James Madison Jr.
James Madison, Fourth President (1809-1817).jpg
President James Madison
Political party: Democratic-Republican
Education: College of New Jersey (now Princeton Universit)
Religion Deist


Born March 16, 1751
Died June 28, 1836 (aged 85)

James Madison (1751- ) was one of the founding fathers who helped develop the United States as a nation where people can be free. Madison was American born and did important work developing the US Constitution. Joseph Addison, David Hume, John Locke, Isaac Newton, and Voltaire influenced the young Madison.


Madison belonged to a well off Virginian family owning about 100 slaves, throughout his life like some other Founding Fathers Madison benefited from the work of slaves but somehow believed in democracy and freedom as well.[1]


Madison helped prepare the constitution for Virginia with George Mason strengthened the clause safeguarding freedom of conscience. In concession to George Mason and Anti-Federalist objections to ratification of the U S Constitution, Madison proposed a group of Constitutional Amendments which are known as The Bill of Rights. The importance of this was shown when in the 20th Century the Universal Declaration of Human Rights included freedom of conscience. Madison served in Virginia under Thomas Jefferson.

The United States

Madison felt a strong federal element was needed in the Constitution to get the states to cooperate. He hoped that different interests would counterbalance each other and lead to government in the public interest. Madison further played a part in the Bill of Rights. Later he became advisor to president George Washington and later still he became President of the United States himself.

Pros & Cons


  • Introduced the idea of Checks and Balances
  • Wrote the Federalist Papers and Bill of Rights
  • Father of the Constitution
  • Led the country during the War of 1812
  • Signed the Treaty of Ghent to end the War of 1812
  • Married Dolly Payne Todd in 1794


  • Washington DC was burnt to the ground during the war
  • Owned slaves and unlike many other Founding Fathers, did not release them upon his death


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