Author of Federalist essays, fourth President of the United States


James Madison - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"James Madison (March 16, 1751 - June 28, 1836) was the fourth (1809-1817) President of the United States. He was the primary author of the United States Constitution in 1787 and with Alexander Hamilton was the chief expounder of its meaning in the Federalist Papers (1788). Working closely with Thomas Jefferson he created the Democratic-Republican party in the mid 1790s and built a system of grass roots political activism that was victorious in the election of 1800. As Jefferson's Secretary of State he handled the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the nation's size, and tried to avoid war with Britain and France. As president he led the war effort in the War of 1812, which began badly but ended on a note of triumphant nationalism. ..."


16 Mar 1751, in Port Conway, Virginia


28 Jun 1836, in Montpelier, Virginia


Independence Day Propaganda, by Anthony Gregory, 4 Jul 2011
Argues that the American Revolution, albeit of a libertarian flavor, had several unsavory shortcomings
"James Madison invaded Canada in his war with England, a war in which martial law was enforced in New Orleans and a judge was jailed merely for issuing a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a newspaper editor whose only crime was criticizing the war."
James Madison: Father of the Implied-Powers Doctrine, by Sheldon Richman, 26 Jul 2013
Examines whether James Madison intended the U.S. federal government to have "expressly delegated" powers vs. "powers by implication"
"Some people will be surprised to learn that the author of the Constitution was also the author of the implied-powers doctrine, which would seem to run counter to the few-and-defined-powers doctrine. ... As his biographer, Ralph Ketcham, wrote, 'Madison sought as well to make the mode of enforcement explicit: Congress was authorized "to employ the force of the United States as well by sea as by land" to compel obedience to its resolves.'"
Related Topic: Enumerated Powers
James Madison - Hero of the Day, by Timothy Sandefur, The Daily Objectivist, 2000
Locke Mess, by Loren E. Lomasky, Reason, Jan 1996
Review of the book Passions and Constraint: On the Theory of Liberal Democracy by Stephen Holmes
"Who, though, is this self-binder and self-ruler? It is, says Holmes, the citizenry. But that is not what Madison is saying here; indeed, it is diametrically opposed to Madison's point. In the cited passage he is intent to distinguish sharply between the people who establish through their consent the constitutional constraints under which they will be ruled and the government that subsequently exercises that rule. ... For Madison as for Plato before him, the question 'Who will guard the guardians?' is central to the craft of political construction."
Related Topic: John Locke
Machiavelli and U.S. Politics, Part 4: War, by Lawrence M. Ludlow, 22 Aug 2005
Part of a six-segment series examining The Prince vis-à-vis contemporary U.S. politics; this article covers Machiavelli's simple advice on war and contrasts it with that of James Madison and Robert Higgs in Crisis and Leviathan
"In contrast, James Madison, fourth president of the United States and author of the U.S. Constitution, enumerated the many evils caused by war ... In taking this stance, Madison echoed the sentiments of John Quincy Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and George Washington. Moreover, at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Madison warned us against the dangers of a standing army ..."
The Constitution or Liberty, by Sheldon Richman, 7 Dec 2007
Contrasts Article II of the Articles of Confederation with the Tenth Amendment and Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, and discusses the implied powers of the latter document
"... when the congressional committee writing the Bill of Rights debated what would become the Tenth Amendment, a House member unsuccessfully proposed adding the word expressly to the draft amendment. He was opposed by James Madison. ... Thus Madison endorsed the doctrine of implied unenumerated powers, contrary to what he told the public when he was selling the Constitution during the ratification process."
The Constitution Within, by Sheldon Richman, 18 Aug 2006
Questions the validity of constitutions by relating how James Madison behaved during the debates over the U.S. document and later his introduction in Congress of the amendments that would become the Bill of Rights
"In light of Madison's plea that 'there must necessarily be admitted powers by implication,' what are we to make of his famous line in Federalist 45 that 'The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined'? ... which counts more: what was said during deliberations over the text or what was said in newspaper articles designed to win public support for the Constitution? Is Madison a reliable ally to be cited with confidence?"
Related Topic: Patrick Henry
The Failed Attempt to Leash the Dogs of War, by Bart Frazier, Future of Freedom, Dec 2006
Discusses provisions of the Constitution that were meant to prevent the United States from having a large, permanent military and becoming involved in warfare at the will of a single person
"James Madison in particular was a scholar of past governments and the effects that warfare had had upon them. In a letter to Thomas Jefferson, Madison lamented the problems in creating a government that protected the country from invasion yet maintained a proper respect for individual liberty ... And Madison knew that of all the calamities that can befall a country, nothing could be more detrimental to the freedom of the citizenry than warfare."
The War of 1812 Was the Health of the State, Part 2, by Sheldon Richman, 6 Mar 2015
Discusses how James Madison's conduct of the War of 1812 led to changes in American attitudes, including mercantilism, militarism, imperialism and centralization
"Madison himself famously said that war contained the 'germ' of 'all the enemies to public liberty.' ... However, imperial chickens eventually come home to roost, and Madison indisputably reinforced the imperial course of his predecessors. ... Madison proposed conscription — only the war's end prevented this from happening — and later a peacetime standing army to the Congress."


The Most Dreaded Enemy of Liberty, Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, 20 Apr 1795
From a longer essay titled "Political Observations", the selected passage reflects on the nature of war and the provisions in the U. S. Constitution about declaring war, conducting war and raising armies
"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people."