James Madison

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James Madison
4th President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1809 – March 3, 1817
Vice President George Clinton; Elbridge Gerry
Preceded by Thomas Jefferson
Succeeded by James Monroe
Personal details
Born March 16, 1751(1751-03-16)
Port Conway, Virginia, U.S.
Died June 28, 1836(1836-06-28) (aged 85)
Montpelier, Virginia, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Democratic-Republican
Spouse(s) Dolley Todd Madison
Religion Deism
Signature

James Madison (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836) was the fourth President of the United States. He was also the most important author of the United States Constitution. Madison was the shortest President, with a height of 5 feet 4 inches (1.63 meters).[1]

Family[change | change source]

Madison was the oldest of twelve children. His father and mother were James Madison Sr. and Nellie Conway.

Madison married Dolley Todd (née Payne) on April 18, 1794.

Political life[change | change source]

Madison started his career in the Virginia state legislature. Madison learned many things from Thomas Jefferson. Madison wanted a strong federal government of the United States. He was a member of the meeting that formed the current United States Constitution. Madison is called the "Father of the Constitution" because he helped write a large part of it. Madison helped to get people to approve the Constitution.

Madison was elected to the United States House of Representatives. Madison helped write the first laws for the United States. Madison also was the main writer of the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution.

Madison and Jefferson were good friends and helped create the Democratic-Republican Party who wanted a weak federal government.

Madison was selected by Jefferson to be his Secretary of State.

Presidency[change | change source]

Madison was selected by his political party to be the Democratic-Republican candidate for president in 1808. He won that election and the next election in 1812.

The War of 1812 started while Madison was president. Madison still hoped for peace, but Congress wanted war so he gave in and approved a declaration of war against Britain on June 18, 1812. The war caused Madison to want a stronger government than he had before.

While he originally was against a national bank, Madison realized that it was necessary and it was impossible to fund a war without it. When the government's national bank expired, Madison renewed it.

Best known during the War of 1812, James Madison's wife - Dolly Madison - saved a potrait of George Washington.

Later life[change | change source]

Madison retired to Virginia after his second term. Madison died on June 28, 1836.

References[change | change source]

  1. "James Madison". NPS.org. http://www.nps.gov/people/james-madison.htm. Retrieved November 4, 2013.

Other websites[change | change source]