The impact of James Madison on our country
James Madison was the 4th President of the United States but like other Presidents of our country little is known about him. He served as President from 1809 – 1817 but this was not the only time Madison had influence on what our country became. The history of our country and the events which have occurred from the beginning must be understood by all citizens and those who want to become citizens. Learning about our history as a country should include learning about each of the Presidents we have had. It is part of our heritage though this may not necessarily agree with some individuals who write our history books.
James Madison was born at Belle Grove Plantation on March 16, 1751 in Orange County Virginia and as he grew he became involved in the formation of our country and our Constitution. In addition to being involved with the creation of our Constitution his other activities would also see him involved in other historical events. At an early age James Madison became a student of not only our history but what our government and the state government where he was born.
Madison graduated from what is now Princeton University during which he studied Latin, Greek along with science, geography, mathematics and philosophy.
Madison is an example of individuals getting involved in the environment in which they live. Regarding the framing of the Virginia Constitution Madison was heavily involved in the content and to a large extent influenced the final language. Other activities in Virginia politics included the drafting of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom which was finally passed in 1786. It disestablished the Church of England disclaimed any power of state compulsion in religious matters.
Other historical events also had Madison’s involvement not the least of which was his help in framing the Bill of Rights which defines our rights as individuals. In some respects he is considered to be not only the father of the Bill of Rights but the father of our Constitution. Efforts to ratify the newly created Constitution also had Madison’s involvement along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. These were a series of 85 newspaper articles to explain how the proposed Constitution would work and was instrumental in getting the Constitution ratified by the states in existence at the time.
The Federalist papers was stated to be the most important work in political science that have ever been written , or is likely ever to be written, in the United States according to a historian Clinton Rossiter. The details of the Federalist papers were a vital instrument in getting our Constitution ratified by the required number of states. In this effort Madison was heavily involved.
Before becoming President Madison became the leader of the House of Representatives in 1789. He also served as Thomas Jefferson’s Secretary of State and as such was the fifth United States Secretary of State. During this tenure he supervised the Louisiana Purchase an action which made great changes to our country not the least of which involved doubling the young country’s size.
The impact of James Madison on the development of our country cannot be denied as identified in the information presented. The efforts he took upon himself along with the help of others helped to get our Constitution ratified. Specifically the creation of the first ten amendments to the Constitution which comprise our Bill of Rights was largely the result of his efforts and his philosophy. We should be thankful for the actions he took during the early stages of our country.