James Madison Biography

James Madison Biography

Length: 979 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Like his close friend Thomas Jefferson, James Madison came from a prosperous family of Virginia planters, received an excellent education, and studied law "though only informally" and quickly found himself drawn into the debates over independence. 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. The youngest member of the Continental Congress, Madison was of smaller than average height for a Virginian of the period; reports have him standing either five feet four or five feet six inches tall. His soft-spoken, shy demeanor was a foil for his brilliant persistence in advocating his political agenda. Madison emerged as a respected leader of the Congress, known for his hard work and careful preparation. Believing that the Articles of Confederation rendered the new Republic subject to foreign attack and domestic turmoil, James Madison helped set the wheels in motion for a national convention to draft the young nation's constitution. Madison led the Virginia delegation to the Philadelphia meeting, which began on May 14, 1787, and supported the cry for General Washington to chair the meeting. Madison's Virginia Plan became the blueprint for the Constitution that finally emerged, later earning him the revered title "Father of the Constitution." Having fathered the document, Madison worked hard to ensure its ratification. Along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, he published the Federalist Papers, a series of articles arguing for a strong central government subject to an extensive system of checks and balances. Elected to the House of Representatives in 1789, Madison served as Washington's chief supporter. In this capacity, he introduced the Bill of Rights, a constitutional guarantee of civil liberties, thereby fulfilling a promise to the Virginia Ratifying Convention of 1788. As Washington continued to move closer to Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton's Federalist vision of a strong central government that would promote commercial and financial interests over agrarian interests, Madison broke with Washington, joining Jefferson to form the opposition party, the Democratic-Republicans. During John Adams's presidency, Madison led the Republican fight against the Alien and Sedition Acts, which attempted to quell Republican opposition to Federalist foreign policy toward France. He authored the Virginia Resolution, which declared the laws unconstitutional. Under Thomas Jefferson, Madison served as secretary of state, supporting the Louisiana Purchase and the embargo against Britain and France.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"James Madison Biography." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Nov 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=157161>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Biography of James Madison: The Father of the Constitution Essay

- ... John's Episcopal Church in the duration of his presidency. In 1784, he battled Patrick Henry because he was trying to tax the citizen to support the Christian religion. Madison was dedicated to separating Church and state and he selected some documents that supports Virginia’s devotion to religious freedom. During this time, he had become acquaintances with Thomas Jefferson. Two years later, he was appointed to the Virginia Council of State. This only further secured the bond between Madison and Jefferson,who was the governor of Virginia at the time during the war....   [tags: wealth, society, president]

Research Papers
977 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on The Creation of the American Republicn - James Madison

- The Creation of the American Republicn - James Madison James Madison prided himself on his knowledge from books and theories. Madison was born into a class of Virginia planters. His father was the wealthiest landowner in Virginia and it was known that Madison would lead a financially secure life. This factor helped him in his pursuit of education. He gained opportunities to go to elite schools because of his status. Madison was ambitious and he graduated from the College of New Jersey a year early....   [tags: James Madisom Biography US History]

Research Papers
1175 words (3.4 pages)

James Madison Essay

- The Founding Brother: James Madison The American Revolution emerge, and new ideas and changes were made from the Founding Brothers. The Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation...were all made and edit from the Founding Brothers. One of the Founding Brothers, did not experience the American revolution. James Madison, a federalist who was a republican-democratic had many goals he wanted to achieved. He looked back and was able to see what aspects of were done wrong and try to renew them for the future of the United States....   [tags: Biography]

Research Papers
1501 words (4.3 pages)

James Madison Essay

- James Madison, the 4th president of the United States, born March 16, 1751. Despite serving as President, eight years each as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, as secretary of state, his principal contribution to the founding of the United States was the acclaimed "Father of the Constitution." He played the leading role in authoring the U.S. Constitution, and was its leading defender and interpreter for 50 years. To the top degree, he combined scholarship, a keen intelligence, commitment to republican government, and a realistic understanding of politics in a way that allowed him again and again to move from an idea or a conception to a plan, a policy or a law....   [tags: Biography]

Free Essays
1205 words (3.4 pages)

James Madison Essay

- James Madison James Madison was born in 1751 and died in 1836. He was the fourth president of the United States (1809-1817). Madison worked for American independence, helped to establish the government of the new nation, and went on to participate in that government as congressman, secretary of state, and president. Madison's work on the Constitution of the United States gave him his best opportunity to exercise his great talents and is generally considered his most valuable contribution. More than any other person, Madison can be considered responsible for making the Bill of Rights part of the Constitution....   [tags: biographies bio biography]

Research Papers
1268 words (3.6 pages)

Biography of Alexander Hamilton Essay

- Biography of Alexander Hamilton Summary Alexander Hamilton was most likely born on January 11, 1757, although the exact year of his birth is unknown. Hamilton was born on the Caribbean island of Nevis or St....   [tags: Hamilton Founding Father Biography History]

Research Papers
1052 words (3 pages)

James Madison And The Federalist Papers

- James Madison and the Federalist Papers In the late 1700s, it was apparent that the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation did not establish the type of government needed to keep the nation together as a nation-state. The American people needed to find a more effective way to govern themselves and this was no easy feat. Most Americans had varying political thoughts in the 18th century. The challenge because how to best take care of the masses in a fair and equitable way....   [tags: United States Constitution, James Madison]

Research Papers
1178 words (3.4 pages)

Analysis Of The Exchange Between Thomas Jefferson And James Madison Essay

- After reading the exchange between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison on the question of central importance to American constitutionalism—whether any Constitution, including the United States Constitution, needs to be positively reauthorized or not by every succeeding generation for it to remain legitimate, I believe that what Jefferson demands in his letter as in all too much else, is ignorance, even rage against the past. His principle on expiring the constitution and laws every 19 years would only result in weak government that offers no social continuity and stability....   [tags: United States Constitution, James Madison]

Research Papers
1133 words (3.2 pages)

Biography of Thomas Jefferson Essay example

- Biography of Thomas Jefferson Third President of the United States of America. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was the third president of the United States and a creator of the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson was a philosopher, politician, scientist, architect, inventor, musician, and writer. Thomas Jefferson was also one of the smartest leaders in history. His father was named Peter Jefferson, a very rich Farmer from Virginia. Thomas's Mother, Jane Randolph Jefferson, was part of the Randolph family....   [tags: Essays Papers Bio President Essays]

Research Papers
1841 words (5.3 pages)

Essay about Biography of John Marshall

- Biography of John Marshall John Marshall was born on September 24, 1755 in prince William County, Virginia. His father moved the family from there before john was ten to a valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains, about 30 miles away. Unlike most frontier dwellings, the home Thomas Marshall built was of frame construction rather than log and was one and a half story. Both parents, while not formally educated, were considered adequately educated for the ties and could read and write. They held a significant social, religious, and political status in the newly formed Fauquir County area....   [tags: John Marshall Writers Government Essays]

Research Papers
1604 words (4.6 pages)

Indeed, Madison was the official primarily responsible for the administration's foreign policy, emerging from behind the scenes in 1808 to succeed Jefferson as the fourth President of the United States. It was not at all clear that Madison would carry the day. Jefferson's embargo of all trade with England and France had devastated the nation, and New England states spoke of open secession from the Union. The Federalists, convinced they would ride national outrage to victory, re-nominated their 1804 contender, Charles C. Pinckney of South Carolina. Meanwhile, George Clinton, who had agreed to run as Madison's vice president, consented to his own nomination for President. Madison swamped the opposition, winning 122 votes to Pinckney's 44. His re-election was also dramatic. Madison's nomination for a second term came just fifteen days prior to his war message to Congress, listing American grievances against Britain. Congress voted the United States into the War of 1812, largely guaranteeing Madison's re-election. The War of 1812 amounted to a second war of independence for the new Republic and helped to unify the President's party. Much of the War of 1812 centered on bloody battles against the Native American tribes, who were aided by the British. In 1814, the British took the nation's new capital, torching the White House and other federal buildings. They were finally defeated at the epic Battle of New Orleans by General Andrew Jackson's ragtag army, many of whom were volunteers, including free blacks and slaves and nearly 1,000 French pirates. Although Madison escaped capture, the victories against Tecumseh and at New Orleans revitalized the nation and earned him the esteem of his constituents. Madison's critics, who organized the Hartford Convention to protest his policies, looked like traitors to the victorious nation, and their anti-war criticism further weakened the Federalist Party. Everyone was shocked when the shy and reticent James Madison announced his marriage to the vivacious Dolley Payne Todd, who became one of the most popular and vibrant first ladies ever to grace the White House. Dolley Madison was already familiar with her role in Washington since she had occasionally played the role of hostess during the Jefferson administration. A beautiful woman who liked to party and to show off her impressive figure, Dolley Madison quickly earned a reputation among conservatives and political enemies, who criticized her for gambling, wearing makeup, and using tobacco. Dolley was deeply hurt by such tales but was gratified to keep her popularity and public acclaim long after her husband had left office. Despite Madison's popularity and his outstanding achievements, he has traditionally been misjudged in the past as a less-than-spectacular President. Recently, however, historians have begun to pay more attention to Madison, seeing his handling of the war as similar to Lincoln's wartime management. Madison's government marshaled resources, faced down secessionist threats from New England, and proved to the British the folly of fighting wars with the Americans. He helped to establish respect for American rights on the high seas and emerged from the war with more popular support than he had when he was first inaugurated in 1808. Additionally, when considering the fact that he ended up on the winning side of every important issue that faced the young nation from 1776 to 1816, Madison was the most successful and possibly the most influential of all the Founding Fathers.

Bibliography
www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/jm4.html

http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/P/jm4/about/madison.htm

http://bioguide.congress.gov/scriptsbiodisplay.p?index=M000043

http://print.infoplease.com/ipa/A0760589.html

www.americanpresident.org/history/jamesmadison/biography/printable.html

www.leftjustified.com/leftjust/lib/sc/ht/fed/mbio.html
Return to 123HelpMe.com