Born on March 16, 1751 in Bell Grove Plantation near Port Conway, Virginia—James Madison certainly was born into a very trying time in U.S. history. Being the oldest of twelve siblings, Madison was the primary aid when it came to his father’s tobacco plantation. Although he helped his father, he was still able to get a proper education and focused on geography, mathematics, and modern/classical languages within his studies. Once it came time to go to college, Madison decided to go to Princeton University and spent his years there studying Latin, Greek, theology, and various works of enlightenment. Madison was able to finish his bachelor’s degree in only two years and remained at Princeton for his graduate years in which he studied political philosophy. Post-graduate studies, Madison immersed himself in political radicalism as he began a very prosperous career in politics.
Madison start to politics was quite interesting and different then his presidential counter parts as he was on the local Committee of Safety (a pro-revolution group that oversaw the local militia). Later he was commissioned as the colonel of the Orange County militia, which is when Virginia’s first constitution was produced. Madison moved on to serve as the Council of State when tariffs were a huge problem and The Articles of Confederation was created by Madison and a few others to combat this notion. Following this Madison began to serve on the Virginia House of Delegates where Madison became known as one of the Fathers of the Constitution as well as other political strides being made like the legalization of paper money. Within his time before president, Madison hosted a lot of federalist’s debates which essentially secured him a seat in congress. This made the Republican- Democrat party come to fruition and as a result the Bill of Rights was created. After serving among various other facets of American politics, Madison announced his candidacy for president in 1808 and won through his party’s presidential nomination.
Madison was inaugurated on March 4, 1809 and immediately put his efforts towards the foundations and beliefs of his political affiliation. Within his presidency he was able to lead the nation through the War of 1812 (which can easily be considered one of the most difficult times in U.S. history). After the war Madison focused much of his presidential affairs on domestic affairs and was able to implement an effective taxation system and create a well-funded militaristic organization. With this Madison was also able to establish the second national bank—with a twenty-year contract. Overall, Madison’s presidency was marked by a period of peace and prosperity that was denoted in history as the “Era of Good Feelings.”
After his presidency Madison occasionally became involved in political affairs but put most of his efforts in his inherited plantation, which at the time was experiencing rapid financial collapsing. Madison also became concerned with his legacy and started revising historical documents. Unfortunately, Madison health took a left turn and he suddenly passed away on June 28, 1836 from congestive heart failure at the age of 85. Madison was a man who left a legacy on our nation and gave us some of the groundwork for our nations operations in the present day.