James Madison: Defender of the American Republic

Donald Dewey
California State University, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Barbara Bennett Peterson, PhD
University of Hawaii, Hawaii, US

Series: First Men, America’s Presidents

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This book follows the life of James Madison, our 4th president, who at the tender age of twenty-five was thrust into significant politics as an elected member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. Even in his first venture into statesmanship. Madison took notes on constitutional deliberations, a practice that he would continue in the Federal Convention that proposed the United States Constitution and throughout much of his legislative career whether in Philadelphia, New York City, or Williamsburg, Virginia. Just as most of our knowledge of the framing of the U.S. Constitution is provided by Madison’s painstaking notes of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, much of our knowledge of George Mason’s many contributions to the Virginia Constitution of 1776 are also known through Madison’s efforts.

His major personal contribution to that seminal state constitution is a brief but key phrase in the Virginia Declaration of Rights that would in many respects become a pattern for the Bill of Rights that Madison was later largely responsible for addition to the United States Constitution. His addition of a simple clause converted Mason’s proposed language from religious toleration, where an official church would permit citizens to attend other churches, to religious freedom with its clear implication that it was one of the Rights of Man that were so important to that revolutionary generation. Throughout his career he remained committed to religious freedom and he is still considered one of its greatest contributors. During the brief time between his terms in Congress he would prevail in battles against the re-establishment of the Episcopal Church in Virginia and would win legislative approval for the Statute for Religious Freedom that Jefferson wrote and in which he took enormous pride, but which required the legislative management of James Madison to become law.

Madison is best and justifiably known as “Father of the Constitution” because of his heroic role in bringing together the Federal Convention in 1787, influencing its outcomes through the Virginia Plan, maintaining records of the debates, winning its ratification in the largest state and influencing several other states.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the thirty-second president of the United States and served four consecutive terms, the longest presidential administration in American history. His resilience, forbearance, and superb political abilities establish Roosevelt as one of America’s greatest leaders and he has been called the greatest president of the twentieth century for restoring confidence following the onset of the Great Depression and for winning World War II. In both domestic and foreign policy FDR was an improviser rather than an ideologue. Politically skilled from his days as a member of the New York senate and then as the Empire state’s Governor, he was elected to the presidency in 1932, 1936, 1940 and 1944 a testament to how his personal charm and astute New Deal programs resonated with Americans. FDR was truly a national president who became an international leader and did not succumb to regionalism but united the continent. President Roosevelt became the most influential leader in the world in his lifetime. This book will explore the man’s life all the way from his youth to his final days. (Imprint: Nova)


Prestigious Honor:

Donald O. Dewey’s and Barbara Bennett Peterson’s book titled, James Madison: Defender of the American Republic, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for 2010 in the category of Biography.

Introduction

Preface

Foreword

Chapter 1. Statesman in Training, pp. 1-14

Chapter 2. Learning Legislative Mastery, pp. 15-29

Chapter 3. "Vacation" in Virginia, pp. 31-40

Chapter 4. Father of the Constitution, pp. 41-57

Chapter 5. Victory for the Constitution, pp. 59-72

Chapter 6. Implementing the Constitution, pp. 73-96

Chapter 7. Secretary of State, pp. 97-114

Chapter 8. The Fourth President, pp. 115-138

Chapter 9. Marching Almost to War, pp. 139-153

Chapter 10. Commander in Chief, pp. 155-174

Chapter 11. Depths to Heights: Washington, New Orleans, Ghent, pp. 175-204

Chapter 12. Waging Peace, 1815-1817, pp. 205-226

Chapter 13. Two Busy Decades of Retirement, pp. 227-251

Chapter 14. Legacy of President James Madison, pp. 253-258

About the Authors

Bibliography

Index

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