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Learn About President James Madison for Kids

Updated on September 11, 2019

James Madison was the fourth president of the United States of America. The first three presidents were George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Madison was born in Virginia on March 16, 1751. He is sometimes called the Father of the Constitution. Like the first three presidents George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, Madison was part of the revolution that led to freedom from Britain. He was part of the Continental Congress.

The Continental Congress was a group with representatives from each colony that came together to fight for the rights of the colonies. They didn't like how the British king, King George III, was treating the American colonists.

President James Madison
President James Madison

Related Fact

Francis Scott Key wrote the American national anthem The Star Spangled Banner during the War of 1812. Key watched a British attack on Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the night of September 13-14, 1814. When he saw the American flag still flying over the fort at dawn, he knew the Americans had successfully defended the city.

Madison wrote much of the US Constitution. The Constitution explains how the US government should work. He was also involved in writing the Federalist Papers. The Federalist Papers were written to gain public support for approval of the Constitution.

Madison was the president when the War of 1812 broke out. This war is sometimes called the Revolutionary War Part II. It started because of disputes about shipping and trade between the United States and Britain. The British took American ships and forced American sailors to work on British ships.

The war went badly for the United States. British soldiers even burned down the White House. Later on, the British and Americans signed a treaty to end the war. A treaty is an agreement.

James Madison had a wife named Dolly. She was very popular and well-liked. She had a son from her first marriage. They didn’t have any other children. President Madison died on June 28, 1836.

Liberty's Kids: The Second Continental Congress

What Is the US Constitution?

James Madison wrote much of the US constitiution. So, what exactly is it? In 1787, a group of powerful men got together because they weren't happy with how the country was doing. They created the Constitution to fix what they believed was wrong. The Constitution explains how the government should work. It created the Presidency, the Congress and the Supreme Court. These are called the Three Branches of Government

The Constitution lists some important rights that everyone has. Rights are things the government can't stop people from doing. These rights include freedom of speech, freedom of the press (this allows newspapers to criticize the government) and freedom of religion. The Bill of Rights is a part of the Constitution. The Bill of Rights lists these special rights.

More than 200 years later, we still follow the Constitution. Sometimes changes are made to it. These changes are called Amendments. There have been 27 amendments to the Constitution. The last amendment was added in 1992.


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