Miniature Portrait of James Madison

James Madison (1751–1836)

James Madison was a forceful advocate of religious liberty, the architect of the U.S. Constitution, the author of the Bill of Rights, and the fourth president of the United States(1809-1817). Madison was born in King George County on March 16, 1751, and educated at the College of New Jersey. In 1776 he was elected as a delegate to the Fifth Virginia Convention, where he established the principle of religious liberty through the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He represented Virginia in the Continental Congress between 1780 and 1783 and again in 1787. While in the General Assembly of Virginia (1784-1786), his classic defense of religious liberty—a "Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments"—helped secure passage of Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom (1786). His dissatisfaction with the Articles of Confederation informed his Virginia Plan, which was adopted as the framework for the Constitution. Madison wrote twenty-nine essays for The Federalist Papers to secure its ratification. He then served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1789-1797), where he introduced the Bill of Rights. After 1792 he turned against the administration of George Washington, largely due to disagreements with Alexander Hamilton, which led to the formation of the Democratic-Republican Party with his friend Jefferson. After his retirement from Congress, Madison drafted the Virginia Resolutions (1798) to oppose the Alien and Sedition Acts. Madison served as Jefferson’s secretary of state (1801-1809) and was inaugurated as the fourth president of the United States on March 4, 1809. His administration was preoccupied by foreign policy disputes with Great Britain, France, and Spain, which led to the War of 1812 (1812-1815) and the annexation of the West Florida region. He was driven from the capital by the British army in August 1814, but the Treaty of Ghent restored peace with no concessions to Great Britain, and Madison enjoyed a final two years of popularity. He served as the second rector of the University of Virginia from 1826 to 1834. Madison died on June 28, 1836, and was buried at Montpelier. MORE...

 

Early Life and Entry into Politics

Madison was born on March 16, 1751, at Belle Grove plantation, his mother’s family home, in King George County. He was the first of twelve children of James Madison Sr. and Nelly Conway Madison. Madison was raised at his family’s estate in Orange County that eventually would be named Montpelier. He received his early schooling from his mother before being sent in 1762 to a school run by the Reverend Donald Robertson in King and Queen County. After 1767 he was tutored by the Reverend Thomas Martin before being sent in 1769 to Martin’s alma mater, the College of New Jersey, which later became Princeton University. The choice of the College of New Jersey over the College of William and Mary was unusual for the son of a wealthy Virginia planter. It likely was due in part to the unhealthy reputation of the Virginia Tidewater, a low-lying area where malaria and other diseases festered. But Madison’s father also disliked the college for its advocacy of the establishment of an Anglican bishop in America, which some feared would undermine local control of parishes.

Madison was an enthusiastic student, completing four years of study in three by combining "the minimum of sleep & maximum of study." For the remainder of his life, he seldom advocated a policy without undertaking extensive preparatory study. Madison was profoundly shaped by his education. His exposure to the teaching of Presbyterian ministers, both at Robertson’s school and at the College of New Jersey under the Reverend John Witherspoon, left him deeply impressed by the Common Sense philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment and shaped his thinking about the relationship among politics, society, and economics.

Madison graduated in 1771 but remained in Princeton to study Hebrew and the Bible, perhaps with thoughts of a career in the church. Returning to Montpelier in 1772, he drifted without purpose; he read law unenthusiastically and complained of the poor health that had plagued him since childhood. Madison’s life was changed by the intersection of the coming American Revolution and religious conflict in Virginia. In December 1774, he was appointed to the Orange County Committee of Safety, one of the local bodies authorized by the Continental Congress to enforce the boycott of British goods and to raise militias. This thrust Madison into preparations for the war for independence, as he was filled with "Zeal in the American cause." In 1776, he was elected to the Fifth Virginia Convention, the Patriot legislature that would frame the independent state’s new constitution. The persecution of dissenting sects of Baptists, evangelical Anglicans (who would become Methodists), and Presbyterians by authorities aligned with the established Anglican Church led Madison to detest all forms of religious establishment. He successfully amended George Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights, which called for greater religious toleration, in favor of the more radical "full and free exercise" of religion, putting his stamp on an issue that would become quintessentially American.

Madison was defeated for reelection to the Virginia Convention in 1777 because he refused to hew to the tradition of treating voters to whiskey, which he thought was tantamount to buying votes. Later in that year, however, he was appointed to the Virginia Council of State, where he worked with governors Patrick Henryand Thomas Jefferson. The latter became a lifelong friend; the former was to be a lifelong foe. In March 1780 Madison was chosen to represent Virginia at the Continental Congress. At twenty-nine, he was the youngest member of the congress, but he quickly gained a reputation for attention to public business, taking copious notes and participating frequently in spirited debates. In September 1780, to secure the adoption of the Articles of Confederation, Madison supported the transfer of the trans-Appalachian land claims of Virginia and six other states to control of Congress, contrary to the wishes of the General Assembly, thereby laying the foundation for a national domain.

The British invasion of Virginia in 1781 exposed the weaknesses of the confederation, especially in raising funds for the war effort. With men and money running short, Madison proposed a tax of 5 percent on imports to secure stable funding for the government. The effort failed, as did another attempt in 1783, but already Madison was grappling with ways to remedy the shortfalls of the Articles of Confederation. Ineligible for reelection to Congress, Madison entered the House of Delegates in May 1784, where much of his work was devoted to advancing the cause of republican liberty, notably by supporting Jefferson's plans for revising the state's laws regarding primogeniture and entail, which ended the practice of leaving large estates that couldn’t be broken up to a family’s eldest son.

Madison once again became embroiled in a debate about religious liberty. Patrick Henry had proposed a "Bill Establishing a Provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion," which would tax voters to support a Christian denomination of their choosing. Madison aligned with a coalition of disaffected evangelical sects to oppose the bill and maneuvered to get Henry out of the legislature by supporting his election as governor. The following year he wrote the "Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments" in opposition to Henry’s bill, which he called it a "dangerous abuse of power." Madison argued that religion "must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man" without government interference. His forceful support of religious liberty helped defeat the bill, and the following year he was instrumental in passage of Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom.

The Making of the Constitution

By 1787 it was evident that the Articles of Confederation, with its loose alliance of sovereign states and weak central government, could not serve the interests of the new nation, particularly when it came to raising revenue to pay the country’s war debt. Madison’s study of failed confederations led him to conclude that the United States should be reorganized as a national republic with a robust federal government, with states left to govern matters where it would be "subordinately useful." This was the essence of Madison’s Virginia Plan, which was adopted in May 1787 as an agenda for the Constitutional Convention. Madison proposed three branches of government: a bicameral legislature with proportional representation, a national executive, and a judiciary. He fleshed out his proposal with a council of revision to stop unwise congressional legislation, a congressional veto over undesirable state laws, and federal authority to legislate on issues where the states failed to do so.

Madison advocated forcefully for his plan. He carried his points on proportional representation in the House of Representatives and on the establishment of executive and judicial branches, but was defeated on proportional representation in the Senate, on the council of revision, and the congressional veto, as well as on the power for Congress to legislate where the states failed to do so. Disillusioned, Madison wrote to Jefferson in October 1787 that he doubted the new government could succeed. On reflection, however, Madison decided to accept the reforms. With the campaign for the ratification of the new constitution promising to be close, Madison accepted the invitation of Alexander Hamilton to write essays under the pseudonym "Publius" to argue for ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Between November 1787 and March 1788, Madison wrote twenty-nine of the essays that would comprise The Federalist Papers. He explained the benefits of the new union in Federalist No. 10–14, most famously in Federalist No. 10, in which he argued, that contrary to assertions that only small states could ensure individual rights, a larger republic would help balance factions that could trample rights at the state level. He explained why confederations in the past had failed in Federalist No. 18 –20, defended the Constitutional Convention against the charge that it had exceeded its mandate in Federalist No. 37–40, and argued that each of the powers allocated to the new government was adequate for its purpose in Federalist No. 41–47. In Federalist No. 48–53, he refuted the claim that the Constitution violated conventional wisdom about the separation of powers, asserting that his own views about "checks and balances" were an improvement on ideas that Jefferson had proposed in his Notes on the State of Virginia. In Federalist No. 54, Madison defended the provision that enslaved people should be counted as three-fifths of a person for the purposes of representation and taxation. In Federalist No. 55–58, Madison discussed the electoral arrangements for the new Congress and the size of the first House of Representatives, and in Federalist No. 62 and Federalist No.63, he halfheartedly defended state equality in the Senate, which he had opposed.

With Virginia’s Patrick Henry and George Mason emerging as two of the strongest voices against the new constitution, Madison turned his attention to rebutting their arguments during the Virginia Convention of 1788, which began on June 2, 1788, in Richmond. Henry denounced the Constitution as dangerously tyrannical, but Madison countered him with the arguments that he had perfected in The Federalist Papers and by asserting that a new federal government would benefit Virginia by securing access to the Mississippi River. The strongest argument against the Constitution, however, was made by Mason: that it lacked a bill of rights. Madison didn’t believe that a bill of rights was necessary, as he thought that the structure of the new government would protect individual liberties. When that argument failed to persuade, Madison promised to make a bill of rights the first order of business for the First Federal Congress. Virginia approved the Constitution on June 25, four days after it was officially ratified.

Madison was elected to the House of Representatives in the first Congress. True to his word, in June 1789 he offered nineteen proposals for amendments to the Constitution; Congress whittled them down to twelve. Madison wanted the changes woven into the Constitution, but they were added as separate amendments. Ultimately, the states would approve ten, the first of which was the free exercise of religion that Madison had long espoused, and the Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15, 1791.

National Politician

Madison’s four terms in Congress were dominated by issues of finance and trade, as he increasingly found himself at odds with treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton over the reach of the federal government. Hamilton called for the new government to assume the national debt as well as the war debts of the states, which ran into opposition from Virginia and other states that had paid their debts. In 1790 Madison and Jefferson brokered a compromise under which the southern states would assent to the federal assumption of the debt in exchange for the national capital being situated on the banks of the Potomac River between Virginia and Maryland.

Other disagreements proved less amenable to compromise. Madison disagreed with Hamilton’s plan for the creation of a national bank, arguing that the Constitution gave the federal government no such power, but was defeated when Congress in 1791 created the First Bank of the United States. By the eve of the 1792 elections, the divisions over the scope of the new government were severe enough that Madison declared that America was now divided into two "parties," which he labeled "republican" and "anti-republican." Before long, the Jefferson-Madison republican faction was calling itself the Democratic-Republican Party, while the Hamilton faction coalesced into the Federalist Party.

Madison, along with Jefferson, also clashed with Hamilton over foreign policy, with Madison holding fast to the Revolutionary-era alliance with France and Hamilton favoring increased commercial ties with Great Britain. In 1793 the United States remained bound by the mutual guarantee clause of its 1778 treaty with France, but the ability of the Royal Navy to restrict trade with France after the two countries went to war required a rethinking of America's international obligations. President George Washington responded with the Neutrality Proclamation of April 1793. While Madison backed neutrality, he was troubled that Washington had decided a question of war and peace without consulting Congress. He argued this position in five essays published under the pseudonym "Helvidius." More serious difficulties arose when Washington sent Chief Justice John Jay to London in 1794 to negotiate a commercial treaty to protect American trade. Jay made an agreement that avoided war at the cost of accepting British notions of American neutrality. In September 1795, Madison drafted a petition to the General Assembly criticizing the Jay treaty and calling on Congress to reject funding its provisions. He failed to win this case in the first session of the Fourth Congress (1795–1796), after which he retired from politics, returning to Montpelier with Dolley Payne Todd Madison, a lively Philadelphia Quaker widow whom he had married in 1794.

Madison did not stay retired. The policies of President John Adams’ administration—an undeclared war with France and the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798—outraged him. He responded with the Virginia Resolutions of 1798, and later the Report of 1800, which labeled as unconstitutional restrictions on the rights of immigrants and the move by the federal government to punish critics under the doctrine of seditious libel. Beyond the specific objections to the policies of the Adams administration, the Virginia Resolutions were a broad defense of liberal thinking about federalism, freedom of the press, and the rights of immigrants. Madison also asserted, however, that states might "interpose" a protest against unconstitutional laws. While this seems inconsistent with the primacy of the federal government he espoused earlier, nothing Madison said was inconsistent with arguments made in his Federalist essays, although many would point to the Virginia Resolutions, along with the accompanying Kentucky Resolutions written by Jefferson, as a departure point for the later nullification controversy.

National Executive

When Jefferson was elected president in 1800, there was little doubt that he would appoint Madison as secretary of state. The two Virginians hoped for an era of international peace following the end of the European wars in 1802, but Napoleon created problems by repossessing the territory of Louisiana. That issue was solved when the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory in 1803, although that prompted a prolonged quarrel with Spain about the ownership of the West Florida region, which comprised the Gulf Coast east of the Mississippi to the border of present-day Florida.

After Great Britain and France resumed war in 1803, American disputes with Britain increased as the Royal Navy severely restricted neutral trade and impressed American seamen for service on its warships. Madison had long advocated commercial retaliation as the best way to deal with Great Britain, and in January 1806 he released a pamphlet on the history of neutral rights to demonstrate that British policies violated international law. That protest was of no avail, and when Great Britain announced in 1807 that it would limit American trade with all of Continental Europe, Madison persuaded Jefferson to adopt the Embargo Act of 1807, which was enforced by drastic measures in the ports and along the frontiers of the nation. The embargo was unpopular and ineffective. Congress repudiated it in March 1809, three days before Madison became the fourth president of the United States. Thereafter tensions with Great Britain worsened, as impressment and the blockading of Europe continued, and the American economy suffered. In October 1810, Madison annexed West Florida, which was still held by Spain, for fear that the unrest that was percolating under Spanish rule would allow Britain to seize the disputed territory. After a final failure of negotiations with Great Britain in the summer of 1811, Madison summoned the Twelfth Congress into an early session and requested that it prepare for war.

Congressional preparations for war were lacking and not to Madison's liking, but he persisted and persuaded the legislature to declare war against Great Britain on June 18, 1812. Madison was reelected to a second term that fall, but his narrow margin of the popular vote pointed to Federalist opposition to "Mr. Madison’s War," as well as discontent with the continued dominance of Virginia planters in the presidency.

Madison’s strategy was to invade Canada at three points: Detroit, the Niagara Peninsula, and the Champlain Valley. The invasions of 1812 all failed, and those in 1813 went little better, although American forces did retake the Michigan territory that had been lost to British and Indian forces in 1812. The Niagara Peninsula campaigns of 1814 saw improved American military performance but were inconsequential as Great Britain, after the fall of Napoleon, attacked American territory at Lake Champlain and around the Chesapeake Bay. Madison struggled to provide for the nation’s defense, but American forces did repel the enemy at Lake Champlain, at Baltimore, and ultimately on the Gulf Coast. They failed, however, in the District of Maine and in the Chesapeake Bay, where British forces looted and burned settlements with impunity. Pushing up the Potomac River and overland from a tributary of the Chesapeake, British forces occupied Washington City, as the capital was then known, in August 1814, driving the Madisons and the government from the capital and burning the White House, the Capitol, and other federal buildings. Madison quickly restored his administration, but the nation was in a precarious position. The New England states met in the Hartford Convention to discuss their grievances about the war, prompting rumors of secession, and the president made little headway in persuading Congress to provide for military operations in 1815. The nation was rescued by American diplomats in Ghent, Belgium, who in the final months of 1814 negotiated a peace in which the United States lost no territory and made no concessions to British demands. The War of 1812 thus ended in a military stalemate, although General Andrew Jackson’s seemingly providential victory over the British at New Orleans did much to reframe the war as an American triumph.

Final Years

The return of peace earned Madison considerable popularity, enabling him to implement several reforms that he had previously opposed, including the establishment of a Second National Bank (the charter of the first bank had expired), which he embraced after the difficulty of securing funding for the war, and tariffs to protect American industries. He also backed a constitutional amendment to allow the federal government to fund internal improvements such as roads and canals, and his last official act was to veto a bill that would fund such construction because the amendment hadn’t been secured.

Madison retired to Montpelier in April 1817 and enjoyed his rural retreat—in 1818 he delivered an address on agricultural reform to the Agricultural Society of Albemarle. His finances, however, suffered greatly due to the decline of the Virginia farming economy and from paying the debts accumulated by his stepson, John Payne Todd, who was fond of gambling.

Madison kept a close eye on the political issues of the day, however. The Missouri Crisis of 1819 heightened his concerns about slavery. Like many of his fellow Virginians who enslaved people, he professed to dislike the institution of slavery and pinned his hopes for its eventual demise on a scheme of compensated emancipation, coupled with the requirement that freed people be relocated out of the country, potentially in the Liberia settlement of the American Colonization Society, of which Madison became president in 1833. Madison, who enslaved more than 100 people, did not emancipate his own enslaved workers despite his professed concerns about slavery and doubted that whites and free Blacks could live together. In response to quarrels within Virginia over slavery, he appeared at the Virginia Convention of 1829–1830 to urge, in vain, the adoption of the three-fifths clause as a compromise between the Tidewater and the western regions of the state.

The rise of anti-tariff sentiment in Virginia also troubled Madison, as he feared instability from polarization and sectionalism in national politics, as the North and South increasingly diverged over tariffs. He denied that protective tariffs were an improper exercise of federal power and objected that his 1798 arguments about state "interposition" were being used to justify the doctrine of nullification that emanated from South Carolina and Georgia in the late 1820s and early 1830s.

Madison arranged his papers, including his notes from the 1787 Federal Convention, to provide for his wife, who eventually sold them to the government, and to educate the nation about the importance of preserving the Union. His final public service was as rector of the University of Virginia between 1826 and 1834. This was a difficult assignment; the university was plagued by problems of faculty retention, inadequate funding, defective infrastructure, and student misconduct. Nonetheless, Madison lent his stature as an elder statesman to advance its reputation. He died on June 28, 1836, and was buried at Montpelier.

Major Works

  • The Federalist Papers (1788)

Time Line

  • March 16, 1751 - James Madison is born at Belle Grove plantation, his mother’s family home, in King George County, the first of twelve children of James Madison Sr. and Nelly Conway Madison.
  • 1762 - James Madison attends a school run by the Reverend Donald Robertson in King and Queen County.
  • 1767 - After this year, James Madison is tutored by the Reverend Thomas Martin.
  • 1769–1771 - James Madison attends the College of New Jersey (later known as Princeton University), where he is deeply influenced by the Scottish Enlightenment teachings of the Reverend John Witherspoon.
  • 1772 - James Madison returns to his family home of Montpelier without purpose after studying Hebrew and the Bible for a year in Princeton in preparation for a possible career in the church.
  • 1774 - James Madison is appointed to the Orange County Committee of Safety, one of the local bodies authorized by the Continental Congress to enforce the boycott of British goods and raise militias in preparation for a war for independence.
  • 1776 - James Madison is elected to the Fifth Virginia Convention, the Patriot legislature that is framing the independent state’s new constitution, where he amends George Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights to call for the “full and free exercise” of religion.
  • 1777 - James Madison is defeated for reelection to the Virginia Convention and is appointed to the Virginia Council of State, where he works with governors Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson.
  • 1780 - At the age of twenty-nine, James Madison is selected to represent Virginia at the Continental Congress, making him the youngest member of the assembly. To secure passage of the Articles of Confederation, he supports the transfer of Virginia’s trans-Appalachian land claims to control of Congress, contrary to the wishes of the General Assembly.
  • 1781 - James Madison proposes a tax of 5 percent to secure stable funding for the government; the effort fails, as will a similar bill two years later.
  • May 1784 - James Madison enters the Virginia House of Delegates, where he opposes Patrick Henry’s “Bill Establishing a Provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion.”
  • June 20, 1785 - James Madison anonymously authors his "Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments," a broadside in opposition to a resolution by the House of Delegates to levy a General Assessment to benefit all Christian sects.
  • January 16, 1786 - The General Assembly passes the Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom. Written by Thomas Jefferson and championed in the House of Delegates by James Madison, the bill effectively severs the connection between church and state.
  • May 1787 - James Madison’s Virginia Plan, developed from his study of failed confederacies, is adopted as an agenda for the Constitutional Convention called to remedy the shortfalls of the Articles of Confederacy.
  • November 1787–March 1788 - James Madison writes twenty-nine of the essays arguing for passage of the new U.S. Constitution in The Federalist Papers.
  • June 2, 1788 - As the Virginia Convention of 1788 begins, James Madison rebuts the arguments of Patrick Henry and George Mason against the Constitution but promises to create a bill of rights.
  • June 1789 - Serving in the House of Representatives in the first Congress, James Madison introduces nineteen proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution; Congress accepts twelve to send to the states for ratification.
  • December 15, 1791 - The Bill of Rights is ratified, the first of which is the free exercise of religion that James Madison had long espoused.
  • 1792 - Thomas Jefferson and James Madison found the Republican Party (sometimes called the Democratic-Republican Party), the precursor to the modern-day Democratic Party. The party is committed to states' rights and strict construction of the Constitution.
  • 1793 - James Madison authors five essays under the pseudonym “Helvidius” objecting to President George Washington’s Neutrality Proclamation of April 1793 because Congress was not consulted.
  • September 15, 1794 - James Madison and Dolley Payne Todd marry.
  • September 1795 - James Madison drafts a petition to the General Assembly criticizing a treaty written by Chief Justice John Jay with Great Britain accepting British notions of American neutrality and calling on Congress to reject funding its provisions. He fails to win his case and retires from politics.
  • December 24, 1798 - The Virginia Resolutions, written by James Madison with the secret help of the U.S. vice president, Thomas Jefferson, are passed. Along with the Kentucky Resolutions, they provide an early and important articulation of states' rights.
  • 1801–1809 - James and Dolley Madison live in Washington, D.C., while James Madison serves as the secretary of state.
  • 1807 - James Madison persuades President Thomas Jefferson to adopt the Embargo Act of 1807 in retaliation for the Royal Navy restricting trade and impressing American seamen to serve on its ships. The act is hugely unpopular and batters the U.S. economy; Congress repeals it in 1809.
  • March 4, 1809 - James Madison is inaugurated as the fourth president of the United States.
  • October 1810 - President James Madison annexes the territory of West Florida, which was held by Spain, for fear that the unrest that was percolating under Spanish rule would allow Britain to seize the disputed territory.
  • March 4, 1813 - James Madison begins his second term as the fourth U.S. president.
  • August 24, 1814 - President James Madison flees Washington after the British forces defeat the American militia at Bladensburg, Maryland, and invade the capital, burning the White House, the Capitol and other federal buildings.
  • September 8, 1814 - The president's mansion having been burned by British troops, the household of President James Madison and Dolley Madison moves into the Octagon a few blocks away.
  • February 14, 1815 - News of the Treaty of Ghent, signed at the end of December ending the War of 1812, reaches the James Madison administration and staff in Washington, D.C.
  • April 1817 - James Madison, his wife, Dolley, and members of their household return to their plantation, Montpelier, after living in Washington, D.C.
  • 1826–1834 - James Madison serves as the second rector of the University of Virginia.
  • 1827 - By this year, James and Dolley Madison face financial trouble from falling tobacco prices and from debts incurred by their son John Payne Todd.
  • 1829 - James Madison appears at the Virginia Convention of 1829–1830 to urge, in vain, the adoption of the three-fifths clause as a compromise on slavery between the Tidewater and the western regions of the state.
  • 1833 - James Madison becomes president of the American Colonization Society.
  • 1834 - James Madison sells sixteen slaves to a relative in Louisiana in order to pay debts.
  • June 28, 1836 - James Madison dies at Montpelier. His slave Paul Jennings will later write, "He ceased breathing as quietly as the snuff of a candle goes out."

References

Further Reading
Brant, Irving. James Madison, 6 vols. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1941-61.
Broadwater, Jeff. James Madison: A Son of Virginia and a Founder of the Nation. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2012.
Feldman, Noah. The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President. New York: Random House, 2017.
Hutchinson, William T., William M. E. Rachal, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and David B. Mattern, et al., eds. The Papers of James Madison. Chicago and Charlottesville: The University of Chicago Press and the University of Virginia Press, 1961-.
Ketcham, Ralph. James Madison: A Biography. New York: Macmillan, 1971.
Cite This Entry
  • APA Citation:

    Stagg , J. C. A. James Madison (1751–1836). (2020, October 5). In Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved from http://www.EncyclopediaVirginia.org/Madison_James_1751-1836.

  • MLA Citation:

    Stagg , J. C. A. "James Madison (1751–1836)." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, 5 Oct. 2020. Web. READ_DATE.

First published: August 14, 2020 | Last modified: October 5, 2020


Contributed by J. C. A. Stagg , professor of history and editor of The Papers of James Madison at the University of Virginia. Author of three monographs on Madison and his times, he has edited twenty-six volumes of The Papers of James Madison.