James Madison

Father of the Constitution

James Madison was the Father of the Constitution and leading Founding Father.

Born on March 16, 1751 in Port Conway, King George, Virginia, James Madison was a lawyer, plantation owner, and exemplar of political theory.  Madison began his political career in the midst of the Revolution as a member of the Orange County Committee of Safety in 1775 and in the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1776. He served in the state legislature and the Continental Congress from 1780-1783 and 1786-1788.

Protecting Unalienable Rights, Madison’s brilliantly inspired Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments (1785) became the philosophical basis for the First Amendment’s nearly unprecedented prohibition of the establishment of religion by the federal government and securing the free exercise of religion.

Madison was likely the Constitutional Convention’s most brilliant political theorist. Considered “the best informed Man of any point in debate” by fellow delegate William Pierce of Georgia, Madison is appropriately known as the father of the Constitution for his outline for the new government. He proved vital to the Constitution’s ratification in Virginia.

Madison and Alexander Hamilton wrote the great bulk of The Federalist Papers (1788) (John Jay contributed about a half dozen of the nearly hundred articles). A series of newspaper articles published in New York, The Federalist Papers advocated the ratification of the Constitution while explaining its underlying theories. The Federalist Papers were vital to the passage of the Constitution in New York as well as other states. Thomas Jefferson reflected that The Federalist Papers was “the best commentary on the principles of government ever written.”

Madison would draft the Bill of Rights, which protected the Unalienable Rights of American citizens.  He would become Jefferson’s Secretary of State, and succeed Jefferson as President for two terms.  

He died on June 28, 1836 in Montpelier, Virginia.

For more about our Founding Fathers and their importance to our liberties today, buy a copy of America’s Survival Guide.

Picture:  John Vanderlyn (1816)



More Praise for America's Survival Guide

"America's Survival Guide is a bold and insightful work that should be taken seriously by those concerned with the future of America. We ignore it at our peril."
Congressman Joe Knollenberg



"America's Survival Guide describes with detail and passion the dangers that come from abandoning the "First Principles" upon which this nation was founded. But this important book offers more than a diagnosis and despair, it presents a reasoned program for restoring the U.S. Constitution its proper place at the center of American society and government. The book draws on history, politics and education to make a powerful case for freedom and fighting for it."

--John Engler, former Governor of Michigan

Read more praise for America's Survival Guide