James Madison

James Madison was born March 16, 1751, in Port Conway, Virginia. He died on June 28, 1836, Montpelier, in the same place. He was an American statesman, the fourth president of the United States (1809-1817), a member of the American Revolution, one of the authors of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

In 1771 he graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), was a member of the legislature of Virginia (1776-1780, 1784-1786), and actively participated in the drafting of the Constitution of Virginia (1776).

Elected delegate to the Continental Congress (1780-1783), he performed on the creation of a strong central government for convening Congress, where it was decided to develop a new U.S. Constitution. At the Constitutional Convention (1787) James Madison offered “Virginia Project” (or “project more U.S.”), which was the basis for the U.S. Constitution. In fact, he developed the basic constitutional principles, for which he gained fame as the “father of the American Constitution.” James Madison put a lot of effort in order to achieve ratification of the Constitution in the states.

To this end, he has collaborated with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay to write a so-called “Federalist Papers” – a series of articles in defense of the Constitution, the republican form of government, the idea of ​​a strong federal government. “Federalist Papers” were published in newspapers in the years 1787-1788, Madison wrote 29 of the 85 articles. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1789-1797) James Madison was one of the authors of the Bill of Rights. Madison’s wife was the daughter of a Quaker Dolly Payne (1768-1849), one of the most intelligent and insightful women of her time.


In the 1790s, he moved away from the Federalists and began to support the Democratic-Republican Party, led by the right wing of the Congress of Democratic Republicans. He broke with Alexander Hamilton in the views need to create a national bank, in particular James Madison denied legality to Congress such a bank. In protest against the adoption in 1798 of the reactionary laws on aliens and sedition Madison with Thomas Jefferson was the author and initiated a Virginia-Kentucky resolution.

In the years 1801-1809 – Secretary of State in the administration of President Thomas Jefferson. At the request of the widower Jefferson Dolly Madison sang with him the role of first lady of the United States. In 1809, James Madison, he became the master of the White House, and at first continued domestic policy predecessor. He immediately had to deal with a sharp conflict with Great Britain, whose fleet of merchant ships detained Americans, preventing enjoy free trade with Europe covered by the Napoleonic wars. Adopted by President Jefferson Embargo Act (1807) was not able to solve this problem.

Assuming that the UK is committed to strangle American trade, James Madison in 1810 forbade British vessels entering U.S. ports. In 1812, he began the US-British war was developing poorly for the Americans. British troops were able to capture even Washington, where burned all government and public buildings. Before the arrival of the British Dolly Madison was smuggled out of the White House documents and valuables, including a famous portrait of George Washington. Still, the Americans were able to inflict a series of defeats in the 1814 Ghent conclude peace on the terms of the status quo. During his second term as president (1813-1817) Madison left the principles of “Jeffersonian democracy”, supported the establishment of a national bank – the Second Bank of the United States and introduced the first system of protective tariffs, which contributed to the development of American industry.

After retiring, James Madison retired to Montpelier estate, where he lived in seclusion with his wife Dolly (1768-1849) and has written numerous articles and letters on political issues. Along with Jefferson, he participated in the creation of the University of Virginia; he was president (1826-1836). In honor of the fourth president of the United States called the city of Madison (WI), on Manhattan Avenue in New York City, the central street in Chicago.