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James Madison

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JAMES MADISON

James Madison was born on March 16, 1751 in Port Conway, Virginia. His parents were Eleanor Rose Conway and Colonel James Madison Sr. He had twelve younger sisters and brothers. James Madison grew up on a tobacco plantation in Orange County, Virginia. He graduated from the College of New Jersey, which is now known as Princeton University in 1771. On September 14, 1794 he married Dolley Payne Todd.

James Madison started his career in politics in 1776 when he served in the state legislature in Virginia. During this time he helped write the Declaration of Religious Freedom, which broke up the Church of England and denied the state power in religious matters. In 1787 at the Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia he drafted the Virginia Plan. This plan became the basis for the Constitution. He wanted a strong government so he joined forces with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay to write The Federalist Papers that explained the new government. He started the fight for the ratification of the Constitution and is called the Father of the Constitution because of this. James Madison served in Congress from 1789 until 1797. In June 1789 he proposed twelve amendments to the Constitution even though he felt that it was unnecessary. He did this because the people who support the Constitution's ratification demanded a Bill of Rights. In December 1791 the last ten proposed amendments were ratified and became the Bill of Rights.

James Madison was President Thomas Jefferson's Secretary of State from 1801 until 1809. During this time he supervised The Louisiana Purchase and sponsored The Embargo Act of 1807. He became the fourth president of the United States on March 4, 1809 and served until March 4, 1817. In 1812 he led the United States in a war against Britain that ended in 1815 with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent. When President Madison left office in 1817 he retired

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