James Madison (1751-1836)

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James Madison, Jr. (March 16, 1751 - June 28, 1836), was an American politician and the fourth President of the United States (1809-1817). Considered to be the "Father of the Constitution", he was the principal author of the document.[1] He was the cousin of Bishop James Madison, a president of the College of William and Mary (1777-1812). Along with George Washington and John Blair, he was one of three Virginians to sign the U.S. Constitution.

As leader in the House of Representatives, Madison worked closely with President George Washington to organize the new federal government. Breaking with Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton in 1791, Madison and Thomas Jefferson organized the Democratic-Republican Party in opposition to key policies of the Federalists, especially the national bank and the Jay Treaty. He secretly co-authored, along with Thomas Jefferson, the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in 1798 to protest the Alien and Sedition Laws. As Jefferson's Secretary of State (1801-1809), Madison supervised the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the nation's size, and sponsored the ill-fated Embargo Act of 1807. As president, he led the nation into the War of 1812 against Great Britain in order to protect the United States' economic rights.[2]

Material in the Special Collections Research Center

James Madison, Jr. in the SCRC database.

References

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The information available in this wiki is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of the College of William and Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. The information available here is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Information in this wiki is not complete as new information continues to be uncovered in the Swem Library's Special Collections Research Center and elsewhere. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use the Special Collections search tools for their research as the information contained in this wiki is by no means comprehensive.