James Madison Jr. served as the fourth president of the United States of America from 1809 to 1817. In addition to this accomplishment, he was also an expansionist, Founding Father, philosopher, diplomat, and statesman.
The Constitution of the United States and the United States Bill of Rights were led through by Madison and is the core reason behind him being called the “Father of the Constitution.” In addition to serving as America’s fifth Secretary of State, he was a co-founder of the Democratic-Republican Party and co-writer for The Federalist Papers.
Madison was born into a wealthy and popular Virginia-based planter family- his mother, Nelly Conway Madison, and father, a tobacco planter, James Madison Sr. He was the oldest of 12 children (eight boys and four girls), sadly only six living through to adulthood. James served on the Virginia House of Delegates and the Continental Congress while the American Revolutionary War was ongoing.
He played a critical role in the life of American politics and have paved the way for many politicians who graced the house of representatives after.
James Madison Birthday
James Madison was born on March 16, 1751.
James Madison Accomplishments
*Wrote the Bill of Rights
The rights of the everyday man were a concern for Jefferson and Madison. On June 8, 1789, Madison presented some amendments to the original Bill of Rights that would set boundaries on the infringement of rights of citizens by government officials.
*Got Us Through the War of 1812
While he was president, Madison was not pleased with the invasion and infiltration of Great Britain, and as such, he waged against them. Even though America was not ready for war at the time, he stood up to defend the nation he was working to build and sustain.
*Helped Start the National Bank
After drafting and amending the Bill of Rights, Madison gave his support in building the National Bank. He believed it paved the way in protecting the rights and financial security of the majority of the population. It was a great investment for the country, and as president, he believed this would be a positive move and development.
*Standing Well-funded Military
He was in full support of a strong army as he believed they were a part of the country’s backbone. Having served in the army in his younger years, he ensured the army had enough funding to carry out its various mission, and he signed off on many of those requests.
*Tariff of 1816
Madison was all about protecting brand America, and this was seen in the first tariff passed by Congress in 1816. It paved the way for the system to protect American-manufactured products against foreign competitors. Before the War of 1812, tariffs were used as a funding source for the national government’s operations.
Get our James Madison Lapbook!
Learn all about James from this article of mine and then use the lapbook to help drive those facts and fun things home in your lesson!
James Madison Education
James, from the age of 11 through to 16, was educated under the guidance of Donald Robertson, a Scottish instructor who worked as a private tutor for the wealthy planter families in the region. He focused on geography, mathematics, and some classical languages, which led to him becoming quite fluent in Latin.
When he turned 16, he returned to his hometown, where he furthered his education under the guidance of Reverend Thomas Martin while he prepared for college. Unlike other rich kids of the day that saw it best to enroll at the College of William and Mary, Madison, instead enrolled at Princeton, formally renamed College of New Jersey as an undergraduate.
While at Princeton, he focused on studying theology, Greek, Latin, and Enlightenment works. He worked pretty hard at his studies as he managed to accomplish the Bachelor of Arts degree intended for three years in just two years. After graduating, he contemplated whether to venture into clergy or law but instead remained at Princeton, focusing on studying political philosophy and Hebrew.
After returning home with no chosen career, he became a tutor for his younger siblings and, by 1773, started focusing heavily on reading and studying law books. Though he never practiced as a lawyer, he knew a lot about the legal happenings of the time.
James Madison Married
James Madison Jr. married Dolley Payne Todd on September 15, 1794, the 26-year-old widow of John Todd, a Quaker farmer. John died during the yellow fever epidemic that hit Philadelphia back in the early centuries. A mutual friend introduced Madison and Todd, and after a short while, they fell in love and decided to get married.
The couple didn’t have any children, but they sure had a close relationship and bond that many people admired. Todd became Madison’s political partner and confidant and helped him through many of his political journeys.
James Madison Children
James never had any children but adopted the only child Dolley had from her past marriage. Many of Madison’s friends and family believed he was impotent, but he never spoke much about it nor let it bother him too much.
James Madison Louisiana Purchase
Madison was Secretary of State, while Jefferson was the third president of the United States. While in this position, Madison organized the purchase and acquiring of the Louisiana Territory from the French in 1803. This purchase increased the overall size of America – times twice!
James Madison the War of 1812
While the European countries tried to impede the U.S. trade activities, Britain infiltrated U.S. sailors and influenced them to support American Indians pushing wars against U.S. settlers. Madison was not happy with the new reality, and even though America was not yet ready for war, Madison issued a war proclamation against Britain in 1812.
James Madison Hobbies
James never had many hobbies like many of the other presidents, but he enjoyed playing chess and reading lots of Greek and Latin literature in their original language.
James Madison Death
James Madison died on June 28, 1836, in Montpelier, Virginia, due to Congestive Heart Failure.
James Madison Books For Kids
Give your kids the opportunity to learn much more about James Madison than the hears have heard before. Here are a few books recommended for them…
* James Madison: Fourth President 1809-1817
* The Great Little Madison
* James Madison and the Making of the United States
* James Madison: Expanding & Preserving the Union
* Father of the Constitution: A Story About James Madison