This is a biography about America's fourth president - James Madison. Madison guided the nation through the War of 1812.
Father of the Constitution
James Madison was born on March 16, 1751, in King George County,Virginia. He graduated from Princeton University at the age of 20 in 1771. He served in the Virginia Constitutional Convention in 1776. In 1780, Madison served as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress. Madison served as the chief recorder at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. He is regarded as the “Father of the Constitution" for his ambitious Virginia Plan, which proposed that representation in both houses of Congress should be proportionate to a state's population. Later in 1787, Madison teamed with Alexander Hamilton (and to a small extent, John Jay) to write the Federalist Papers, a series of persuasive essays designed to convince the states to ratify the Constitution. Written under the pen name “Publius,” the Federalist Papers is considered one of the most important documents in American history.
The Democratic Party
In 1789, Madison was elected to the House of Representatives, where he helped draft the Bill of Rights and fought against passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts. Madison married Dolley Payne Todd in 1794. He helped found the Democratic Party and was chosen as Jefferson’s secretary of state in 1801. As a leader of the Democrats, Madison believed that power should be invested in the states rather than a central government, and that the nation's economy should ultimately be powered by agriculture. In contrast to the Federalists, Madison believed in forging diplomatic and economic relationships with France rather than England.
Presidency and War of 1812
Madison was elected as America’s fourth president in 1808. George Clinton was appointed vice president but died in office in 1812. Madison’s first term was plagued by tensions with Great Britain, and his foreign policy was widely criticized. Despite the problems that characterized his first term, Madison was reelected in 1812 for a second term. Elbridge Gerry was appointed vice president, but he too died in office in 1814. During Madison’s second term, he guided the nation through The War of 1812 with Great Britain, which many called the second American Revolution. Unfortunately, the peace treaty signed between the two countries ultimately settled few of the issues between the countries.
Following his second term, Madison left politics and retired to his home in Virginia, Monticello. He died in 1836 at the age of 85.
James Madison Cloze Reading - This online cloze reading exercise requires students to type the words from the word bank into the correct fields in the paragraph. It gives immediate feedback.
James Madison Correct-me Passage - This fun activity requires students to correct a passage about James Madison that has eight factual errors. Students first must discover the errors, then click on them and select the correct answer from the drop down menu.
James Madison Fact or Fiction - Online - This fun activity requires students to read a James Madison passage and then, to sort 10 statements into those that are facts and those that are fiction. It gives immediate feedback.
James Madison Fact or Fiction - This fun activity requires students to read a James Madison passage and then, to sort 10 statements into those that are facts and those that are fiction.
Presidential Heights - Did you know James Madison was the shortest president? Did you know Abraham Lincoln was the tallest president? This fun math activity requires students to answer questions about the heights of presidents by viewing the bar graph and making conversions from feet to inches and inches to feet.
Bill of Responsibilities - This fun activity requires students to think of a companion to James Madison's Bill of Rights - The Bill or Responsibilities. What responsibilities should citizens have to maintain our democracy?
The War of 1812- In Between a Rock and a Hard Place - This writing/drawing prompt describes the American position in regards to France and England before the War of 1812. It then challenges students to think of a situation in which they were similarly in between a rock and and hard place and to describe and draw the situation.