James Madison Critical Thinking Course

James Madison Critical Thinking Course-80
When you have completed this lesson, you should be able to judge the degree to which Madison deserves to be considered the "father" of both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

When you have completed this lesson, you should be able to judge the degree to which Madison deserves to be considered the "father" of both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.You should also be able to explain and evaluate Madison's successes and failures in putting his ideals into practice as regards political parties and slavery.

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Despite his youth, he quickly became one of the Congress's most active members.

His service in the Virginia state assembly (1784–87) convinced him of the dangers inherent in the powerful state legislatures and of the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.

Madison designed an alternative constitutional framework that would avoid these problems.

Introduced at the Convention by Virginia's delegates, it became known as the Virginia Plan.

He was one of the principal architects of the constitutional and political institutions that continue to shape our nation's life today.

In his ability to translate ideas into action Madison also exemplified what has become an important characteristic of American citizenship.Madison's views, however, did not always prevail at the Convention.Of the seventy-one suggestions he proposed or supported, forty were voted down.He led the new nation through its first major war (the War of 1812).His wife Dolley was so successful in establishing the hospitality of the presidency that she inspired the term "First Lady." At the end of his second term in 1817, Madison retired to his home, Montpelier, where he continued to serve as advisor and confidant to many leaders of the day. In later years Madison denied that he was the "Father of the Constitution," observing that the nation's charter was "the work of many heads and many hands" rather than the "the offspring of a single brain." Other delegates to the Convention, however, acknowledged Madison's special stature, one noting that "he blends together the profound politician, with the scholar."Madison showed this blend of abilities in his preparation for the Convention.James Madison (1751–1836) was born in Virginia and raised on his father's plantation in that state, Montpelier, in Orange County.His parents encouraged his studies, engaging tutors to provide a classical education and sending him to the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), where he excelled.He also opposed giving the selection of senators to state legislatures.The Virginia Plan's call for Congress to have a veto power over some state legislation was also rejected in favor of the more general Supremacy Clause.After college Madison had difficulty choosing a career, showing little interest in law or the clergy, the traditional professions of those who went to college.Within a few years, however, he was drawn into the growing colonial resistance to the imperial policies of Great Britain.


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