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History Main / JamesMadison

27th Dec '13 1:00:56 PM MarkLungo
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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/JMadison.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:So let me get this straight, you named your daughter Madison after the city which was named after the president, [[GenderBlenderName who was a guy.]][[labelnote:*]] Technically not a boy's name [[TwoFirstNames since Madison was his last name]], but it's still funny.[[/labelnote]]]]

->''“Equal laws protecting equal rights... the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country.”''
-->--'''James Madison'''

->''"James Madison never had a son and he fought the {{War of 1812}}."''
-->--'''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}''', the ''President's Song''

'''James Madison''' (1751-1836) was a Founding Father, the fourth President from [[AntebellumAmerica 1817 to 1825]] (following ThomasJefferson and preceding JamesMonroe), and one of the most important and influential minds in American history. He served from 1809 to 1817 and was the second president from the Democratic-Republican Party. He is known as the “Father of the Constitution” and the “Father of the Bill of Rights,” though he didn’t like to be called either of them. His political beliefs changed a lot throughout his lifetime. During the Revolutionary War, Madison served on the Virginia state legislature, and sometimes worked closely with ThomasJefferson. He later served as the youngest delegate to the Congress under the Articles of Confederation, where he gained experience in federal government and got a first-hand sense of the problems of the government under the Articles. He also read countless books on government sent to him by Jefferson. When the Constitutional Convention met in order to discuss the Articles' shortcomings, he was the one who convinced GeorgeWashington to attend and preside over the Convention.

He was one of the most active delegates at the Convention, speaking hundreds of times, and impressed many of the others with his arguments for a stronger federal government and his well-researched knowledge of nearly every issue. The detailed diary Madison kept on the Convention has remained a priceless insight into the process of writing the Constitution. Madison was the author and primary supporter of the Virginia Plan at the Convention, which proposed that the nation’s legislative branch would represent each state based on their population (which would become the idea for the House of Representatives), among other things. His role in the convention is important for establishing a powerful federal government that could pass laws over the entire nation, rather than the essentially state-based power of the Articles. Since the Virginia Plan would essentially serve as a first draft of the eventual Constitution passed by the Convention, he has often been credited as the Constitution’s primary author.

Along with UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton and John Jay, he wrote the ''[[AmericanFederalism Federalist Papers]],'' a series of 85 academic articles all written anonymously that supported ratification of the Constitution and explained it to the public (he wrote 26 by himself and three with Hamilton). Madison’s ''Papers'' also defended several of the most important aspects of the Constitution, such as a system of checks-and-balances, a federal government with more power than the state governments that still respects state sovereignty, the idea of limited government, the three-fifth compromise (where every five slaves would count as three freedmen in the state’s population [[note]]The Southern pro-slavery politicians wanted to give slaves full sufferage while the (mostly) anti-slavery Northerners wanted to bar the slaves from all elections. The reasoning was that without counting the slave population, the North has a larger population than the South, and the legislators of the Slave states wanted to be able use the slaves' votes (actually, the slaveholder voted "on behalf" of his slaves) to maintain majority[[/note]]), and, most importantly, the argument that a strong national government would have more power to quell rebellions and prevent self-interested parties from gaining too much power. The writings and beliefs of Creator/NiccoloMachiavelli served as an inspiration to Madison and other Founding Fathers, such as JohnAdams.

As the debate over state ratification grew, many opposed to ratification began to argue that the Constitution lacked a Bill of Rights and that, as a result, the federal government did not have to consider the basic human rights that the Revolutionary War was fought defending. Madison, and most of the others in the Convention, believed that such a Bill was unnecessary and that it would only defend the rights that were ''specifically mentioned''. However, he [[{{GenreSavvy}} quickly realized]] that some of the states might not ratify the Constitution, and he responded by writing and promoting a series of twenty amendments to the Constitution that would define and defend these rights and certain political practices. These were eventually condensed into the first ten amendments to the Constitution, which have since been referred to as the Bill of Rights. The ninth and tenth amendments defend certain rights held by the people that weren’t mentioned in the other amendment and that all powers not granted to the federal government are held by the states, respectively. Additionally, one of his other proposed amendments, which says that changes in the amount paid to Congressmen wouldn’t take place until after the next congressional election, would be ratified as the twenty-seventh amendment in ''1992''. After the ratification of the Constitution, he was elected to the House of Representatives.

He did all of this before he turned 40, by the way.

Later, James Madison became, in a seeming reversal of his political stance during the Convention, one of the most active conservatives in the nation[[note]]it may not have been a reversal, as much as it was Madison opposing the Federalists' desire to exceed the level of power that he'd originally allotted the national government; he didn't want it to have too little power, but he also worried that the Federalists were going to give it ''too much'' power; also note that the term "conservative" is tricky, as Jefferson can be seen as much farther left, and Federalist John Marshall much further right[[/note]], opposing the Federalist Party's efforts to increase the powers of the national government. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson essentially created the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalists, which were led primarily by JohnAdams and UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton. He remained a strong supporter of powerful state governments and “strict construction” of the Constitution (where it is taken literally and that all powers not held by the federal government are assumed by either the states or the people) for the next several years of his life. After President Adams passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, Madison and Jefferson wrote the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions opposed to those acts, declaring them to be unconstitutional. While Madison's Virginia Resolution only criticized the two acts, Jefferson called for possible secession; Madison convinced Jefferson to calm down from this view. Madison then served as Secretary of State under Jefferson, and was the primary American diplomat during the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803. That same year, he was also involved in the Supreme Court case of ''Marbury v. Madison'', which, to his annoyance, determined that federal courts have the right to interpret the Constitution and the constitutionality of laws through the power of judicial review.

He was elected President after Jefferson’s two terms were over. In 1811, he did not renew the charter that would keep the national bank founded by Hamilton (it needed to be renewed every twenty years or the bank would be dismantled). During the first few years of his presidency, relations with Great Britain strained tremendously, due largely to the [[BritsWithBattleships British Navy’s]] practice of illegally searching American ships for British deserters and, sometimes, stealing American sailors and conscripting them in the British Navy. Banning trade with the United Kingdom did nothing to stop this, either. An outraged Madison eventually asked Congress to [[WarOf1812 declare war on Britain]]. The War of 1812[[note]]which, unlike the name suggests, actually lasted until 1815[[/note]] was an ''absolute nightmare'' for the federal government because of a succession of weak generals and because the government was not yet properly organized to manage a war. There was also an ill-advised attempt to make annexing Canada part of the overall war strategy, in the belief that most Canadians would jump at the chance to free themselves from British rule and welcome American troops as liberators. If you've looked at a map of North America lately, you can probably tell how well that plan went over. At one point, the British army successfully reached Washington, D.C., and burnt down much of the city, including the original White House. Luckily for Madison, all of this happened after the 1812 election that gave Madison four more years; he probably wouldn’t have won otherwise. He also became the first (and currently only) president to lead troops into battle while in office; [[EpicFail the battle was a defeat and Madison fled]].

America eventually managed enough victories to successfully negotiate a peace treaty with Great Britain without actually surrendering. Indeed, Madison succeeded in getting Britain to remove their forts from the Mississippi River basin and getting them to cease the conscription of American sailors, thus achieving the initial goals of the war without losing any territory to Britain. Madison's chief accomplishment as President was successfully preserving the Constitution and holding the nation together through the nation's first major war. Unlike [[AbrahamLincoln most]] [[WoodrowWilson of]] [[FranklinDRoosevelt the]] [[LyndonJohnson other]] [[GeorgeWBush wartime]] [[BarackObama Presidents]], Madison managed to do this without suspending civil liberties, attacking minorities, or expanding presidential powers, so that's impressive. After the war was over, Madison changed his political views yet again and supported many of the policies he previously opposed, such as a standing military that is professionally trained, the American System of Speaker of the House HenryClay, and, ironically, a national bank.

Like Jefferson before him, Madison had to send the Navy to suppress North African pirates in the Mediterranean. He was also somewhat ahead of his time when it came to his views on Native Americans. He ordered the army to protect tribal lands from being settled by whites. AndrewJackson wasn’t amused. During his time as President, Indiana and Louisiana were admitted to the Union.

Madison spent most of the rest of his life in Montpelier, his tobacco plantation. Madison was a slave owner, but he [[FairForItsDay genuinely had sympathy for African Americans]]; one of his own slaves would comment after Madison’s death that he never had his slaves physically punished, ordering the overseers not to hurt them, and always talked to them like they were people instead of tools of labor. He was a supporter (and, for a brief time, the president) of the American Colonization Society, which aimed to [[{{UsefulNotes/Liberia}} create colonies in Africa for freed slaves]]. Madison spent much of his last few years [[PoliticallyCorrectHistory altering documents he wrote in order to protect his reputation after his death]]. During this time, he also spoke out against excessive states' rights out of the belief that [[GenreSavvy it could eventually disrupt the Union]]; he especially objected to John C. Calhoun's use of Madison's own Virginia Resolution during the Nullification Crisis of 1832. He also succeeded Jefferson as president of the University of Virginia, and would remain so until his death. He was the last Founding Father to die.

Many things have been named after Madison, including counties, colleges, towns, ships, the capital of Wisconsin, and Madison Square Garden in New York City. His wife Dolley, a famous hostess, was also used to name several things, such as the brand of ice cream. UrbanLegend holds it that she personally rescued the Gilbert Stuart painting of GeorgeWashington and the original drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution while the British started burning down the White House. In reality, it was done by the Madisons’ slaves a while before they reached the White House, though she does deserve credit for organizing the rescue.

Madison is also well-known for being the shortest president at 5 feet 4 inches (163 centimeters, and significantly below the average adult male height). It’s probably why he was exceedingly shy and wore black all the time; it’s slimming. Despite his shyness and the way he looked, he was actually a lot funnier than Jefferson. He had a cousin of the same name who was a bishop. One of only two Presidents from Princeton University, in contrast to the [[IvyLeagueForEveryone cavalcade of Harvard and Yale alums who've had the job]]. Of the two, Madison is definitely [[WoodrowWilson the least controversial]]. George Will once did a lecture--partially available on Youtube--comparing and contrasting the two Princeton alums who became President. Madison used to be on the $5,000 dollar bill, but these have been discontinued since 1969.

----
!!Tropes relating to President Madison:
* AmericansHateTingle: Even today, Canadians have a far dimmer view of James Madison, remembering him as the president who ordered the invasion of Canada, and the burning of York (modern Toronto) during the War of 1812. Indeed, when British and Canadian troops later burned Washington DC, it was [[CycleOfRevenge in direct retaliation for the burning of York.]]
* TheBGrade: Madison ''refused'' to settle for anything less than top grades when he was in college, and studied round the clock, so much so that he actually became sick from overwork.
* BadassBookworm: Name any American politician post-Founding Fathers (besides BenjaminFranklin) who hasn't been at least partially influenced by him. Go on, try.
* BigFancyHouse: His plantation estate, Montpelier.
* TheClan: The Madison family is very big and very far-reaching. He alone had ''eleven'' siblings.
* TheDeterminator: When Madison was in college, he was so determined to ace his classes that he actually made himself sick from overwork and non-stop studying.
** Also, his wife Dolley. During the War of 1812, as the British were marching to Washington to burn it down, she refused to leave until she oversaw the removal of a famous painting of George Washington, and ultimately made it out with only a few hours to spare. That painting still hangs in the White House today thanks to her.
* EmbarrassingNickname: Standing at 5'4 and being the shortest man to ever be president, Madison was unfortunately saddled with the nicknames "Little Jemmy" and "His Tiny Majesty".
* GenreSavvy: A big part of the reason why the Constitution has endured is thanks to Madison's being GenreSavvy enough about political philosophy and realities that he explicitly set out to create a system of checks and balances on power, and the amendment process, as well as explicitly stating what the various branches of government were supposed to do.
* HappilyMarried: To Dolley Madison
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation: Records seem to indicate that Madison wasn't very social. On the subject of his inaugural ball, he once said "I would much rather be in bed."
* IvyLeague: Went to [[{{Joisey}} Princeton]] (though back then it was named The College of New Jersey, [[{{NamesTheSame}} not to be confused with the current and different college--based in Ewing, NJ--that now bears the name The College of New Jersey]]).
* MagnumOpus: The United States Constitution.
* MassiveNumberedSiblings: See TheClan above.
* NamesTheSame: He had a cousin with the same name. This Madison was a minister.
* PerpetualFrowner: Most paintings depict him as this. Even by the standards of the time.
* [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething Presidents Who Actually Lead the Military]]: All US Presidents carry the title "Commander-in-Chief," but Madison is the last President to actually lead troops in battle. [[note]]During the attack on Washington DC, he took command of an artillery battery and directed fire against British forces to cover the evacuation of civilians and other officials.[[/note]]
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: One of the true moderates of the Founding Era, he disliked political extremes and sought to find the perfect balance for the American government. He helped lead the Federalists during the debate over whether to scrap the Articles of Confederation, and wrote Constitution in order to replace it. In the decades afterwards, he felt Federalists were starting to move too far in the direction of powerful central government, and sided with Jefferson's Republicans in order to push back against the excesses of the faction he'd formerly sided with.
* RedOniBlueOni: The Blue to Jefferson's Red.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: During the drafting of the Federalist Papers, Madison was the sensitive guy compared to UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton's more brash public persona. Could also be considered this trope in comparison with Hamilton's archrival, Madison's fellow Republican Thomas Jefferson.
* TheSmartGuy: Oh, surely. Besides Jefferson, he's probably the smartest of the American Presidents.
* TinyGuyHugeGirl: At 5'7 Dolley Madison was quite tall for a woman of her era. She also loved to wear turbans, which were often decorated with ostrich or bird of paradise plumes that would have made her seem even taller still, especially next to the diminutive James.
!!James Madison in fiction:
* In the ''{{Futurama}}'' episode "All the President's Heads," the head of James Madison has an elbow fetish.
* The school district in ''{{Roseanne}}'' was named after Madison.
* In an episode of ''RobotChicken'', a [[RealTrailerFakeMovie trailer]] is shown for a biopic starring Creator/AdamSandler, called ''Happy Madison''.
* In Literature/DecadesOfDarkness, Madison is the President of the United States when New England rebels and becomes independent.

----

to:

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/JMadison.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:So let me get this straight, you named your daughter Madison after the city which was named after the president, [[GenderBlenderName who was a guy.]][[labelnote:*]] Technically not a boy's name [[TwoFirstNames since Madison was his last name]], but it's still funny.[[/labelnote]]]]

->''“Equal laws protecting equal rights... the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country.”''
-->--'''James Madison'''

->''"James Madison never had a son and he fought the {{War of 1812}}."''
-->--'''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}''', the ''President's Song''

'''James Madison''' (1751-1836) was a Founding Father, the fourth President from [[AntebellumAmerica 1817 to 1825]] (following ThomasJefferson and preceding JamesMonroe), and one of the most important and influential minds in American history. He served from 1809 to 1817 and was the second president from the Democratic-Republican Party. He is known as the “Father of the Constitution” and the “Father of the Bill of Rights,” though he didn’t like to be called either of them. His political beliefs changed a lot throughout his lifetime. During the Revolutionary War, Madison served on the Virginia state legislature, and sometimes worked closely with ThomasJefferson. He later served as the youngest delegate to the Congress under the Articles of Confederation, where he gained experience in federal government and got a first-hand sense of the problems of the government under the Articles. He also read countless books on government sent to him by Jefferson. When the Constitutional Convention met in order to discuss the Articles' shortcomings, he was the one who convinced GeorgeWashington to attend and preside over the Convention.

He was one of the most active delegates at the Convention, speaking hundreds of times, and impressed many of the others with his arguments for a stronger federal government and his well-researched knowledge of nearly every issue. The detailed diary Madison kept on the Convention has remained a priceless insight into the process of writing the Constitution. Madison was the author and primary supporter of the Virginia Plan at the Convention, which proposed that the nation’s legislative branch would represent each state based on their population (which would become the idea for the House of Representatives), among other things. His role in the convention is important for establishing a powerful federal government that could pass laws over the entire nation, rather than the essentially state-based power of the Articles. Since the Virginia Plan would essentially serve as a first draft of the eventual Constitution passed by the Convention, he has often been credited as the Constitution’s primary author.

Along with UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton and John Jay, he wrote the ''[[AmericanFederalism Federalist Papers]],'' a series of 85 academic articles all written anonymously that supported ratification of the Constitution and explained it to the public (he wrote 26 by himself and three with Hamilton). Madison’s ''Papers'' also defended several of the most important aspects of the Constitution, such as a system of checks-and-balances, a federal government with more power than the state governments that still respects state sovereignty, the idea of limited government, the three-fifth compromise (where every five slaves would count as three freedmen in the state’s population [[note]]The Southern pro-slavery politicians wanted to give slaves full sufferage while the (mostly) anti-slavery Northerners wanted to bar the slaves from all elections. The reasoning was that without counting the slave population, the North has a larger population than the South, and the legislators of the Slave states wanted to be able use the slaves' votes (actually, the slaveholder voted "on behalf" of his slaves) to maintain majority[[/note]]), and, most importantly, the argument that a strong national government would have more power to quell rebellions and prevent self-interested parties from gaining too much power. The writings and beliefs of Creator/NiccoloMachiavelli served as an inspiration to Madison and other Founding Fathers, such as JohnAdams.

As the debate over state ratification grew, many opposed to ratification began to argue that the Constitution lacked a Bill of Rights and that, as a result, the federal government did not have to consider the basic human rights that the Revolutionary War was fought defending. Madison, and most of the others in the Convention, believed that such a Bill was unnecessary and that it would only defend the rights that were ''specifically mentioned''. However, he [[{{GenreSavvy}} quickly realized]] that some of the states might not ratify the Constitution, and he responded by writing and promoting a series of twenty amendments to the Constitution that would define and defend these rights and certain political practices. These were eventually condensed into the first ten amendments to the Constitution, which have since been referred to as the Bill of Rights. The ninth and tenth amendments defend certain rights held by the people that weren’t mentioned in the other amendment and that all powers not granted to the federal government are held by the states, respectively. Additionally, one of his other proposed amendments, which says that changes in the amount paid to Congressmen wouldn’t take place until after the next congressional election, would be ratified as the twenty-seventh amendment in ''1992''. After the ratification of the Constitution, he was elected to the House of Representatives.

He did all of this before he turned 40, by the way.

Later, James Madison became, in a seeming reversal of his political stance during the Convention, one of the most active conservatives in the nation[[note]]it may not have been a reversal, as much as it was Madison opposing the Federalists' desire to exceed the level of power that he'd originally allotted the national government; he didn't want it to have too little power, but he also worried that the Federalists were going to give it ''too much'' power; also note that the term "conservative" is tricky, as Jefferson can be seen as much farther left, and Federalist John Marshall much further right[[/note]], opposing the Federalist Party's efforts to increase the powers of the national government. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson essentially created the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalists, which were led primarily by JohnAdams and UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton. He remained a strong supporter of powerful state governments and “strict construction” of the Constitution (where it is taken literally and that all powers not held by the federal government are assumed by either the states or the people) for the next several years of his life. After President Adams passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, Madison and Jefferson wrote the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions opposed to those acts, declaring them to be unconstitutional. While Madison's Virginia Resolution only criticized the two acts, Jefferson called for possible secession; Madison convinced Jefferson to calm down from this view. Madison then served as Secretary of State under Jefferson, and was the primary American diplomat during the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803. That same year, he was also involved in the Supreme Court case of ''Marbury v. Madison'', which, to his annoyance, determined that federal courts have the right to interpret the Constitution and the constitutionality of laws through the power of judicial review.

He was elected President after Jefferson’s two terms were over. In 1811, he did not renew the charter that would keep the national bank founded by Hamilton (it needed to be renewed every twenty years or the bank would be dismantled). During the first few years of his presidency, relations with Great Britain strained tremendously, due largely to the [[BritsWithBattleships British Navy’s]] practice of illegally searching American ships for British deserters and, sometimes, stealing American sailors and conscripting them in the British Navy. Banning trade with the United Kingdom did nothing to stop this, either. An outraged Madison eventually asked Congress to [[WarOf1812 declare war on Britain]]. The War of 1812[[note]]which, unlike the name suggests, actually lasted until 1815[[/note]] was an ''absolute nightmare'' for the federal government because of a succession of weak generals and because the government was not yet properly organized to manage a war. There was also an ill-advised attempt to make annexing Canada part of the overall war strategy, in the belief that most Canadians would jump at the chance to free themselves from British rule and welcome American troops as liberators. If you've looked at a map of North America lately, you can probably tell how well that plan went over. At one point, the British army successfully reached Washington, D.C., and burnt down much of the city, including the original White House. Luckily for Madison, all of this happened after the 1812 election that gave Madison four more years; he probably wouldn’t have won otherwise. He also became the first (and currently only) president to lead troops into battle while in office; [[EpicFail the battle was a defeat and Madison fled]].

America eventually managed enough victories to successfully negotiate a peace treaty with Great Britain without actually surrendering. Indeed, Madison succeeded in getting Britain to remove their forts from the Mississippi River basin and getting them to cease the conscription of American sailors, thus achieving the initial goals of the war without losing any territory to Britain. Madison's chief accomplishment as President was successfully preserving the Constitution and holding the nation together through the nation's first major war. Unlike [[AbrahamLincoln most]] [[WoodrowWilson of]] [[FranklinDRoosevelt the]] [[LyndonJohnson other]] [[GeorgeWBush wartime]] [[BarackObama Presidents]], Madison managed to do this without suspending civil liberties, attacking minorities, or expanding presidential powers, so that's impressive. After the war was over, Madison changed his political views yet again and supported many of the policies he previously opposed, such as a standing military that is professionally trained, the American System of Speaker of the House HenryClay, and, ironically, a national bank.

Like Jefferson before him, Madison had to send the Navy to suppress North African pirates in the Mediterranean. He was also somewhat ahead of his time when it came to his views on Native Americans. He ordered the army to protect tribal lands from being settled by whites. AndrewJackson wasn’t amused. During his time as President, Indiana and Louisiana were admitted to the Union.

Madison spent most of the rest of his life in Montpelier, his tobacco plantation. Madison was a slave owner, but he [[FairForItsDay genuinely had sympathy for African Americans]]; one of his own slaves would comment after Madison’s death that he never had his slaves physically punished, ordering the overseers not to hurt them, and always talked to them like they were people instead of tools of labor. He was a supporter (and, for a brief time, the president) of the American Colonization Society, which aimed to [[{{UsefulNotes/Liberia}} create colonies in Africa for freed slaves]]. Madison spent much of his last few years [[PoliticallyCorrectHistory altering documents he wrote in order to protect his reputation after his death]]. During this time, he also spoke out against excessive states' rights out of the belief that [[GenreSavvy it could eventually disrupt the Union]]; he especially objected to John C. Calhoun's use of Madison's own Virginia Resolution during the Nullification Crisis of 1832. He also succeeded Jefferson as president of the University of Virginia, and would remain so until his death. He was the last Founding Father to die.

Many things have been named after Madison, including counties, colleges, towns, ships, the capital of Wisconsin, and Madison Square Garden in New York City. His wife Dolley, a famous hostess, was also used to name several things, such as the brand of ice cream. UrbanLegend holds it that she personally rescued the Gilbert Stuart painting of GeorgeWashington and the original drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution while the British started burning down the White House. In reality, it was done by the Madisons’ slaves a while before they reached the White House, though she does deserve credit for organizing the rescue.

Madison is also well-known for being the shortest president at 5 feet 4 inches (163 centimeters, and significantly below the average adult male height). It’s probably why he was exceedingly shy and wore black all the time; it’s slimming. Despite his shyness and the way he looked, he was actually a lot funnier than Jefferson. He had a cousin of the same name who was a bishop. One of only two Presidents from Princeton University, in contrast to the [[IvyLeagueForEveryone cavalcade of Harvard and Yale alums who've had the job]]. Of the two, Madison is definitely [[WoodrowWilson the least controversial]]. George Will once did a lecture--partially available on Youtube--comparing and contrasting the two Princeton alums who became President. Madison used to be on the $5,000 dollar bill, but these have been discontinued since 1969.

----
!!Tropes relating to President Madison:
* AmericansHateTingle: Even today, Canadians have a far dimmer view of James Madison, remembering him as the president who ordered the invasion of Canada, and the burning of York (modern Toronto) during the War of 1812. Indeed, when British and Canadian troops later burned Washington DC, it was [[CycleOfRevenge in direct retaliation for the burning of York.]]
* TheBGrade: Madison ''refused'' to settle for anything less than top grades when he was in college, and studied round the clock, so much so that he actually became sick from overwork.
* BadassBookworm: Name any American politician post-Founding Fathers (besides BenjaminFranklin) who hasn't been at least partially influenced by him. Go on, try.
* BigFancyHouse: His plantation estate, Montpelier.
* TheClan: The Madison family is very big and very far-reaching. He alone had ''eleven'' siblings.
* TheDeterminator: When Madison was in college, he was so determined to ace his classes that he actually made himself sick from overwork and non-stop studying.
** Also, his wife Dolley. During the War of 1812, as the British were marching to Washington to burn it down, she refused to leave until she oversaw the removal of a famous painting of George Washington, and ultimately made it out with only a few hours to spare. That painting still hangs in the White House today thanks to her.
* EmbarrassingNickname: Standing at 5'4 and being the shortest man to ever be president, Madison was unfortunately saddled with the nicknames "Little Jemmy" and "His Tiny Majesty".
* GenreSavvy: A big part of the reason why the Constitution has endured is thanks to Madison's being GenreSavvy enough about political philosophy and realities that he explicitly set out to create a system of checks and balances on power, and the amendment process, as well as explicitly stating what the various branches of government were supposed to do.
* HappilyMarried: To Dolley Madison
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation: Records seem to indicate that Madison wasn't very social. On the subject of his inaugural ball, he once said "I would much rather be in bed."
* IvyLeague: Went to [[{{Joisey}} Princeton]] (though back then it was named The College of New Jersey, [[{{NamesTheSame}} not to be confused with the current and different college--based in Ewing, NJ--that now bears the name The College of New Jersey]]).
* MagnumOpus: The United States Constitution.
* MassiveNumberedSiblings: See TheClan above.
* NamesTheSame: He had a cousin with the same name. This Madison was a minister.
* PerpetualFrowner: Most paintings depict him as this. Even by the standards of the time.
* [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething Presidents Who Actually Lead the Military]]: All US Presidents carry the title "Commander-in-Chief," but Madison is the last President to actually lead troops in battle. [[note]]During the attack on Washington DC, he took command of an artillery battery and directed fire against British forces to cover the evacuation of civilians and other officials.[[/note]]
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: One of the true moderates of the Founding Era, he disliked political extremes and sought to find the perfect balance for the American government. He helped lead the Federalists during the debate over whether to scrap the Articles of Confederation, and wrote Constitution in order to replace it. In the decades afterwards, he felt Federalists were starting to move too far in the direction of powerful central government, and sided with Jefferson's Republicans in order to push back against the excesses of the faction he'd formerly sided with.
* RedOniBlueOni: The Blue to Jefferson's Red.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: During the drafting of the Federalist Papers, Madison was the sensitive guy compared to UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton's more brash public persona. Could also be considered this trope in comparison with Hamilton's archrival, Madison's fellow Republican Thomas Jefferson.
* TheSmartGuy: Oh, surely. Besides Jefferson, he's probably the smartest of the American Presidents.
* TinyGuyHugeGirl: At 5'7 Dolley Madison was quite tall for a woman of her era. She also loved to wear turbans, which were often decorated with ostrich or bird of paradise plumes that would have made her seem even taller still, especially next to the diminutive James.
!!James Madison in fiction:
* In the ''{{Futurama}}'' episode "All the President's Heads," the head of James Madison has an elbow fetish.
* The school district in ''{{Roseanne}}'' was named after Madison.
* In an episode of ''RobotChicken'', a [[RealTrailerFakeMovie trailer]] is shown for a biopic starring Creator/AdamSandler, called ''Happy Madison''.
* In Literature/DecadesOfDarkness, Madison is the President of the United States when New England rebels and becomes independent.

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[[redirect:UsefulNotes/JamesMadison]]
6th Dec '13 1:45:26 PM MarkLungo
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->''"James Madison never had a son and he fought the [[ShapedLikeItself War of 1812]]."''

to:

->''"James Madison never had a son and he fought the [[ShapedLikeItself War {{War of 1812]].1812}}."''



Along with AlexanderHamilton and John Jay, he wrote the ''[[AmericanFederalism Federalist Papers]],'' a series of 85 academic articles all written anonymously that supported ratification of the Constitution and explained it to the public (he wrote 26 by himself and three with Hamilton). Madison’s ''Papers'' also defended several of the most important aspects of the Constitution, such as a system of checks-and-balances, a federal government with more power than the state governments that still respects state sovereignty, the idea of limited government, the three-fifth compromise (where every five slaves would count as three freedmen in the state’s population [[note]]The Southern pro-slavery politicians wanted to give slaves full sufferage while the (mostly) anti-slavery Northerners wanted to bar the slaves from all elections. The reasoning was that without counting the slave population, the North has a larger population than the South, and the legislators of the Slave states wanted to be able use the slaves' votes (actually, the slaveholder voted "on behalf" of his slaves) to maintain majority[[/note]]), and, most importantly, the argument that a strong national government would have more power to quell rebellions and prevent self-interested parties from gaining too much power. The writings and beliefs of Creator/NiccoloMachiavelli served as an inspiration to Madison and other Founding Fathers, such as JohnAdams.

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Along with AlexanderHamilton UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton and John Jay, he wrote the ''[[AmericanFederalism Federalist Papers]],'' a series of 85 academic articles all written anonymously that supported ratification of the Constitution and explained it to the public (he wrote 26 by himself and three with Hamilton). Madison’s ''Papers'' also defended several of the most important aspects of the Constitution, such as a system of checks-and-balances, a federal government with more power than the state governments that still respects state sovereignty, the idea of limited government, the three-fifth compromise (where every five slaves would count as three freedmen in the state’s population [[note]]The Southern pro-slavery politicians wanted to give slaves full sufferage while the (mostly) anti-slavery Northerners wanted to bar the slaves from all elections. The reasoning was that without counting the slave population, the North has a larger population than the South, and the legislators of the Slave states wanted to be able use the slaves' votes (actually, the slaveholder voted "on behalf" of his slaves) to maintain majority[[/note]]), and, most importantly, the argument that a strong national government would have more power to quell rebellions and prevent self-interested parties from gaining too much power. The writings and beliefs of Creator/NiccoloMachiavelli served as an inspiration to Madison and other Founding Fathers, such as JohnAdams.



Later, James Madison became, in a seeming reversal of his political stance during the Convention, one of the most active conservatives in the nation[[note]]it may not have been a reversal, as much as it was Madison opposing the Federalists' desire to exceed the level of power that he'd originally allotted the national government; he didn't want it to have too little power, but he also worried that the Federalists were going to give it ''too much'' power; also note that the term "conservative" is tricky, as Jefferson can be seen as much farther left, and Federalist John Marshall much further right[[/note]], opposing the Federalist Party's efforts to increase the powers of the national government. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson essentially created the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalists, which were led primarily by JohnAdams and AlexanderHamilton. He remained a strong supporter of powerful state governments and “strict construction” of the Constitution (where it is taken literally and that all powers not held by the federal government are assumed by either the states or the people) for the next several years of his life. After President Adams passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, Madison and Jefferson wrote the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions opposed to those acts, declaring them to be unconstitutional. While Madison's Virginia Resolution only criticized the two acts, Jefferson called for possible secession; Madison convinced Jefferson to calm down from this view. Madison then served as Secretary of State under Jefferson, and was the primary American diplomat during the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803. That same year, he was also involved in the Supreme Court case of ''Marbury v. Madison'', which, to his annoyance, determined that federal courts have the right to interpret the Constitution and the constitutionality of laws through the power of judicial review.

to:

Later, James Madison became, in a seeming reversal of his political stance during the Convention, one of the most active conservatives in the nation[[note]]it may not have been a reversal, as much as it was Madison opposing the Federalists' desire to exceed the level of power that he'd originally allotted the national government; he didn't want it to have too little power, but he also worried that the Federalists were going to give it ''too much'' power; also note that the term "conservative" is tricky, as Jefferson can be seen as much farther left, and Federalist John Marshall much further right[[/note]], opposing the Federalist Party's efforts to increase the powers of the national government. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson essentially created the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalists, which were led primarily by JohnAdams and AlexanderHamilton.UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton. He remained a strong supporter of powerful state governments and “strict construction” of the Constitution (where it is taken literally and that all powers not held by the federal government are assumed by either the states or the people) for the next several years of his life. After President Adams passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, Madison and Jefferson wrote the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions opposed to those acts, declaring them to be unconstitutional. While Madison's Virginia Resolution only criticized the two acts, Jefferson called for possible secession; Madison convinced Jefferson to calm down from this view. Madison then served as Secretary of State under Jefferson, and was the primary American diplomat during the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803. That same year, he was also involved in the Supreme Court case of ''Marbury v. Madison'', which, to his annoyance, determined that federal courts have the right to interpret the Constitution and the constitutionality of laws through the power of judicial review.



* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: During the drafting of the Federalist Papers, Madison was the sensitive guy compared to AlexanderHamilton's more brash public persona. Could also be considered this trope in comparison with Hamilton's archrival, Madison's fellow Republican Thomas Jefferson.

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* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: During the drafting of the Federalist Papers, Madison was the sensitive guy compared to AlexanderHamilton's UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton's more brash public persona. Could also be considered this trope in comparison with Hamilton's archrival, Madison's fellow Republican Thomas Jefferson.
25th Nov '13 11:40:01 AM ThisIsATestTai
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'''James Madison''' (1751-1836) was a Founding Father, the fourth President, and one of the most important and influential minds in American history. He served from 1809 to 1817 and was the second president from the Democratic-Republican Party. He is known as the “Father of the Constitution” and the “Father of the Bill of Rights,” though he didn’t like to be called either of them. His political beliefs changed a lot throughout his lifetime. During the Revolutionary War, Madison served on the Virginia state legislature, and sometimes worked closely with ThomasJefferson. He later served as the youngest delegate to the Congress under the Articles of Confederation, where he gained experience in federal government and got a first-hand sense of the problems of the government under the Articles. He also read countless books on government sent to him by Jefferson. When the Constitutional Convention met in order to discuss the Articles' shortcomings, he was the one who convinced GeorgeWashington to attend and preside over the Convention.

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'''James Madison''' (1751-1836) was a Founding Father, the fourth President, President from [[AntebellumAmerica 1817 to 1825]] (following ThomasJefferson and preceding JamesMonroe), and one of the most important and influential minds in American history. He served from 1809 to 1817 and was the second president from the Democratic-Republican Party. He is known as the “Father of the Constitution” and the “Father of the Bill of Rights,” though he didn’t like to be called either of them. His political beliefs changed a lot throughout his lifetime. During the Revolutionary War, Madison served on the Virginia state legislature, and sometimes worked closely with ThomasJefferson. He later served as the youngest delegate to the Congress under the Articles of Confederation, where he gained experience in federal government and got a first-hand sense of the problems of the government under the Articles. He also read countless books on government sent to him by Jefferson. When the Constitutional Convention met in order to discuss the Articles' shortcomings, he was the one who convinced GeorgeWashington to attend and preside over the Convention.
23rd Nov '13 3:36:08 PM MysteriousF
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James Madison (1751-1836) was a Founding Father, the fourth President, and one of the most important and influential minds in American history. He served from 1809 to 1817 and was the second president from the Democratic-Republican Party. He is known as the “Father of the Constitution” and the “Father of the Bill of Rights,” though he didn’t like to be called either of them. His political beliefs changed a lot throughout his lifetime. During the Revolutionary War, Madison served on the Virginia state legislature, and sometimes worked closely with ThomasJefferson. He later served as the youngest delegate to the Congress under the Articles of Confederation, where he gained experience in federal government and got a first-hand sense of the problems of the government under the Articles. He also read countless books on government sent to him by Jefferson. When the Constitutional Convention met in order to discuss the Articles' shortcomings, he was the one who convinced GeorgeWashington to attend and preside over the Convention.

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James Madison '''James Madison''' (1751-1836) was a Founding Father, the fourth President, and one of the most important and influential minds in American history. He served from 1809 to 1817 and was the second president from the Democratic-Republican Party. He is known as the “Father of the Constitution” and the “Father of the Bill of Rights,” though he didn’t like to be called either of them. His political beliefs changed a lot throughout his lifetime. During the Revolutionary War, Madison served on the Virginia state legislature, and sometimes worked closely with ThomasJefferson. He later served as the youngest delegate to the Congress under the Articles of Confederation, where he gained experience in federal government and got a first-hand sense of the problems of the government under the Articles. He also read countless books on government sent to him by Jefferson. When the Constitutional Convention met in order to discuss the Articles' shortcomings, he was the one who convinced GeorgeWashington to attend and preside over the Convention.
18th Nov '13 9:09:37 PM Hyrin
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Added DiffLines:

* [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething Presidents Who Actually Lead the Military]]: All US Presidents carry the title "Commander-in-Chief," but Madison is the last President to actually lead troops in battle. [[note]]During the attack on Washington DC, he took command of an artillery battery and directed fire against British forces to cover the evacuation of civilians and other officials.[[/note]]
9th Oct '13 12:27:10 PM Milarqui
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* In Literature/DecadesOfDarkness, Madison is the President of the United States when New England rebels and becomes independent.
29th Sep '13 5:43:29 AM Viira
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Along with AlexanderHamilton and John Jay, he wrote the ''[[AmericanFederalism Federalist Papers]],'' a series of 85 academic articles all written anonymously that supported ratification of the Constitution and explained it to the public (he wrote 26 by himself and three with Hamilton). Madison’s ''Papers'' also defended several of the most important aspects of the Constitution, such as a system of checks-and-balances, a federal government with more power than the state governments that still respects state sovereignty, the idea of limited government, the three-fifth compromise (where every five slaves would count as three freedmen in the state’s population [[hottip:*:The Southern pro-slavery politicians wanted to give slaves full sufferage while the (mostly) anti-slavery Northerners wanted to bar the slaves from all elections. The reasoning was that without counting the slave population, the North has a larger population than the South, and the legislators of the Slave states wanted to be able use the slaves' votes (actually, the slaveholder voted "on behalf" of his slaves) to maintain majority]]), and, most importantly, the argument that a strong national government would have more power to quell rebellions and prevent self-interested parties from gaining too much power. The writings and beliefs of Creator/NiccoloMachiavelli served as an inspiration to Madison and other Founding Fathers, such as JohnAdams.

to:

Along with AlexanderHamilton and John Jay, he wrote the ''[[AmericanFederalism Federalist Papers]],'' a series of 85 academic articles all written anonymously that supported ratification of the Constitution and explained it to the public (he wrote 26 by himself and three with Hamilton). Madison’s ''Papers'' also defended several of the most important aspects of the Constitution, such as a system of checks-and-balances, a federal government with more power than the state governments that still respects state sovereignty, the idea of limited government, the three-fifth compromise (where every five slaves would count as three freedmen in the state’s population [[hottip:*:The [[note]]The Southern pro-slavery politicians wanted to give slaves full sufferage while the (mostly) anti-slavery Northerners wanted to bar the slaves from all elections. The reasoning was that without counting the slave population, the North has a larger population than the South, and the legislators of the Slave states wanted to be able use the slaves' votes (actually, the slaveholder voted "on behalf" of his slaves) to maintain majority]]), majority[[/note]]), and, most importantly, the argument that a strong national government would have more power to quell rebellions and prevent self-interested parties from gaining too much power. The writings and beliefs of Creator/NiccoloMachiavelli served as an inspiration to Madison and other Founding Fathers, such as JohnAdams.
26th Sep '13 8:48:05 PM Icing
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Later, James Madison became, in a seeming reversal of his political stance during the Convention, one of the most active conservatives in the nation[[note]]it may not have been a reversal, as much as it was Madison opposing the Federalists' desire to exceed the level of power that he'd originally allotted the national government; he didn't want it to have too little power, but he also worried that the Federalists were going to give it ''too much'' power[[/note]], opposing the Federalist Party's efforts to increase the powers of the national government. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson essentially created the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalists, which were led primarily by JohnAdams and AlexanderHamilton. He remained a strong supporter of powerful state governments and “strict construction” of the Constitution (where it is taken literally and that all powers not held by the federal government are assumed by either the states or the people) for the next several years of his life. After President Adams passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, Madison and Jefferson wrote the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions opposed to those acts, declaring them to be unconstitutional. While Madison's Virginia Resolution only criticized the two acts, Jefferson called for possible secession; Madison convinced Jefferson to calm down from this view. Madison then served as Secretary of State under Jefferson, and was the primary American diplomat during the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803. That same year, he was also involved in the Supreme Court case of ''Marbury v. Madison'', which, to his annoyance, determined that federal courts have the right to interpret the Constitution and the constitutionality of laws through the power of judicial review.

to:

Later, James Madison became, in a seeming reversal of his political stance during the Convention, one of the most active conservatives in the nation[[note]]it may not have been a reversal, as much as it was Madison opposing the Federalists' desire to exceed the level of power that he'd originally allotted the national government; he didn't want it to have too little power, but he also worried that the Federalists were going to give it ''too much'' power[[/note]], power; also note that the term "conservative" is tricky, as Jefferson can be seen as much farther left, and Federalist John Marshall much further right[[/note]], opposing the Federalist Party's efforts to increase the powers of the national government. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson essentially created the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalists, which were led primarily by JohnAdams and AlexanderHamilton. He remained a strong supporter of powerful state governments and “strict construction” of the Constitution (where it is taken literally and that all powers not held by the federal government are assumed by either the states or the people) for the next several years of his life. After President Adams passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, Madison and Jefferson wrote the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions opposed to those acts, declaring them to be unconstitutional. While Madison's Virginia Resolution only criticized the two acts, Jefferson called for possible secession; Madison convinced Jefferson to calm down from this view. Madison then served as Secretary of State under Jefferson, and was the primary American diplomat during the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803. That same year, he was also involved in the Supreme Court case of ''Marbury v. Madison'', which, to his annoyance, determined that federal courts have the right to interpret the Constitution and the constitutionality of laws through the power of judicial review.



Madison spent most of the rest of his life in Montpelier, his tobacco plantation. Madison was a slave owner, but he [[FairForItsDay genuinely had sympathy for African Americans]]; one of his own slaves would comment after Madison’s death that he never had his slaves physically punished, ordering the overseers not to hurt them, and always talked to them like they were people instead of tools of labor. He was a supporter (and, for a brief time, the president) of the American Colonization Society, which aimed to [[{{UsefulNotes/Liberia}} create colonies in Africa for freed slaves]]. Madison spent much of his last few years [[PoliticallyCorrectHistory altering documents he wrote in order to protect his reputation after his death]]. During this time, he also spoke out against excessive states' rights out of the belief that [[GenreSavvy it could eventually disrupt the Union]]. He also succeeded Jefferson as president of the University of Virginia, and would remain so until his death. He was the last Founding Father to die.

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Madison spent most of the rest of his life in Montpelier, his tobacco plantation. Madison was a slave owner, but he [[FairForItsDay genuinely had sympathy for African Americans]]; one of his own slaves would comment after Madison’s death that he never had his slaves physically punished, ordering the overseers not to hurt them, and always talked to them like they were people instead of tools of labor. He was a supporter (and, for a brief time, the president) of the American Colonization Society, which aimed to [[{{UsefulNotes/Liberia}} create colonies in Africa for freed slaves]]. Madison spent much of his last few years [[PoliticallyCorrectHistory altering documents he wrote in order to protect his reputation after his death]]. During this time, he also spoke out against excessive states' rights out of the belief that [[GenreSavvy it could eventually disrupt the Union]].Union]]; he especially objected to John C. Calhoun's use of Madison's own Virginia Resolution during the Nullification Crisis of 1832. He also succeeded Jefferson as president of the University of Virginia, and would remain so until his death. He was the last Founding Father to die.
4th Aug '13 9:25:03 AM Eegah
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** Also, his wife Dolley. During the War of 1812, as the British were marching to the White House to burn it down, she refused to leave until she oversaw the removal of a famous painting of George Washington, and ultimately made it out with only a few hours to spare. That painting still hangs in the White House today thanks to her.

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** Also, his wife Dolley. During the War of 1812, as the British were marching to the White House Washington to burn it down, she refused to leave until she oversaw the removal of a famous painting of George Washington, and ultimately made it out with only a few hours to spare. That painting still hangs in the White House today thanks to her.
4th Aug '13 9:23:04 AM Eegah
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Added DiffLines:

** Also, his wife Dolley. During the War of 1812, as the British were marching to the White House to burn it down, she refused to leave until she oversaw the removal of a famous painting of George Washington, and ultimately made it out with only a few hours to spare. That painting still hangs in the White House today thanks to her.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.JamesMadison