The Life of James Madison - 4th President of the United States

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1567 Words
Date:  2021-05-25

James Madison is a significant figure in the heritage of United States due to the crucial role he played when it comes to the countrys democracy as well as his efforts towards the capitalist economy. He was born on 16th March 1751 in Virginia. He was not only the founding father of United States but also the nations fourth president. James Madison is mainly commemorated for his advocacy of a robust and efficient federal government. This was captured in the initial draft of the U.S. Constitution he composed. It follows that Madison is an icon in the history of United States due to his significant efforts that shaped the democratic values and economic principles of the country.

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Historic period: James Madison (1751-1836)

Madison was born on 16th March 1751 in Virginia. His early education is accredited to his mother as well as his tutors and a private school, where he attended during his childhood. After graduating from New Jersey College in 1771, James demonstrated that he was a great scholar, as his interest in the field of governance and law grew. While at Montpelier, James started developing a patriotic sense, which prompted him to embrace politics, beyond the state level (American history 1). In 1775, James became a worker at Orange County Committee, in the docket of safety. However, the following two years were significant to his position in the U.S. history as he framed the Virginia Constitution.

He remained committed towards the process of ratification in Virginia, irrespective of the active opposition he received from Patrick Henry, Richard Lee, and George Mason. Through a collaboration with Hamilton and Jay, Madison published a book entitled The Federalist in 1788. He did this while still working in Continental Congress. Together with Thomas Jefferson, Madison embarked on establishing the Democratic-Republican Party, which is deemed to be the first ever, the opposition party in the history of United States (American history 2). He became the fourth president of U.S. on 1808 after defeating Charles Cotesworth, who was a Federalist candidate. On 1812, James oversaw the waged war against the Great Britain. After the completion of his two presidential terms, James retired and opted to go back to his Virginia plantation, where he died at the age of 85.

Necessary Conditions of Democracy

Democracy is considered to be an ideal that ensures all citizens of the nation are subjected to same rights when it comes to their participation in the government. James Madison was forefront in advocating for democracy in the society. James co-founded the Democratic-Republican Party, which was the first opposition party in the United States. This act was integral when it comes to giving citizens the right to choose the leader of their choice during the election, which is an essential of democracy (Coates 4). James is also considered to be the Father of U.S. Constitution. He used his vast knowledge and experience on the governance and law to help in the framing of the constitution. The majority of his contributions, in particular on the branches of the government, were incorporated in the law. Apparently, the U.S. Constitution is paramount in promoting democracy in the country, which is one of Madisons achievement.

While serving in as the member of the House of Representative, Madison championed for the amendments to the bill of rights. In the draft he composed, he singled out a set of 10 amendments on the bills of rights, which were supposed to be encompassed in the Constitution. These changes focused on the essential human rights which included freedom of expression, religion, and movement. It is through his efforts that the ratification process commenced (American history 2). After lengthy discussions, the members of the Constitutional Convention agreed to sign the constitution in September 1787. James efforts were phenomenal when it comes to pushing for the ratification process. The confirmation process was paramount since involved amendments on the bills of rights, which are integral in upholding democracy within the nation.

James Madison also promoted the exercising of human rights through voting. For instance, he worked as the State Secretary between 1800 and 8109. He was a close ally and a friend to Jefferson Thomas. Madison campaigned for Jefferson, who later became a third president in the United States. This prompted Jefferson to appoint Madison to serve as the secretary of the state. While serving under this position, Madison achieved great success as far as enhancing the stability of the nation is concerned. For instance, in 1803, Madison was forefront in leading U.S. to seize Louisiana, which was a French territory (American History 3). This was significant in extending the region of United States. Madison also vied for the presidency, which he won against the Federalist; Charles Cotesworth. He served U.S. for two terms as a president. During his tenure, he led U.S. in the war against Great Britain, as a way of retaliating against Britains capture of U.S. sailors. This was essential in enhancing the democracy of in the country, which was being infringed by British and French colonies.

Necessary Conditions of Capitalism

James Madison was also integral when it comes to advocating for economic democracy. James was concerned about the features depicted in capitalism which risked to derail the economy of the nation. James pointed out the issue of inequality as the time seating bomb to the economy of the United States. Apparently, James was expressing his deep fear regarding the democracy that gives citizens the right of ownership. This from of democracy allowed individually to amass enormous wealth at the expense of others in the society (Williams 3). This prompted James to caution that the rising inequality depicted in the ownership of property would be a hindrance to the liberty, which is key to democracy. These resonating by James Madison was critical towards the development of capitalism features. Inequalities are high in a capitalist economy, which do not favor a countrys economic growth.

Madison and President Thomas Jefferson opted to introduce a ban on all trading activities, involving the United States with Britain and French, in 1807. During this time, the war had ensued between Britain and French. The United States, under the reign of President Jefferson, opted to remain neutral; thus supporting no one. The Neutrality of America towards this war agitated these two countries. As a way of hitting back, Britain and France started attacking the ships belonging to U.S. sailors (America History 2). With time, it was apparent that the embargo implemented by Madison and the Jefferson was only hurting the American merchants greater as compared to their counterparts in France and Britain. Goods from U.S. were needed in these two European countries, which was not the case in America as far as goods from Britain and France are concerned. This compelled President Jefferson to scrap out the embargo. This event contributed towards the enhancement of capitalism.

Capitalist nations depend on each to facilitate trade among them. This involves abolishing restrictions that are likely to hurt trade between the member countries. This happened when U.S. decided to introduce an embargo on all trading activities involving U.S. with Britain and France. The result was unpleasant to all parties involved. Democracy for ownership of property is also another necessity for capitalism (Coates 5). James contributed to this condition by owning a plantation and other properties in Virginia, which is his place of birth.


James Madison remains to be an icon in the rich heritage of the United States. In his remarkable life, Madison had greater achievements that helped in shaping the values and culture of United States. For instance, was Virginias representative in the Constitutional Convention that took place in 1787 (Kelly 6). He also came up with a proposal dubbed Virginia plan which was used as a framework in framing the current Constitution of America. Furthermore, James was also a co-author of the Federalist papers. Madisons essays published in these dailies, culminated with his contributions in the Congress were integral in the ratification process which included drafting of the constitution as well as structuring of the bills of rights.

On the global scene, James also achieved great milestones. For instance, he waged war against Great Britain in 1812 to protect American merchants. He also signed a treaty with French and British leaders, in the form of the Macons Bill (Kelly 7). This bill was essential in ending the trading stalemate that had strained the strategic relationships of these three countries. An analysis of the significant achievements by Madison is linked to some decisions he made, during his youthful years. The patriotic sense that he developed after graduating changed his future greatly. Those ambitions compelled him to seek more knowledge on matters of governance and law; all of which were vital in directing him towards his significant achievements in the United States.

Currently, United States boasts of important values and standards which have shaped the countrys economy, political and social welfare. The American Constitution remains to be a great symbol of Americas rich history. It is, however, imperative to acknowledge James Madison, who came up with different ideologies that have since been adopted in the Constitution.

Works Cited

BIBLIOGRAPHY American History. "James Madison (1751-1836)." American History (2002): 1-3. print.

Coates, Eyler Robert. "The Jeffersonian Perspectiv: Commentary on Today's Social and Political Issues Based on the Writings of Thomas Jefferson." Free Servers (1997): 1-9. print.

Kelly, Martin. "James Madison - 4th President of the United States." American History (2016): 1-12. print.

Williams, Walter. "James Madison: Father of the Constitution." Capitalism magazine (2015): 1-4. print.

Cite this page

The Life of James Madison - 4th President of the United States. (2021, May 25). Retrieved from

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