James Madison: “Father of the Constitution”
James Madison was the fourth President of America. He is best remembered today as the “Father of the Constitution” and for leading the War of 1812 against Britain.
Madison was born on March 16, 1751 in Port Conway, Virginia, and was the oldest of 12 children. He grew up on a large tobacco plantation where his family had about one hundred slaves. When he was 11 years old, he began his schooling at a boarding school for five years. However, due to health issues, James came back home after those five years and was home schooled. In 1769, Madison went to the College of New Jersey, which is now known as Princeton University, and graduated just two years later.
James returned to Virginia in 1772 to find trouble between the colonists and Britain. Madison really disliked the way the British treated the American colonies, which is why he became so involved in the independence effort for America. In 1774, James was appointed to help coordinate anti-British efforts. He sensed something big was going to happen and wrote to a friend that “There is something at hand that shall greatly augment the history of the world.” James Madison was more of a writer than a fighter and his skills went to good use in 1776, when he was elected to the Virginia Convention to serve on the committee in charge of writing Virginia’s constitution. In 1783, James helped Virginia get their Statue of Religious Freedom by becoming a champion in separation of church and state. In 1785, Madison had written one of the most significant essays regarding separation of religion and government (often referred to as the separation of church and state), which no doubt gave him inspiration for some of the Bill of Rights as I will explain more about later. James Madison’s next big challenge was the writing of the U.S. Constitution. In 1787, Madison represented Virginia at the Constitution Convention where he shared his ideas of forming a three-part...
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