Madison, James (1750–1836)

James Madison is probably best known as the “father of the constitution,” but he also had a distinguished career in politics both before and after the Constitutional Convention of 1787. As leader of the House of Representatives in the first years under the new U.S. Constitution, he authored and secured the passage of the Bill of Rights; he went on to become Secretary of State in the Jefferson administration, and he succeeded Jefferson as president in 1809. Nonetheless, his fame and lasting importance rest largely on the political analyses and innovations that he developed at the time of the movement for a new constitution and Bill of Rights.

Madison thought of the foundations and ends of politics in the terms captured in the Declaration of Independence. ...

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