James Madison, Father of the Constitution, March 16

Col. James Madison of the Virginia Militia, Citizen Soldier – National Guard image

Col. James Madison of the Virginia Militia, Citizen Soldier – National Guard image

James Madison was born on March 16, 1751 — date depending on which calendar you use.

Madison was one of our nation’s top two legislating presidents, on a par with Lyndon Johnson.  The essential ally for the creation of America, he is known as the Father of the Constitution for his work to shepherd that compact into existence.  A great ally of George Mason, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe, and sometimes nemesis of some of these men, Madison campaigned for freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of the press his entire life.

Madison was delegate to the Virginia assembly, and wrote freedom of religion into the Virginia Bill of Rights.  He wrote the Memorial and Remonstrance defending religious freedom and opposing re-establishment of religion in Virgina, led the assembly to pass instead Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, helped settle the dispute over fishing and navigation in the Chesapeake, between Virginia and Maryland.  In league with George Washington, he convinced the Continental Congress to try to fix the Articles of Confederation with a convention in Philadelphia in 1787, then he hijacked the convention to write a new charter instead.  He wrote most of the Federalist Papers, with Alexander Hamilton, after John Jay was attacked and beaten by a mob.  He campaigned and won a seat in the First Congress, defeating the popular James Monroe who then became his fast friend.  Madison proposed and was chief sponsor of the 12 amendments to the Constitution that we now know as the Bill of Rights — two of the amendments did not win approval in 1791, but one of those did win approval in 1992 — so Madison wrote the first ten and the twenty-seventh amendments to the Constitution.

Electratig has a fine commentary on Madison and his birthday here, explaining the calendar shenanigans.

Go read the First Amendment, read a newspaper, and watch some news; say a prayer, and thank the stars and God for James Madison.

2 Responses to James Madison, Father of the Constitution, March 16

  1. […] James Madison, Father of the Constitution, March 16 (2009) […]


  2. […] Most of this post is borrowed, with express permission of the author, from Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub. […]


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