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Angelo Davis

James Madison Bio

James Madison was born on March 16, 1751 in Port Conway, Virginia. James Madison was the fourth president of the United States and also is the "Father of the Constitution". Madison severed the short time as a president of the U.S from 1809 - 1817. James was a member of the first Federal House of Representatives; however, Madison shared leadership with Alexander Hamilton and formulated a strategy for supporting the Constitution. Wrote portions of the Federalist papers that engaged Patrick Henry in dramatic anger, but a debate at the Virginia ratifying Convention in June 1788 finally came success for the people. When James Madison lived in the county of Orange, Va., on a 5,000-acre plantation that produced tobacco and grains and he had obtain about perhaps 100 slaves. After learning the fundamentals at home, Madison went to preparatory school and then to the College of New Jersey at Princeton. He received his bachelor of arts degree in 1771 and remained for six months studying under President John Witherspoon. He served on the Orange County Committee of Safety from 1774. Madison worked hard to secure Jefferson's election as president in 1800 and was appointed secretary of state. Now with the President and the new secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin, he made up the Republican triumvirate that guided the nation for eight years. Madison skillfully took advantage of Napoleon's misfortune in the West Indies to purchase Louisiana in 1803 and supported suppression of the Barbary pirates by American naval squadrons 1803-1805. The renewed war between France and Britain, however, became a major crisis, as both powers inflicted heavy damage on American shipping. Britain also engaged in the outrageous impressment of American sailors.

Impact the development of the U.S. Government

In Congress, Madison proposed new revenue laws, ensured the President's control over the: Executive branch, and proposed the Bill of Rights and he also is credited with the first 10 amendments in the Constitution. When he had assumed leadership of the movement for a new constitution, through the end of the first session of Congress in October 1789, Madison was the guiding creative force in establishing the new republican government. He felt that the "XYZ", resulting in the Alien and Sedition Acts, severely threatened free government with Jefferson, he executed the protest against these acts embodied in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798. Madison drafted the milder Virginia Resolutions and the Report of 1800 defending them was his most complete expression of the rights of the states under the Constitution.

Madison's Accomplishments

  • Graduated from Princeton (1771)
  • Served on the Orange County Committee of Safety (1774)
  • Elected a delegate to Virginia Provincial Convention (1776)
  • Declaration of Independence was signed (1776)
  • Elected governor's council (1777)
  • First Elected to Continental Congress (1779)
  • Treaty of Pairs was signed to end the War of Independence (1783)
  • Worked to pass statue for Religious Freedom Virginia's House of Delegates (1785)
  • Helped write the Constitution (1787)
  • Entered first in U.S. Congress as a Representative from Virginia (1789)
  • Prepared Virginia Resolution in opposition to Alien and Sedition Acts (1798)
  • Began eight - year tenure as Jefferson's Secretary of State (1801)
  • Louisiana Purchase was signed (1803)
  • Took office as Fourth President of the United States (1809)
  • Madison was in office when War of 1812 began (1812)
  • British defeated at New Orleans (1815)
  • Retired as President of the United States after serving two terms (1817)