James Madison

president of the United States from 1809 to 1817

James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836) was a Founding Father and the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817. He was also the most important author of the United States Constitution and a slaveowner with a big plantation.[1] Madison was the shortest president in American history, with a height of 5 feet 4 inches (1.63 meters).[2]

James Madison
Portrait by John Vanderlyn, 1816
4th President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1809 – March 4, 1817
Vice President
Preceded byThomas Jefferson
Succeeded byJames Monroe
5th United States Secretary of State
In office
May 2, 1801 – March 3, 1809
PresidentThomas Jefferson
Preceded byJohn Marshall
Succeeded byRobert Smith
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia
In office
March 4, 1789 – March 4, 1797
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byGeorge Hancock (5th)
John Dawson (15th)
Constituency5th district (1789–1793)
15th district (1793–1797)
Delegate from Virginia to the Congress of the Confederation
In office
November 6, 1786 – October 30, 1787
Preceded bySeat established
Succeeded byCyrus Griffin
In office
March 1, 1781 – November 1, 1783
Preceded bySeat established
Succeeded byThomas Jefferson
Personal details
Born(1751-03-16)March 16, 1751
Port Conway, Virginia, U.S.
DiedJune 28, 1836(1836-06-28) (aged 85)
Montpelier, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
Height5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Spouse(s)Dolley Todd Madison
ReligionEpiscopal Church

Family change

James Madison Jr. was the eldest son of Col. James Madison Sr. and Nellie Conway Madison.

Madison married Dolley Todd (née Payne) on September 14, 1794, at the age of 43.[3]

Political life change

Madison started his career in the Virginia state legislature. Madison learned many things from Thomas Jefferson. Madison wanted a stronger federal government of the United States than the Articles of Confederation provided. 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 and persuaded people that it was a good one.

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.[4]

Presidency change

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.[5]

The War of 1812 started while Madison was president. Madison still hoped for peace, but Congress wanted war so he gave in and the 61-year-old President approved a declaration of war against Britain on June 19, 1812. People who still wanted peace called it "Mr Madison's War". Madison and his family were forced to flee in 1814 when British forces seized control of Washington D.C and burned the White House, and many other buildings, to the ground. Dolley Madison, his wife, famously saved a portrait of George Washington from the fire.[6]

The war caused Madison to want a stronger government than he had before. While he originally was against a national bank, he realized that it was necessary and it was necessary for funding a war. When the charter of the national bank expired, Madison renewed it.[7]

Later life change

Madison retired to Virginia after his second term. He died there from heart failure on June 28, 1836 at the age of 85.[8]

References change

  1. Spies-Gans, Marcelo Sanchez. "James Madison". Princeton & Slavery. Retrieved 2020-10-27. In February 1801 Madison Sr. died, leaving Montpelier and more than one hundred slaves to James Madison, as his eldest son. The following week, Thomas Jefferson became President of the United States and appointed Madison as his Secretary of State. Madison managed Montpelier from afar, yet took no concrete steps toward freeing his slaves or changing the plantation system. Upon becoming the fourth President of the United States in 1809, Madison brought slaves to serve him in the White House. One of these slaves was ten-year-old Paul Jennings, whose memoir about White House life—A Colored Man's Reminiscences of James Madison—was published in 1865.
  2. "James Madison". NPS.org. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
  3. "James Madison | Biography, Founding Father, & Presidency". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-08-14.
  4. "James Madison". HISTORY. Retrieved 2021-08-14.
  5. "James Madison". The White House. Retrieved 2021-08-14.
  6. "James Madison". Biography. Retrieved 2021-08-14.
  7. "James Madison - People - Department History - Office of the Historian". history.state.gov. Retrieved 2021-08-14.
  8. "'Father of the Constitution' James Madison Dies, 1836". NewseumED. Retrieved 2021-08-14.

Other websites change