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James Madison The Power Of One

1568 words - 7 pages

What do you think of when you hear the name James Madison? Do you think of the Father of The Constitution? Or, do you think of the Fourth President of the United States of America? James Madison, born March 16, 1751 in Port Conway Virginia. He was the oldest of 11 children. He was a little man of about 5’4” would be one of the most influential leaders of the newly established America. Ranked by historians alongside Lincoln and Washington, James Madison would change the economic, social, political, and world standings of the United States of America.

James was a very quick witted man since the time of his early childhood. He studied with a private tutor because he was often sickly, and at ...view middle of the document...

The Articles of Confederation was a document very similar to the Constitution but, it gave power only to the states. “To unify and govern themselves, America’s thirteen former colonies adopted the Articles of Confederation in 1781. Problems soon arose with this loose alliance of states. When individual states refused to pay their share of taxes, the central government had no way to force payment. States violated treaties that the central government made with other countries, and negotiated their own treaties with Native American nations and with other states. States also violated each other’s rights by restricting trade and taxing “imported” inter-state goods. Such breaches raised fears that the union would dissolve and increased worry that Great Britain or another country could seize and rule individual states and territories.”() He suggested that the country need a strong central government that would work hand in hand with the states. He made The Virginia Plan. This “plan” consisted of a government made up of three separate branches that included a plan of checks and balances. Ideas of many great philosophers were included in the Constitution. Rousseau,Voltaire, Locke, and Montesquieu are just a small example of the countless philosophies included in the Constitution. The “Big Minds” of the Convention such as Madison, Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and George Mason were all educated men with a great mindset. While the Constitution was being ratified by each of the thirteen colonies, Hamilton and Madison worked on The 85 Essays. These were essays that promoted and argued for the Constitution.

In the last days of the Constitutional Convention George Mason and Elbridge Gerry’s advocatation that the Constitutiona should also include a statement of the rights held by the citizens, Madison was skeptical at first. Believing that his great Constitutiona protected the rights of the citizens and would not infringe, thus he did not support “ a bill of rights”. When he realized that this would make the Constiution Ratification less favorable, he did support it.
“If we can make the Constitution better in the opinion of those who are opposed to it, without weakening its frame, or abridging its usefulness in the judgment of those who are attached to it, we act the part of wise and liberal men to make such alterations as shall produce that effect.”-James Madison, speech to Congress, June 8, 1789

Madison was offered hundreds of possible articles to be included into this “Bill of Rights”. He carefully read each one and used the ideas offered by the people of the Convention and redrafted them to include more rights and state clearly that the government shall not transgress the people’s rights. James Madison covered in the broadest spectrum possible, the rights of the American People.

During his days in the Constitutional Convention, then to the Continental Congress and later the Virginia Legislature Madison became close friends with Jefferson. Feb....

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