not think this a problem, wanted to fix the Articles
of Confederation. Madison was among the few delegates who wanted to
deprive the states of sovereignty completely, which he considered the
only solution to the problem. Though sharing the same goal as Madison,
most other delegates reacted strongly against such an extreme change
to the status quo. Though Madison lost most of his battles over how to
Virginia Plan (most importantly over the exclusion of the
Council of Revision ), in the process he increasingly shifted the
debate away from a position of pure state sovereignty. Since most
disagreements over what to include in the constitution were ultimately
disputes over the balance of sovereignty between the states and
national government, Madison's influence was critical. Wood notes that
Madison's ultimate contribution was not in designing any particular
constitutional framework, but in shifting the debate toward a
compromise of "shared sovereignty" between the national and state
THE FEDERALIST PAPERS AND RATIFICATION DEBATES
The Federalist Papers
The Federalist Papers
Following the Constitutional Convention, there ensued an intense
battle over the Constitution\'s ratification . Each state was
requested to hold a special convention to deliberate and determine
whether or not to ratify the Constitution. Madison returned to New
York, where the Confederation Congress was in session. There he was
approached by Alexander Hamilton, who asked him to help write The
Federalist Papers, a series of 85 newspaper articles published in New
York that explained and defended the proposed Constitution. Under the
pseudonym Publius, Hamilton, Madison, and
John Jay wrote 85 essays in
the span of six months, with Madison writing 29 of the essays. The
articles were also published in book form and became a virtual
debater's handbook for the supporters of the
Constitution in the
ratifying conventions. Historian
Clinton Rossiter called The
Federalist Papers "the most important work in political science that
ever has been written, or is likely ever to be written, in the United
Federalist No. 10 , Madison's first contribution the papers,
became highly regarded in the 20th century for its advocacy for
representative democracy .
Consensus held that if Virginia, the most populous state at the time,
did not ratify the Constitution, the new national government would not
likely succeed. When the
Virginia Ratifying Convention began on June
2, 1788, the
Constitution had not yet been ratified by the required
nine states. New York, the second largest state and a bastion of
anti-federalism, would likely not ratify it without Virginia, and
Virginia's exclusion from the new government would disqualify
George Washington from being the first president. Virginia
delegates believed that Washington's election as the first president
was a condition for their acceptance of the new constitution and the
new government. Arguably the most prominent anti-federalist, the
Patrick Henry was a delegate and had a following
second only to Washington (who was not a delegate). Most delegates
believed that Virginians mainly opposed the constitution. Initially
Madison did not want to stand for election to the
convention, but was persuaded to do so because the situation looked so
bad. His role at the convention was likely critical to Virginia's
ratification, and thus to the success of the constitution generally.
Although Henry was by far the more powerful and dramatic speaker,
Madison successfully matched him. Madison's expertise on the subject
he had long argued for allowed him to respond with rational arguments
to Henry's emotional appeals. Madison persuaded prominent figures
Edmund Randolph , who had refused to endorse the constitution
at the convention, to change their position and support it at the
ratifying convention. Randolph's switch likely changed the votes of
several more anti-federalists. When the vote was nearing, and the
constitution appeared headed for defeat, Madison pleaded with a small
group of anti-federalists, and promised them that, if they changed
their votes, he would later push for a bill of rights to provide
limits to the power of the new government.
A resolution was proposed that a declaration of rights be referred to
the other States in the American Confederation for their consideration
prior to ratification of the constitution. Supported by George Mason
Patrick Henry but opposed by Madison,
Henry Lee III
Henry Lee III (Light-Horse
Harry Lee) ,
John Marshall , Randolph, and
Bushrod Washington , the
resolution failed, 88–80. Lee, Madison, Marshall, Randolph, and
Washington then voted in favor of a resolution to ratify the
constitution, which the convention approved on June 28, 1789 by a vote
of 89–79, with Mason and Henry voting in the minority.
Addressing slavery in the Constitution, Madison set out with a view
African American slaves as an "unfortunate race" and believed
their true nature was both human and property. On February 12, 1788,
Madison, in the Federalist Letter No. 54 , stated that the
Constitutional three-fifths compromise clause was the best alternative
for the slaves' current condition and for determining representation
of citizens in Congress. Madison believed that slaves, as property,
would be protected by both their masters and the government.
Madison was called the "Father of the Constitution" by his peers in
his lifetime. However, he was modest, and he protested the title as
being "a credit to which I have no claim. ... The
not, like the fabled Goddess of Wisdom, the offspring of a single
brain. It ought to be regarded as the work of many heads and many
hands". He wrote Hamilton at the New York ratifying convention,
stating his opinion that "ratification was in toto and 'for ever'".
MEMBER OF CONGRESS
Virginia ratified the constitution, Madison returned to New
York to resume his duties in the Congress of the Confederation. At the
request of Washington, Madison sought a seat in the United States
Senate , but his election was blocked by Patrick Henry. Madison then
decided to run for a seat in the
United States House of
Representatives . At Henry's behest, the
Virginia legislature created
congressional districts designed to deny Madison a seat, and Henry
recruited a strong challenger to Madison in
James Monroe . Locked in a
difficult race against Monroe, Madison promised to support a series of
constitutional amendments to protect individual liberties. Madison's
promise paid off, as he won election to Congress with 57% of the vote.
He would continue to serve in the House until 1797, when Madison
briefly left public office to preside over his plantation. Early in
his tenure, Madison became an ally of President Washington, who looked
to Madison as the person who best understood the constitution.
FATHER OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS
United States Bill of Rights
Though the idea for a bill of rights had been suggested at the end of
the constitutional convention, the delegates wanted to go home and
thought the proposal unnecessary. The omission of a bill of rights
became the main argument of the anti-federalists against the
constitution. Though no state conditioned ratification of the
constitution on a bill of rights, several states came close, and the
issue almost prevented the constitution from being ratified. Some
anti-federalists continued to contest this after the constitution was
ratified and threatened the entire nation with another, more partisan,
constitutional convention. Madison objected to a specific bill of
rights for several reasons: he thought it was unnecessary, since it
purported to protect against powers that the federal government had
not been granted; he also considered the enumeration of some rights
might be taken to imply the absence of other rights; and that at the
state level, bills of rights had proven to be useless paper barriers
against government powers.
Though few in the new congress wanted to debate a possible Bill of
Rights (for the next century, most thought that the Declaration of
Independence , not the first ten constitutional amendments,
constituted the true Bill of Rights), Madison pressed the issue.
Congress was busy setting up the new government, most wanted to wait
for the system to show its defects before amending the constitution,
and the anti-federalist movements (which had demanded a new
convention) had died out quickly once the constitution was ratified.
Despite this, Madison still feared that the states would compel
congress to call for a new constitutional convention, which they had
the right to do. He also believed that the constitution did not
sufficiently protect the national government from excessive democracy
and parochialism (the defects he saw in the state governments), so he
saw the amendments as mitigation of these problems. On June 8, 1789,
Madison introduced his bill proposing amendments consisting of Nine
Articles comprising up to 20 potential amendments. Madison initially
proposed that the amendments be incorporated into the body of the
Constitution. The House passed most of the amendments, but rejected
the idea of placing them in the body of the Constitution. Instead, it
adopted 17 amendments to be attached separately and sent this bill to
Madison was a staunch proponent of the right of Americans to a civil
jury trial . He initially introduced an amendment to the U.S.
Constitution that guaranteed all citizens the right to a jury trial in
all civil cases where there was $20 or more at stake. While the
original amendment failed, the guaranty of a civil jury trial was
incorporated into the Bill of Rights as the Seventh Amendment to the
Constitution . In June 1789, urging adoption of the
right to civil jury trials, he explained, "Trial by jury in civil
cases is as essential to secure the liberty of the people as any one
of the pre-existent rights of nature."
The Senate edited the amendments still further, making 26 changes of
its own, and condensing their number to twelve. Madison's proposal to
apply parts of the Bill of Rights to the states as well as the federal
government was eliminated, as was his final proposed change to the
preamble. A House–Senate Conference Committee then convened to
resolve the numerous differences between the two Bill of Rights
proposals. On September 24, 1789, the committee issued its report,
which finalized 12 Constitutional Amendments for the House and Senate
to consider. This version was approved by joint resolution of Congress
on September 25, 1789.
Articles Three through Twelve were ratified as additions to the
Constitution December 15, 1791, and became the Bill of Rights.
Article Two became part of the
Constitution in 1992 as the
Twenty-seventh Amendment . Article One is technically still pending
before the states.
DEBATES ON FOREIGN POLICY
When Britain and
France went to war in 1793, the U.S. was caught in
the middle. The 1778 treaty of alliance with
France was still in
effect, yet most of the new country's trade was with Britain. War with
Britain became imminent in 1794, after the British seized hundreds of
American ships that were trading with French colonies. Madison
believed that the
United States was stronger than Britain, and that a
trade war with Britain, although risking a real war by that
government, would probably succeed, and allow Americans to assert
their independence fully. Great Britain, he charged, "has bound us in
commercial manacles, and very nearly defeated the object of our
independence." According to Varg, Madison discounted the more powerful
British military when the latter declared "her interests can be
wounded almost mortally, while ours are invulnerable." The British
West Indies, Madison maintained, could not live without American
foodstuffs, but Americans could easily do without British
manufactures. He concluded, "it is in our power, in a very short time,
to supply all the tonnage necessary for our own commerce". Washington
avoided a trade war and instead secured friendly trade relations with
Britain through the
Jay Treaty of 1794. Madison's harsh and
unsuccessful opposition to the treaty led to a permanent break with
Washington, ending a long friendship. The debate over the Jay Treaty
would serve as the catalyst for the creation of the country's first
FOUNDING THE DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN PARTY
Supporters for ratification of the
Constitution became known as the
Federalist Party . Those in opposition were labeled Anti-Federalists ,
but neither group was a political party in the modern sense. Following
ratification and formation of the first government in 1789, two new
political factions formed along similar lines as the old division. The
Alexander Hamilton 's attempts to strengthen the
national government called themselves Federalists, while those who
opposed Hamilton called themselves "Republicans" (later historians
would refer to them as the
Democratic-Republican Party ). Madison and
other Republican Party organizers, who favored states\' rights and
local control, were struggling to find an institutional solution to
the Constitution's seeming inability to prevent concentration of power
in an administrative republic . As first Secretary of the Treasury,
Hamilton created many new federal institutions, including the Bank of
United States . Madison led the unsuccessful attempt in Congress
to block Hamilton's proposal, arguing that the new
not explicitly allow the federal government to form a bank. As early
as May 26, 1792, Hamilton complained, "Mr. Madison cooperating with
Mr. Jefferson is at the head of a faction decidedly hostile to me and
my administration." As Hamilton's influence in the administration
grew, Madison and Jefferson increasingly came to fear the possible
restoration of a monarchy, and they worked together to build an
opposition to Hamilton's policies. By the end of Washington's term,
most Congressmen identified as either Democratic-Republicans or
Washington and Hamilton both left the government after 1797, but
Madison and Jefferson remained in opposition during the Federalist
John Adams . In 1798, the U.S. and
became combatants in the
Quasi War , that involved naval warships and
commercial vessels battling in the Caribbean. The Federalists created
a standing army and passed the
Alien and Sedition Acts , which were
directed at French refugees engaged in American politics and against
Republican editors. In response, Madison and Jefferson secretly
Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions declaring the enactments
to be unconstitutional and noted that "states, in contesting obnoxious
laws, should 'interpose for arresting the progress of the evil.'" The
resolutions were largely unpopular, even among republicans, since they
called for state governments to invalidate federal laws. Jefferson
went further, urging states to secede if necessary, though Madison
convinced Jefferson to relent this extreme view.
According to Chernow, Madison's position "was a breathtaking
evolution for a man who had pleaded at the Constitutional Convention
that the federal government should possess a veto over state laws."
Chernow argues that Madison's politics remained closely aligned with
Jefferson's until his experience as president with a weak national
government during the
War of 1812
War of 1812 caused Madison to appreciate the
need for a strong central government to aid national defense. At the
time, he began to support a national bank, a stronger navy, and a
Booknotes interview with Lance Banning on The Sacred Fire of
James Madison and the Founding of the Federal Republic,
February 11, 1996,
Gordon S. Wood says that Lance Banning, as in his
Sacred Fire of Liberty (1995), is the "only present-day scholar to
maintain that Madison did not change his views in the 1790s." In
claiming this, Banning downplays Madison's nationalism in the 1780s.
Wood notes that many historians struggle to understand Madison, but
Wood looks at him in the terms of Madison's own times—as a
nationalist but one with a different conception of nationalism from
that of the Federalists. He wanted to avoid a European-style
government and always thought that the embargo would ultimately have
been successful. Thus, Wood assesses Madison from a different point
of view. Gary Rosen and Banning use other approaches to suggest
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
Montpelier , Madison's tobacco plantation in
Madison was married for the first time at the age of 43; on September
James Madison married
Dolley Payne Todd , a 26-year-old
widow, at Harewood , in what is now Jefferson County, West
Madison had no children but adopted Todd's one surviving son, John
Payne Todd (known as Payne), after the marriage.
Dolley Payne was born May 20, 1768, at the New Garden Quaker
settlement in North Carolina, where her parents, John Payne and Mary
Coles Payne, lived briefly. Dolley's sister, Lucy Payne , had recently
George Steptoe Washington , a nephew of President Washington.
As a member of Congress, Madison had doubtless met the widow Todd at
social functions in Philadelphia, then the nation's capital. She had
been living there with her late husband. In May 1794, Madison asked
their mutual friend
Aaron Burr to arrange a meeting. By August, she
had accepted his proposal of marriage. For marrying Madison, a
non-Quaker, she was expelled from the Society of Friends . Also in
1794 Madison was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and
Dolley Madison put her social gifts to use when the couple lived in
Washington, beginning when he was Secretary of State. With the White
House still under construction, she advised as to its furnishings and
sometimes served as First Lady for ceremonial functions for President
Thomas Jefferson, a widower and friend. When her husband was
president, she created the role of First Lady, using her social
talents to advance his program. She is credited with adding to his
popularity in office.
Madison's father died in 1801 and at age 50, Madison inherited the
large plantation of Montpelier and other holdings, and his father's
108 slaves. He had begun to act as a steward of his father's
properties by 1780.
UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE 1801–1809
Louisiana Purchase and
Embargo Act of 1807
Embargo Act of 1807
The original treaty of the
Jefferson defeated Adams in the 1800 presidential election .
Jefferson wanted to oversee his administration 's foreign policy, and
he selected the loyal Madison for the position of Secretary of State
despite the latter's lack of foreign policy experience. Along with
Secretary of the Treasury
Albert Gallatin , Madison became of the two
major influences in Jefferson's cabinet. At the start of his term,
Madison was a party to the
United States Supreme Court case Marbury v.
Madison (1803), in which the doctrine of judicial review was asserted
by the high Court, much to the annoyance of the Jeffersonians who did
not want a powerful federalist judiciary. Throughout Jefferson's
presidency, much of Europe was at war, and the main challenge to the
Jefferson administration was maintaining neutrality during the
Napoleonic Wars .
Shortly before Jefferson's election,
Napoleon seized power from the
French Directory , which had recently mismanaged France's
finances in unsuccessful wars and had lost control of Saint-Domingue
(Haiti) after a slave rebellion. Beginning in 1802,
Napoleon sent more
than 20,000 troops in an attempt to restore slavery on the island, as
its colonial sugar cane plantations had been the chief revenue
France in the New World. The warfare went badly and the
troops were further decimated by yellow fever .
Napoleon gave up on
the restoration of a colonial empire in the Americas and offered to
sell the Louisiana territory to the
United States in 1803. Later that
year, the remaining 7,000 French troops were withdrawn from the
island, and in 1804
Haiti declared its independence as the second
republic in the western hemisphere.
Jefferson had originally sent delegates to
France to negotiate the
New Orleans , but upon learning of Napoleon's offer to sell
the entire Louisiana territory, Jefferson quickly agreed to it,
resulting in the
Louisiana Purchase . Many contemporaries and later
historians, such as
Ron Chernow , noted that Madison and President
Jefferson ignored their "strict construction" of the
take advantage of the purchase opportunity. Jefferson would have
preferred a constitutional amendment authorizing the purchase, but did
not have time nor was he required to do so. The Senate quickly
ratified the treaty providing for the purchase. The House, with equal
alacrity, passed enabling legislation. The Jefferson administration
argued that the purchase had included
West Florida , but France
refused to acknowledge this and Florida remained under the control of
With the wars raging in Europe, Madison tried to maintain American
neutrality, and insisted on the legal rights of the U.S. as a neutral
party under international law. Neither London nor Paris showed much
respect, however, and the situation deteriorated during Jefferson's
second term. After
Napoleon achieved victory at over his enemies in
continental Europe at the
Battle of Austerlitz
Battle of Austerlitz , he became more
aggressive and tried to starve Britain into submission with an embargo
that was economically ruinous to both sides. Madison and Jefferson
also decided on an embargo to punish Britain and France, forbidding
American trade with any foreign nation. The embargo failed in the
United States just as it did in France, and caused massive hardships
up and down the seaboard, which depended on foreign trade. The
Federalists made a comeback in the Northeast by attacking the embargo,
which was allowed to expire just as Jefferson was leaving office.
ELECTION OF 1808
United States presidential election, 1808
With Jefferson's retirement imminent as his second term came to a
close, Madison became his party's choice for president in 1808. He was
opposed by Rep. John Randolph , who had broken earlier with Jefferson
and Madison. The Republican Party Congressional caucus chose the
candidate and easily selected Madison over James Monroe. As the
Federalist Party by this time had largely collapsed outside New
England, Madison easily defeated Federalist Charles Cotesworth
Pinckney . At a height of only five feet, four inches (163 cm), and
never weighing more than 100 pounds, he became the most diminutive
Presidency of James Madison James Madison
David Edwin from between 1809 and 1817
Upon his inauguration in 1809, Madison immediately faced opposition
to his planned nomination of Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin
as Secretary of State, led by Sen.
William B. Giles . Madison chose
not to fight Congress for the nomination but kept Gallatin, a carry
over from the Jefferson administration, in the Treasury Department.
The talented Swiss-born Gallatin was Madison's primary advisor,
confidant, and policy planner. Madison appointed Robert Smith for
Secretary of State, Jefferson's former Secretary of the Navy. For his
Secretary of the Navy, Madison appointed Paul Hamilton . Madison's
cabinet, which included men of unremarkable talent, was chosen for the
purposes of national interest and political harmony. When Madison
assumed office in 1809, the federal government had a surplus of
$9,500,000; by 1810 the national debt had been reduced, and taxes cut.
BANK OF THE UNITED STATES
Madison sought to continue Jefferson's agenda—particularly
dismantling the system left behind by the
Federalist Party under
Washington and Adams. One of the most pressing issues Madison
confronted was the first Bank of the
United States . Its twenty-year
charter was scheduled to expire in 1811, and while Gallatin insisted
that the bank was a necessity, Congress failed to re-authorize it. As
the absence of a national bank made war with Britain very difficult to
finance, Congress passed a bill in 1814 chartering a second national
bank. Madison vetoed it. In 1816, Congress passed another bill to
charter a second national bank; Madison signed the act.
PRELUDE TO WAR
Congress had repealed the embargo right before Madison became
president, but troubles with the British and French continued.
America's new "nonintercourse" policy was to trade with all countries
France and Britain if restrictions on shipping were removed.
Although initially promising, Madison's diplomatic efforts to get the
British to withdraw the Orders in Council were rejected by British
George Canning in April 1809. Aside from U.S. trade
with France, the central dispute between the
Great Britain and the
United States was the impressment of sailors by the British. During
the long and expensive war against France, many British citizens were
forced by their own government to join the navy, and many of these
conscripts defected to U.S. merchant ships. Unable to tolerate this
loss of manpower, the British seized several U.S. ships and forced
captured crewmen, some of whom were not in fact not British subjects,
to serve in the British navy. This impressment contributed greatly to
growing anger towards the British in the United States.
By August 1809, diplomatic relations with Britain deteriorated as
minister David Erskine was withdrawn and replaced by "hatchet man"
Francis James Jackson . Madison however, resisted calls for war, as
he was ideologically opposed to the debt and taxes necessary for a war
effort. British historian Paul Langford sees the removal in 1809 of
Erskine as a major British blunder: The British ambassador in
Washington brought affairs almost to an accommodation, and was
ultimately disappointed not by American intransigence but by one of
the outstanding diplomatic blunders made by a Foreign Secretary. It
was Canning who, in his most irresponsible manner and apparently out
of sheer dislike of everything American, recalled the ambassador
Erskine and wrecked the negotiations, a piece of most gratuitous
folly. As a result, the possibility of a new embarrassment for
Napoleon turned into the certainty of a much more serious one for his
enemy. Though the British cabinet eventually made the necessary
concessions on the score of the Orders-in-Council , in response to the
pressures of industrial lobbying at home, its action came too late….
The loss of the North American markets could have been a decisive
blow. As it was by the time the
United States declared war, the
Continental System was beginning to crack, and the danger
correspondingly diminishing. Even so, the war, inconclusive though it
proved in a military sense, was an irksome and expensive embarrassment
which British statesman could have done much more to avert.
After Jackson accused Madison of duplicity with Erskine, Madison had
Jackson barred from the State Department and sent packing to Boston.
During his first
State of the Union Address in November 1809, Madison
asked Congress for advice and alternatives concerning the
British-American trade crisis, and warned of the possibility of war.
By spring 1810, Madison was specifically asking Congress for more
appropriations to increase the Army and Navy in preparation for war
with Britain. Together with the effects of European peace, the United
States economy began to recover early in Madison's presidency. By the
time Madison was standing for reelection, the
Peninsular War in Spain
had spread, while at the same time
Napoleon invaded Russia , and the
entire European continent was once again embroiled in war.
By 1809 the
Federalist Party was no longer competitive outside a few
strongholds. Some former members (such as
John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams ,
Madison's ambassador to Russia) had joined Madison's Republican Party.
Though one party appeared to dominate, it had begun to split into
rival factions, which would later form the basis of the Second Party
System . In particular, with hostilities against Britain appearing
increasingly likely, factions favoring and opposing a war formed in
Congress. The predominant faction, the "War Hawks," were led by House
Henry Clay . When war finally did break out, the war effort
was led by the War Hawks in Congress under Clay at least as much as it
was by Madison; this accorded with the president's preference for
checks and balances.
WAR OF 1812
War of 1812
War of 1812 Commodore
Oliver Hazard Perry
Oliver Hazard Perry defeats
British Navy at the
Battle of Lake Erie in 1813.
With continued attacks by the British on American shipping, both
Madison and the broader American public were ready for war with
Britain. Many Americans called for a "second war of independence" to
restore honor and stature to the new nation. With Britain in the
midst of the Napoleonic Wars, many Americans, Madison included,
believed that the
United States could easily capture
Canada , at which
point the U.S. could use
Canada as a bargaining chip for all other
disputes or simply retain control of it. An angry public elected a
"war hawk" Congress, led by Clay and
John C. Calhoun . On June 1,
1812, Madison asked Congress for a declaration of war. The
declaration was passed along sectional and party lines, with intense
opposition from the Federalists and the Northeast, where the economy
had suffered during Jefferson's trade embargo.
Madison hurriedly called on Congress to put the country "into an
armor and an attitude demanded by the crisis," specifically
recommending enlarging the army, preparing the militia, finishing the
military academy, stockpiling munitions, and expanding the navy.
Madison faced formidable obstacles—a divided cabinet, a factious
party, a recalcitrant Congress, obstructionist governors, and
incompetent generals, together with militia who refused to fight
outside their states. The most serious problem facing the war effort
was lack of unified popular support. There were serious threats of
disunion from New England, which engaged in extensive smuggling with
Canada and refused to provide financial support or soldiers. Events
in Europe also went against the United States. Shortly after the
United States declared war,
Napoleon launched an invasion of Russia ,
and the failure of that campaign turned the tide against French and
towards Britain and her allies. In the years prior to the war,
Jefferson and Madison had reduced the size of the military, closed the
Bank of the U.S., and narrowed lowered taxes. These decisions added to
the challenges facing the United States, as by the time the war began,
Madison's military force consisted mostly of poorly trained militia
Constitution defeats HMS Guerriere , a significant
event during the war.
Madison hoped that the war would be over in a couple months after the
capture of Canada, but his hopes were quickly dashed. Madison had
believed the state militias would rally to the flag and invade Canada,
but the governors in the Northeast failed to cooperate. Their militias
either sat out the war or refused to leave their respective states for
action. The senior command at the War Department and in the field
proved incompetent or cowardly—the general at Detroit surrendered to
a smaller British force without firing a shot. Gallatin discovered the
war was almost impossible to fund, since the national bank had been
closed and major financiers in the Northeast refused to help. The
American campaign in Canada, led by
Henry Dearborn , ended with defeat
Battle of Stoney Creek . The British armed American Indians in
the Northwest, most notably several tribes allied with the Shawnee
Tecumseh . But, after losing control of Lake Erie at the naval
Battle of Lake Erie in 1813, the British were forced to retreat.
William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison caught up with them at the Battle of
the Thames , where he destroyed the British and Indian armies, killed
Tecumseh, and permanently destroyed Indian power in the Great Lakes
region. Madison remains the only president to lead troops in battle
while in office, although that battle (the
Battle of Bladensburg
Battle of Bladensburg in
1814) did not go well for the American side. The British then raided
Washington, as Madison headed a dispirited militia. Dolley Madison
rescued White House valuables and documents shortly before the British
burned the White House, the Capitol and other public buildings.
After the disastrous start to the War of 1812, Madison accepted a
Russian invitation to arbitrate the war and sent Gallatin, John Quincy
Adams, and James Bayard to Europe in hopes of quickly ending the war.
While Madison worked to end the war, the U.S. experienced some
military success, particularly at sea. The U.S. naval squadron on Lake
Erie successfully defended itself and captured its opponents of the
Royal Navy. All six British vessels were captured by the American
forces. This victory crippled the supply and reinforcement of British
military forces in the western theatre of the war, which forced the
British troops and their Native allies to retreat. Commander Oliver
Hazard Perry reported his victory with the simple statement, "We have
met the enemy, and they are ours." America had built up one of the
largest merchant fleets in the world, though it had been partially
dismantled under Jefferson and Madison. Madison authorized many of
these ships to become privateers in the war. Armed, they captured
1,800 British ships. As part of the war effort, an American naval
shipyard was built up at
Sackets Harbor, New York , where thousands of
men produced twelve warships and had another nearly ready by the end
of the war. By 1814, generals
Andrew Jackson and William Henry
Harrison had destroyed the main Indian threats in the South and West,
respectively. In late 1814, Madison and his Secretary of War James
Monroe unsuccessfully asked Congress to establish a national draft of
40,000 men. The unfinished
United States Capitol was set ablaze
by the British on August 24, 1814.
The courageous, successful defense of
Ft. McHenry , which guarded the
Baltimore , against one of the most intense naval
bombardments in history (over 24 hours), led
Francis Scott Key to
write the poem that was set to music as the U.S. national anthem, "The
Star Spangled Banner ." U.S. victory at the Battle of Plattsburgh
ended British hopes of conquering New York. In New Orleans, Gen.
Andrew Jackson put together a force including regular Army troops,
militia, frontiersmen, Creoles, Native American allies and Jean
Lafitte 's pirates. The Battle of
New Orleans took place two weeks
after peace treaty was drafted (but before it was ratified, so the war
was not over). The American defenders repulsed the British invasion
army in the most decisive victory of the war. The Treaty of Ghent
ended the war in February 1815, with no territorial gains on either
side. The Americans felt that their national honor had been restored
in what has been called "the Second War of American Independence." On
March 3, 1815, the U.S. Congress authorized deployment of naval power
against Algiers, and two squadrons were assembled and readied for war;
Second Barbary War would mark the beginning of the end for piracy
in that region.
To most Americans, the quick succession of events at the end of the
war (the burning of the capital, the Battle of New Orleans, and the
Treaty of Ghent) appeared as though American valor at
New Orleans had
forced the British to surrender after almost winning. This view, while
inaccurate, strongly contributed to the post-war euphoria that
persisted for a decade. It also helps explain the significance of the
war, even if it was strategically inconclusive.
Napoleon was defeated
for the last time at the
Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo near the end of Madison's
presidency, and as the
Napoleonic Wars ended, so did the War of 1812.
Madison's final years began an unprecedented period of peace and
prosperity, which was called the
Era of Good Feelings
Era of Good Feelings . Madison's
reputation as president improved and Americans finally believed the
United States had established itself as a world power.
POSTWAR ECONOMY AND INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS
With peace established, Americans believed they had an emboldened
independence from Britain. The Federalist Party, which had called for
secession over the war at the
Hartford Convention , dissolved. With
Europe finally at peace, the
Era of Good Feelings
Era of Good Feelings described the
prosperity and equable political environment. Some political
contention continued; for instance, in 1816, two-thirds of the
incumbents in Congress were defeated for re-election after voting to
increase their salary. Madison approved a Hamiltonian national bank,
an effective taxation system based on tariffs, a standing professional
military, and the internal improvements championed by
Henry Clay under
his American System . In 1816, pensions were extended to orphans and
widows from the
War of 1812
War of 1812 for a period of 5 years at the rate of
However, in his last act before leaving office, Madison vetoed the
Bonus Bill of 1817 , which would have financed more internal
improvements of roads, bridges, and canals: "Having considered the
bill this day presented to me ... I am constrained by the insuperable
difficulty I feel in reconciling this bill with the
the United States.... The legislative powers vested in Congress are
specified and enumerated in ... the Constitution, and it does not
appear that the power proposed to be exercised by the bill is among
the enumerated powers." Madison rejected the view of Congress that
the General Welfare provision of the Taxing and Spending Clause
justified the bill: "Such a view of the
Constitution would have the
effect of giving to Congress a general power of legislation instead of
the defined and limited one hitherto understood to belong to them, the
terms 'common defense and general welfare' embracing every object and
act within the purview of a legislative trust." Madison urged a
variety of measures that he felt were "best executed under the
national authority," including federal support for roads and canals
that would "bind more closely together the various parts of our
Creek men being taught how to use a plow by
Benjamin Hawkins in
Upon assuming office on March 4, 1809, in his first Inaugural Address
to the nation, Madison stated that the federal government's duty was
to convert the American Indians by the "participation of the
improvements of which the human mind and manners are susceptible in a
civilized state". Like Jefferson, Madison had a paternalistic
attitude toward American Indians, encouraging the men to give up
hunting and become farmers. Although there are scant details, Madison
often met with Southeastern and Western Indians who included the Creek
and Osage . Madison believed their adoption of European-style
agriculture would help the Creek assimilate the values of
British-American civilization. As pioneers and settlers moved West
into large tracts of
Choctaw , Creek , and Chickasaw
territory, Madison ordered the US Army to protect Native lands from
intrusion by settlers, to the chagrin of his military commander Andrew
Jackson . Jackson wanted the President to ignore Indian pleas to stop
the invasion of their lands and resisted carrying out the president's
order. In the Northwest Territory after the
Battle of Tippecanoe in
1811, Indians were pushed off their tribal lands and replaced entirely
by white settlers. By 1815, with a population of 400,000
European-American settlers in Ohio, Indian rights to their lands had
effectively become null and void .
James Madison c. 1821,
When Madison left office in 1817 at age 65, he retired to Montpelier
, his tobacco plantation in Orange County,
Virginia , not far from
Monticello . Dolley, who thought they would finally have a
chance to travel to Paris, was 49. As with both Washington and
Jefferson, Madison left the presidency a poorer man than when elected.
His plantation experienced a steady financial collapse, due to the
continued price declines in tobacco and also due to his stepson's
Insight into Madison is provided by the first "White House memoir, A
Colored Man's Reminiscences of
James Madison (1865), authored by his
former slave Paul Jennings , who from the age of 10 served the
president as a footman, and later as a valet for the rest of Madison's
life. After Madison's death, Jennings was purchased in 1845 from
Dolley Madison by senator
Daniel Webster , who enabled him to work off
the cost and gain his freedom. Jennings published his short account in
1865. He had the highest respect for Madison and said he never struck
a slave, nor permitted an overseer to do so. Jennings said that if a
slave misbehaved, Madison would meet with the person privately to
discuss the behavior.
Some historians speculate that Madison's mounting debt was one of the
reasons he refused to allow his notes on the Constitutional
Convention, or its official records in his possession, to be published
in his lifetime. "He knew the value of his notes, and wanted them to
bring money to his estate for Dolley's use as his plantation
failed—he was hoping for one hundred thousand dollars from the sale
of his papers, of which the notes were the gem." Madison's financial
troubles weighed on him as deteriorating mental and physical health
In his later years, Madison became highly concerned about his
historic legacy. He resorted to modifying letters and other documents
in his possession, changing days and dates, adding and deleting words
and sentences, and shifting characters. By the time he had reached his
late seventies, this "straightening out" had become almost an
obsession. As an example, he edited a letter written to Jefferson
criticizing Lafayette—Madison not only inked out original passages,
but even forged Jefferson's handwriting as well. Historian Drew R.
McCoy has said, "During the final six years of his life, amid a sea of
personal troubles that were threatening to engulf him...At times
mental agitation issued in physical collapse. For the better part of a
year in 1831 and 1832 he was bedridden, if not silenced... Literally
sick with anxiety, he began to despair of his ability to make himself
understood by his fellow citizens."
In 1826, after the death of Jefferson, Madison was appointed as the
second Rector ("President") of the University of
Virginia . He
retained the position as college chancellor for ten years until his
death in 1836. Portrait of Madison, age 82,
In 1829, at the age of 78, Madison was chosen as a representative to
Virginia Constitutional Convention for revision of the
commonwealth's constitution. It was his last appearance as a
statesman. The issue of greatest importance at this convention was
apportionment . The western districts of
Virginia complained that they
were underrepresented because the state constitution apportioned
voting districts by county. The increased population in the Piedmont
and western parts of the state were not proportionately represented by
delegates in the legislature. Western reformers also wanted to extend
suffrage to all white men, in place of the prevailing property
ownership requirement. Madison tried in vain to effect a compromise.
Eventually, suffrage rights were extended to renters as well as
landowners, but the eastern planters refused to adopt citizen
population apportionment. They added slaves held as property to the
population count, to maintain a permanent majority in both houses of
the legislature, arguing that there must be a balance between
population and property represented. Madison was disappointed at the
failure of Virginians to resolve the issue more equitably.
Madison was also concerned about the continuation of slavery in
Virginia and the South. He believed that transportation of free
American blacks to Africa offered a solution, as promoted by the
American Colonization Society (ACS). He told Lafayette at the time of
the convention that colonization would create a "rapid erasure of the
blot on our Republican character." The British sociologist Harriet
Martineau visited with Madison during her tour of the
United States in
1834. She characterized his belief in the colonization solution to
slavery as "bizarre and incongruous." Madison may have sold or
donated his gristmill in support of the ACS. Historian McCoy believes
that "The Convention of 1829... pushed Madison steadily to the brink
of self-delusion, if not despair. The dilemma of slavery undid him."
Like most African Americans of the time, Madison's slaves wanted to
remain in the U.S. where they had been born, believed their work
earned them citizenship, and resisted "repatriation".
William R. Denslow supposedly found evidence that
James Madison might
have been a Mason, when in 1795,
John Francis Mercer is said to have
written to Madison, "I have had no opportunity of congratulating you
before on your becoming a free Mason—a very ancient "> Madison's
Despite failing health, Madison wrote several memoranda on political
subjects, including an essay against the appointment of chaplains for
Congress and the armed forces. He felt it would produce religious
exclusion as well as political disharmony. He was tempted to admit
chaplains for the navy, as sailors might otherwise have no opportunity
Between 1834 and 1835, he sold 25% of his slaves to offset financial
losses on his plantation. Madison lived to a year later, increasingly
disregarded by the next generation of the American polity.
Madison died of heart failure at Montpelier on June 28. 1836. He was
buried in the Madison Family Cemetery at Montpelier, which is
maintained to this day.
Dolley Madison sold the Montpelier mansion, and in 1844 sold
the extensive plantation lands to Henry W. Moncure. She leased half
of the remaining slaves to Moncure. The other half were inherited by
her, her son
John Payne Todd , and James Madison, Jr., a nephew. By
1850, the Montpelier plantation was a "ghost of its former self".
List of memorials to James Madison
Garry Wills wrote, "Madison's claim on our admiration
does not rest on a perfect consistency, any more than it rests on his
presidency. He has other virtues. ... As a framer and defender of the
Constitution he had no peer. ... The finest part of Madison's
performance as president was his concern for the preserving of the
Constitution. ... No man could do everything for the country—not
even Washington. Madison did more than most, and did some things
better than any. That was quite enough."
George F. Will wrote that if we truly believed that the pen is
mightier than the sword, our nation's capital would have been called
"Madison, D.C.", instead of Washington, D.C.
The Federalist Papers
The Federalist Papers , in
Federalist No. 51 , wrote, "It
is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society
against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the
society against the injustice of the other part... In a society under
the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress
the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of
nature, where the weaker individual is not secured against the
violence of the stronger."
In 1986, Congress created the
James Madison Memorial Fellowship
Foundation as part of the bicentennial celebration of the
Constitution. The Foundation offers $24,000 graduate level fellowships
to secondary teachers to undertake a master's degree which emphasizes
the study of the Constitution.
Montpelier , his family's plantation and his home in Orange,
Virginia, has been designated a
National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark .
James Madison Memorial Building is a building of the United
Library of Congress
Library of Congress in
Washington, DC and serves as the
official memorial to Madison.
Madison is also a character depicted in 2015 musical Hamilton ,
originated by actor
Okieriete Onaodowan both off- and on-Broadway;
Madison is portrayed as an ally to
Thomas Jefferson and adversary to
Alexander Hamilton in the second act of the show.
James Madison was honored on a Postage Issue of 1894
James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., established in 1908
Presidential Dollar of
"Madison Cottage" on the site of the Fifth Avenue Hotel at Madison
Square , New York City, 1852
Auction of books of James Madison's library, Orange County,
Virginia , 1854
* Book: Presidents of the
United States (1789–1860)
* Biography portal
* Government of the
United States portal
Report of 1800 , produced by Madison to support the Virginia
US Presidents on US postage stamps
* List of Presidents of the
* List of Presidents of the
United States who owned slaves
* List of Presidents of the United States, sortable by previous
* ^ Kane, Joseph; et al. (2001). Facts About the Presidents. H.W.
Wilson. p. 590. CS1 maint: Explicit use of et al. (link )
* ^ Ketcham 1990 , p. 12
* ^ Ketcham 1990 , p. 62.
* ^ Ketcham 1990 , p. 5.
* ^ Kolchin, Peter (1993). American Slavery, 1619–1877. Whill and
Wang. p. 28.
* ^ Boyd-Rush, Dorothy. "Molding a founding father". Montpelier.
Retrieved March 25, 2013.
* ^ "The Life of James Madison". The Montpelier Foundation.
Retrieved February 14, 2017.
* ^ Mills, W. Jay (2002). "Historic Houses of New Jersey". GET NJ.
Retrieved February 14, 2017.
* ^ Brennan, Daniel. "Did
James Madison suffer a nervous collapse
due to the intensity of his studies?". Princeton University, Mudd
Manuscript Library Blog. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
* ^ Ketcham 1990 , p. 56.
* ^ Hoffer, Peter Charles (2006). "The Brave New World: A History
of Early America". Johns Hopkins Univ. Press. p. 363. ISBN
9780801884832 . Retrieved February 14, 2017.
* ^ James H. Hutson (2003). Forgotten Features of the Founding: The
Recovery of Religious Themes in the Early American Republic. Lexington
Books. p. 156. ISBN 9780739105702 .
* ^ Miroff, Bruce; et al. (2011). "Debating Democracy: A Reader in
American Politics". Cengage Learning. p. 149. ISBN 9780495913474 .
Retrieved February 14, 2017.
* ^ Corbett, Michael (2013). "Politics and Religion in the United
States". Routledge. p. 78. ISBN 9781135579753 . Retrieved February 14,
* ^ Ketcham 1990 , p. 47.
* ^ A B Stagg, J.A. (ed.). "James Madison: Life Before the
Presidency". Univ. of
Virginia Miller Center. Retrieved February 14,
* ^ Wills 2002 , p. 12-13
* ^ Wills 2002 , p. 17-18
* ^ Ketcham 1990 , p. 57.
* ^ Wills 2002 , p. 17-19.
* ^ Wills 2002 , p. 19-24
* ^ A B C Wood 2011 , p. 104
* ^ Bernstein 1987 , pp. 11–12, 81–109.
* ^ Rutland 1987 , p. 14.
* ^ Wills 2002 , pp. 24-26.
* ^ Wills 2002 , pp. 26–27.
* ^ Rutland 1987 , pp. 14–21.
* ^ Wills 2002 , pp. 25-27.
* ^ Stewart 2007 , p. 181.
* ^ Rutland 1987 , p. 18.
* ^ A B C D Wood 2011 , p. 183.
* ^ Stewart 2007 , p. 182.
* ^ Bernstein 1987 , p. 199.
* ^ Wills 2002 , p. 29-30.
* ^ Rossiter, Clinton, ed. (1961). The Federalist Papers. Penguin
Putnam, Inc. pp. ix, xiii.
* ^ Wills 2002 , p. 31-35.
* ^ A B C Labunski 2006 , p. 82.
* ^ Wills 2002 , p. 35-37.
* ^ Labunski 2006 , p. 135.
* ^ A B C Grigsby, Hugh Blair (1890). Brock, R.A., ed. The History
Virginia Federal Convention of 1788. 1.
Society . pp. 344–46.
* ^ A B C Wills, Gary, ed. (1982).
The Federalist Papers
The Federalist Papers By
Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. Bantom Books. pp.
* ^ Banning, Lance. "James Madison: Federalist". Library of
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* Banning, Lance (1995). Jefferson & Madison: Three Conversations
from the Founding. Madison House.
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of the Constitution. Harvard Univ. Press.
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James Madison and the Struggle for the
Bill of Rights. Oxford Univ. Press.
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the Republican Legacy. Cambridge University Press.
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James Madison and the
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Macmillan Publishing Co. ISBN 978-0-02-927601-3 .
* Rutland, Robert A. (1990). The Presidency of James Madison. Univ.
Press of Kansas. ISBN 978-0700604654 . scholarly overview of his two
* Rutland, Robert A., ed. (1994).
James Madison and the American
Nation, 1751–1836: An Encyclopedia. Simon & Schuster.
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the Constitution. Simon and Schuster.
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0-8050-6905-4 . Short bio.
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Birth of the United States. The Penguin Press.
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Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented
the Government. Simon and Schuster.
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James Madison and American Nationalism. Van
Nostrand Co. short survey with primary sources
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"Designing checks and balances". Quarterly Journal of Political
Science . Now Publishing Inc. 9 (1): 45–86. doi
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and Republicans. Univ. of Chicago Press.
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Public Opinion". Political Research Quarterly. 62: 431–44.
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States during the Administrations of James Madison. Library of
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Madison's Bill of Rights and the Supreme Court's Interpretation.
Northern Illinois University Press.
* Kernell, Samuel, ed. (2003). James Madison: the Theory and
Practice of Republican Government. Stanford Univ. Press.
* Kester, Scott J. (2008). The Haunted Philosophe: James Madison,
Republicanism, and Slavery. Lexington Books.
* McCoy, Drew R. (1980). The Elusive Republic: Political Economy in
Jeffersonian America. W.W. Norton.
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Principle of Religious Liberty". American Political
Science Review. 97
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Wilson and Jefferson. Univ. Press of Virginia.
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Science Quarterly. 69 (1): 45–64.
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Constitution. Congressional Quarterly.
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Religious Influence on the Ratification of the
Constitution and on the
Proposal of the Bill of Rights". Penn State
Law Review. 113 (3):
* Sheehan, Colleen A. (October 1992). "The Politics of Public
Opinion: James Madison's 'Notes on Government". William and Mary
Quarterly. 49 (3).
* Sheehan, Colleen (October 2002). "Madison and the French
Enlightenment". William and Mary Quarterly. 59 (4): 925–56.
* Sheehan, Colleen (August 2004). "Madison v. Hamilton: The Battle
Republicanism and the Role of Public Opinion". American Political
Science Review. 98 (3): 405–24.
* Sheehan, Colleen (2015). The Mind of James Madison: The Legacy of
Classical Republicanism. Cambridge Univ. Press.
* Sheehan, Colleen (Winter 2005). "Public Opinion and the Formation
of Civic Character in Madison's Republican Theory". Review of
Politics. 67 (1): 37–48.
* Sorenson, Leonard R. (1995). Madison on the General Welfare of
America: His Consistent Constitutional Vision. Rowman & Littlefield
* Stagg, John C. A. (October 1976). "
James Madison and the
Malcontents: The Political Origins of the War of 1812". William and
Mary Quarterly. 33 (4): 557–85.
* Stagg, John C. A. (January 1981). "
James Madison and the Coercion
of Great Britain: Canada, the West Indies, and the War of 1812".
William and Mary Quarterly. 38 (1): 3–34.
* Vile, John R.; Pederson, William D.; Williams, Frank J., eds.
(2008). James Madison: Philosopher, Founder, and Statesman.
* Weiner, Greg. (2012). Madison's Metronome: The Constitution,
Majority Rule, and the Tempo of American Politics. Univ. Press of
* White, Leonard D. (1967). The Jeffersonians: A Study in
Administrative History, 1801–1829. Macmillan.
* Will, George F. (January 23, 2008). "Alumni who changed America,
and the world: #1 –
James Madison 1771". Princeton Alumni Weekly.
* Wills, Garry (2005). Henry Adams and the Making of America.
* Woodward, C. Vann, ed. (1974). Responses of the Presidents to
Charges of Misconduct. Dell Publishing.
* Leibiger, Stuart, ed. (2013). A Companion to
James Madison and
James Monroe. John Wiley and Sons.
* Wood, Gordon S. (2006). Is There a '
James Madison Problem'?.
* Madison, James (1962). Hutchinson, William T., ed. The Papers of
James Madison (30 volumes published and more planned ed.). Univ. of
Chicago Press. ; The main scholarly edition
* "Founders Online," searchable edition
* Madison, James (1865). Letters & Other Writings Of James Madison
Fourth President Of The
United States (called the Congress edition
ed.). J.B. Lippincott & Co.
* Madison, James (1900–1910). Hunt, Gaillard, ed. The Writings of
James Madison. G. P. Putnam's Sons.
* Madison, James (1982). Cooke, Jacob E., ed. The Federalist.
Wesleyan Univ. Press.
* Madison, James (1987). Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention
of 1787 Reported by James Madison. W.W. Norton.
* Madison, James (1995). Myers, Marvin, ed. Mind of the Founder:
Sources of the Political Thought of James Madison. Univ. Press of New
* Madison, James (1995). Smith, James M., ed. The Republic of
Letters: The Correspondence Between
Thomas Jefferson and James
Madison, 1776–1826. W.W. Norton.
* Madison, James (1999). Rakove, Jack N., ed. James Madison,
Library of America .
* Richardson, James D., ed. (1897). A Compilation of the Messages
and Papers of the Presidents, vol. xix. reprints his major messages
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