Founding Father James Madison

Biography Of James Madison

James Madison is often referred to as the father of the Constitution. He was the 4th president of the United States and served two terms in office.

Early Life

James Madison was born on March 16th, 1751, in Virginia, and was the oldest of 12 children. He was brilliant, and his brilliance gained him admission into Princeton University at the age of 18. After graduating college, Madison’s interest in matters concerning the termination of colonial rule peaked, and he joined the Virginia militia to fight in the revolutionary war. He was appointed colonel of the militia.

Political Career

After the war, his focus shifted to politics, and he was selected to represent his home county at the Virginia Constitution Convention. In 1780, Madison was appointed to become the youngest delegate at the Continental Congress. Madison was an key contributor in writing the new constitution for just-independent America. He teamed up with Alexander Hamilton and John Ray to write the federalist papers, which emphasized the importance of having a central government. This made him a great proponent of ratifying the new constitution.

He was the author of the Virginia Plan, which suggested that the powers of the government be divided into three branches, namely: Executive, Judiciary, and Legislative. The plan suggested that the legislative branch be further divided into two arms: the Senate and the House of Representatives. He proposed that the Senate represent each state, while the House of Representatives represented the population in each district. Madison was the originator of the idea of checks and balances, which restricted one arm of government from having all the power.

He was appointed to the House of Representatives in 1789, and in 1791, he introduced the Bill of Rights to bring transparency into the government. After eight years of serving in Congress, Madison retired and focused on farming in his hometown in 1797.

Time As Secretary Of State

In 1801, after Thomas Jefferson had won the election, he asked Madison to become his Secretary of State, and this revamped Madison’s political career.

During his tenure as Secretary of State, Madison had achieved a lot, and one of his notable achievements was capturing Louisiana Territory from the French in 1803. Another applaudable achievement by James Madison was the enactment of the embargo of 1807, where he halted all US ships from trading with Britain and France in an attempt to deter the British and French from attacking and kidnapping American sailors.

In 1808, he contested the presidential election and won by a wide margin against Charles Cotesworth Pickney (the Federalist Candidate).

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