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“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.” (justice.gov 1) James Madison believed that gaining knowledge and spreading it to everyone is the only way to keep a country truly free.  How did he spread knowledge and help other Americans gain knowledge?  Madison worked tirelessly to ratify the Constitution in order to fulfill this.  Madison did this by co-authoring a number of essays with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton.  James Madison became one of the most important contributors to the overall creation of the Constitution and that earned him the nickname “Father of the Constitution.”  He was one of the main contributors in establishing the ideals, core values, and law of America’s land. He is  without a doubt one of the most influential presidents in the history of the United States. James Madison was born on March 16, 1751 in Port Conway, Virginia, on the Rappahannock River near Fredericksburg. Madison’s parents were Nelly Conway Madison and James Madison Sr. James Madison was a curious and studious child, in which he began his education at home with his mother teaching him. Then, when Madison was 11, he went to school in King and Queen county. Madison was taught by Donald Robertson a scottish teacher, until Madison reached the age of 16. Madison grew a passion for mathematics, geography, and the language Latin. Madison was able to get in depth into ancient philosophy, which would make a starting point for his future’s influential ideas. Madison then began preparatory study back at his family’s estate, Montpelier under the Reverend Thomas Martin. Madison then went to higher education at the College of New Jersey, which is now known as Princeton University. In 1771, Madison graduated with high marks. (monteplier.org 1) The subjects Madison graduation with were in classical languages, mathematics, rhetoric, geography, and philosophy. Madison became the college’s first graduate to study Hebrew, and political philosophy under John Witherspoon who was the president of the university and later a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Madison became interested in politics and found a deep interest in the struggles between the American colonies and Great Britain. In 1774, Madison started his political journey as a member of the Orange County Committee of Safety. Later, in 1776, Madison was elected to the Virginia legislature.  Madison then moved on to serve on the Governor’s Council. Madison then served in the Continental Congress from 1780 to 1783. Madison gained a reputation for deeply considering arguments and for bringing several interests together in coalitions. Once Madison returned to Virginia to serve a second term in the Legislature, Madison felt concerned in how state governments were functioning in which begins his road into becoming President.James Madison began ties with Thomas Jefferson, who at the time Jefferson was the governor of Virginia. Jefferson and Madison grew a strong relationship. Once Jefferson became the third president of the U.S., Jefferson appointed James Madison as Secretary of State. Madison and Jefferson even founded the Democratic-Republican party together. Since Madison was into politics, he prepared for the Constitutional Convention.  In 1787, Madison drafted a document which is known as the Virginia plan. The Virginia plan provided framework for the Constitution of the United States. When Madison was 36, he spent months in Montpelier’s library leading up to the convention to study ancient political philosophy and history of attempts at republican forms of government. Madison’s plan proposed a central government with three branches that would check and balance each other. This kept any branch from gaining too much power over the other. Madison had to use his skills to argue for his viewpoints. Madison also had to accept compromises to make sure that the Convention would make a Constitution that all the states could accept. James Madison was rejected on being called the father and had to overcome what others thought. Madison pushed throughout his whole life the Constitution needed to be ratified. Madison, with John Jay,  and Alexander Hamilton, penned a series of 85 newspaper articles which described details and how the Constitution would function.  These were known as “The Federalist Papers” amd these are known as one of the most ground breaking philosophy ever.  (montpelier.org 2) Madison went to Virginia to go to its ratifying convention. Madison argued against anti-federalist Patrick Henry at the convention. Along with many other states, Virginia would then go on to ratify the constitution. This is why Madison is referred to as the father of the constitution. Now, along with being a big contributor in the constitution Madison also was a big contributor and put a lot of hardwork in the Bill of Rights which was a huge impact on America. At first, Madison thought the Bill of Rights was unnecessary and harmful for America. Madison agreed to the idea when it shown that the only for the Constitution to be ratified, was with the promise of the Bill of Rights. Madison made a list of 19 proposals from the hundreds of suggestions that state’s ratification debates had come out of.  A Congressional committee edited the suggestions into 12 amendments, but only 10 would move on to be ratified by the states. The 10 amendments were put at the end of the Constitution as a completely separate Bill of Rights, as Madison had thought. In 1794, Madison met Dolley Payne Todd from the request of her acquaintance who was a widow in which she had lost her husband and sun from a yellow fever outbreak. Madison married Dolley Payne Todd  at 43 years old later that year.  Madison helped raise Dolley’s  surviving son, John Payne Todd.

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