President James Madison Essay

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President James Madison

James Madison, (1751-1836), 4th President of the United States of America. Although he served eight years each as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, as secretary of state, and as president, Madison's principal contribution to the founding of the United States was as "Father of the Constitution."

Madison's place among the Founding Fathers reveals the essential qualities of his public career. Jefferson had a superior vision of the potential for life under republican government, a greater capacity for leadership, and a special gift for the memorable phrase, but Madison had a more subtle and incisive political sense.

Madison's ancestors, probably all from England, settled in Virginia along the
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He also attacked Patrick Henry, who did not believe that the Constitution fully protected Virginia and its people, in dramatic and finally successful debate at the Virginia ratifying convention . Madison and Jefferson viewed republican government as resting on the virtues of the people, sustained by the self-reliance of an agricultural economy and the benefits of public education, with government itself remaining "mild" and responsive to grass-roots impulses. This attitude became the foundation of the Democratic-Republican Party, which was fundamentally at odds with Hamilton's concept of a strong central government.
Madison and Jefferson then seized on widespread public sympathy for France's expansive, revolutionary exploits to promote republican sentiment in the United States. Madison bitterly opposed Jay's Treaty, feeling that it made the United States dependent on England and in fact tied America to the corrupt power-politics diplomacy of the Old World. With the final ratification of Jay's Treaty, Madison felt that a commercial junta that cared very little for the republican character of the nation had gained control. The war-like attitude toward France of President John Adams,' administration alarmed Madison. The XYZ AFFAIR brought the United States and France close to war. During the continiuous turmoil in the United States, the
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