Today I am writing about the life of James Madison for my history class. James Madison had a very special role in the founding of America, he is often known as the “Father of the Constitution” or the less commonly known “Father of the Bill of Rights.” James Madison was also the 4th President of the United States.
James Madison was born and grew up in the colony of Virginia. He was born on March 16, 1751. He was the oldest of 12 children, 5 of which didn’t make it past 8 years-old. Madison grew up with very “delicate” health, when he was elected President, he was only 5’4” and weighed 100 pounds.
When it was time for Madison to go to college, instead of choosing the college of William and Mary, he went to the college of New Jersey. Madison eventually graduated in 1771, at age 18, and returned to Virginia. Once there, he became involved in the resistance to the British taxation. Although, when war came around, he was too small to be accepted into active service and was not able to fight.
Luckily, due to his family’s significant wealth, Madison was able to pursue a long career in public office without worrying about his personal income. While he was the youngest delegate to the Continental Congress, he was widely respected for his hard work. When Madison was 36, he correctly identified the need for revising the Articles of Confederation.
When the convention was called, Madison arrived at the convention with an opening draft, he had written himself, he called the Virginia Plan. While it wasn’t intended to be a complete Constitution, it was a starting point and was used to create the final version.
After the Convention, he also made a list of 12 Amendments to the constitution, 10 of which were passed and ratified as the Bill of Rights. Eventually the 11th was ratified but not until a later date. The 12th of the 12 amendments is still not ratified.
Back to James Madison after he went to college, once he graduated he called upon as many books as he could find on politics and government. At the time, Thomas Jefferson was in France and started sending Madison all kinds of books on the subjects.
A big event at the time, “The Great Triumvirate.” The Great Triumvirate, in politics, is the three statesman- Henry Clay of Kentucky, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina who played an important role in politics during the second party system.
During James Madison’s presidency, one of the most important and influential wars was being fought. The war of 1812. The reason that this is important is because during the battle of Fort McHenry, the Star-Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key. Francis Scott Key was an American soldier who was held captive aboard a British ship. He wrote the song in a “brig” on the ship while watching the battle.
During James Madison’s presidency, two states joined the union. The first of which was Louisiana, Louisiana joined the union on August 30, 1812. The second state was Indiana, Indiana joined the union on December 11, 1816. Indiana came from the territory known as the North West Territory.
In conclusion, James Madison was arguably one the most important delegates. James Madison did not live a dull and boring life, rather he lived a fruitful life. Please leave a comment or question, or email me personally through the email on the contact page. Please like or dislike and possibly share on social!
Until next time, your friendly neighborhood Homeschooler…
Click the title to learn some interesting facts about James Madison.