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James Madison

James Madison.jpg

4th President of the United States

In officeMarch 4, 1809 – March 4, 1817

Vice President

George ClintonNoneElbridge GerryNone

Preceded by

Thomas Jefferson

Succeeded by

James Monroe

5th United States Secretary of State

In officeMay 2, 1801 – March 3, 1809

President

Thomas Jefferson

Preceded by

John Marshall

Succeeded by

Robert Smith

Member of theU.S. House of Representativesfrom Virginia 's15thdistrict

In officeMarch 4, 1793 – March 4, 1797

Preceded by

Constituency established

Succeeded by

John Dawson

Member of theU.S. House of Representativesfrom Virginia 's5thdistrict

In officeMarch 4, 1789 – March 4, 1793

Preceded by

Constituency established

Succeeded by

George Hancock

Delegate to the Congress of the Confederation from Virginia

In officeNovember 6, 1786 – October 30, 1787In officeMarch 1, 1781 – November 1, 1783

Personal details

Born

March 16, 1751 Port Conway, Colony of Virginia, British America

Died

June 28, 1836 Orange, Virginia, U.S.

Resting place

Montpelier

Political party

Democratic-Republican

Spouse

Dolley Payne Todd ( m.   1794 )

Children

John

Parents

James Madison Sr.Nelly Conway

Education

Princeton University

Signature

Cursive signature in ink

Military service

Allegiance

Colony of Virginia

Branch/service

Red Ensign of Great Britain .svgVirginia militia

Years of service

1775

Rank

US-O6 insignia.svgColonel

James Madison Jr. was an American statesman, lawyer, diplomat, philosopher, and Founding Father who served as the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817. He is hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for his pivotal role in drafting and promoting the United States Constitution and the United States Bill of Rights. He also co-wrote The Federalist Papers, co-founded the Democratic-Republican Party, and served as the fifth United States Secretary of State from 1801 to 1809.

Born into a prominent Virginia planting family, Madison served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and the Continental Congress during and after the American Revolutionary War. He became dissatisfied with the weak national government established by the Articles of Confederation and helped organize the Constitutional Convention, which produced a new constitution to supplant the Articles of Confederation. Madison's Virginia Plan served as the basis for the Constitutional Convention's deliberations, and he was one of the most influential individuals at the convention. Madison became one of the leaders in the movement to ratify the Constitution, and he joined with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay in writing The Federalist Papers, a series of pro-ratification essays that is widely considered to be one of the most influential works of political science in American history.

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Discover James Madison Quotes and Sayings

The happy Union of these States is a wonder their Constitution a miracle their example the hope of Liberty throughout the world. - James Madison

The happy Union of these States is a wonder their Constitution a miracle their example the hope of Liberty throughout the world.

James Madison

hope
The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty. - James Madison

The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.

James Madison

knowledge
What spectacle can be more edifying or more seasonable, than that of Liberty and Learning, each leaning on the other for their mutual and surest support? - James Madison

What spectacle can be more edifying or more seasonable, than that of Liberty and Learning, each leaning on the other for their mutual and surest support?

James Madison

learning
It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood. - James Madison

It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.

James Madison

men
All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree. - James Madison

All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.

James Madison

power men
The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money. - James Madison

The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money.

James Madison

money
Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions. - James Madison

Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.

James Madison

power
Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. - James Madison

Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power.

James Madison

power
Wherever there is interest and power to do wrong, wrong will generally be done. - James Madison

Wherever there is interest and power to do wrong, wrong will generally be done.

James Madison

power
The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted. - James Madison

The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.

James Madison

truth power
The capacity of the female mind for studies of the highest order cannot be doubted, having been sufficiently illustrated by its works of genius, of erudition, and of science. - James Madison

The capacity of the female mind for studies of the highest order cannot be doubted, having been sufficiently illustrated by its works of genius, of erudition, and of science.

James Madison

science
Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. - James Madison

Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.

James Madison

trust
The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. - James Madison

The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.

James Madison

trust
If we are to take for the criterion of truth the majority of suffrages, they ought to be gotten from those philosophic and patriotic citizens who cultivate their reason. - James Madison

If we are to take for the criterion of truth the majority of suffrages, they ought to be gotten from those philosophic and patriotic citizens who cultivate their reason.

James Madison

truth
Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. - James Madison

Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.

James Madison

war
The executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war. - James Madison

The executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war.

James Madison

war