Richard Henry Lee
Richard Henry Lee was an American statesman and Founding Father from Virginia best known for the Lee Resolution, the motion in the Second Continental Congress calling for the colonies' independence from Great Britain. He was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation, his "resolution for independency" of June 1776 led to the United States Declaration of Independence, which Lee signed, he served a one-year term as the President of the Congress of the Confederation, was a United States Senator from Virginia from 1789 to 1792, serving during part of that time as the second President pro tempore of the upper house. He was a member of the Lee family, a influential family in Virginia politics, he was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia to Col. Thomas Lee and Hannah Harrison Ludwell Lee on January 20, 1732, he was raised and came from a line of military officers and legislators. His father, Thomas Lee, was the governor of Virginia before his death in 1750. Lee spent most of his early life in Virginia with his family at Stratford Hall.
Here he was tutored and taught in a variety of skills, witnessed the beginning of political career as his father sent him around to neighboring planters with the intention for Lee to become associated with neighboring men of like prominence. In 1748, at 16, Lee left Virginia for Yorkshire, England, to complete his formal education at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield. Both of his parents died in 1750 and, in 1753, after touring Europe, he returned to Virginia to help his brothers settle the estate his parents had left behind. In 1757, Lee was appointed justice of the peace in Westmoreland County. In 1758 he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses. An early advocate of independence, Lee became one of the first to create Committees of Correspondence among the many independence-minded Americans in the various colonies. In 1766 ten years before the American Revolutionary War, Lee is credited with having authored the Westmoreland Resolution, publicly signed by prominent landowners who met at Leedstown, Westmoreland County, Virginia on February 27, 1766.
This resolution was signed by four brothers of George Washington as well as Gilbert Campbell. In August 1774, Lee was chosen as a delegate to the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia. In Lee's Resolution on June 7, 1776 during the Second Continental Congress, Lee put forth the motion to the Continental Congress to declare Independence from Great Britain, which read: Resolved: That these United Colonies are, of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, ought to be dissolved. Lee had returned to Virginia by the time Congress voted on and adopted the Declaration of Independence, but he signed the document when he returned to Congress. Lee was elected the sixth President of Congress under the Articles of Confederation on November 30, 1784, in the French Arms Tavern, New Jersey. On January 11, 1785, Congress convened in the old New York City Hall and Lee presided over that Congress until November 23, 1785.
Although, he was not paid a salary for his office as president, his household expenses were paid by Congress in the amount of $12,203.13. Lee's Congress was most active in 1784, passing numerous legislation, including establishing a United States dollar tied to the Spanish dollar as the national currency, his most pressing issue, was to settle the states' territorial disputes over the Northwest Territory. Throughout his term, Lee remained steadfast that the release of states' territorial claims on the Northwest Territory would enable the federal government to fund itself with land sales, he believed that the urgency of this measure was paramount because borrowing more foreign money was no longer prudent, he abhorred the movement to establish federal taxes. The sale of these vast federal lands, he concluded, was the nation's only hope to pay off the war debt and adequately fund federal government. Debate began on the expansion of the Ordinance of 1784 and Thomas Jefferson's survey method "hundreds of ten geographical miles square, each mile containing 6086 and 4-10ths of a foot" and "sub-divided into lots of one mile square each, or 850 and 4-10ths of an acre" on April 14.
On May 3, 1785, William Grayson of Virginia made a motion seconded by James Monroe to change "seven miles square" to "six miles square", the current US Survey system was born. Lee wrote to his friend and colleague Samuel Adams: I hope we shall shortly finish our plan for disposing of the western Lands to discharge the oppressive public debt created by the war & I think that if this source of revenue be rightly managed, that these republics may soon be discharged from that state of oppression and distress that an indebted people must invariably feel; the states relinquished their right to this "test tract" of land, the Land Ordinance of 1785 was passed on May 20, 1785. The federal government, lacked the resources to manage the newly surveyed lands because Native Americans refused to relinquish a large percentage of the platted land, most of the territory remained too dangerous for settlement; this either required troops to eject the Native Americans or capital to purchase their land "fairly", insuring the peaceful sale and settlement.
Additionally the small amount of federal land, not in dispute by the Native Americans was enthusiastically being occupied by western settlers that had no faith in or respect for the Congress as a federal authority. The settlers claimed the land as squatters, the Congress was unable to muster the capital to send magistrates let a
United States Constitution
The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States. The Constitution comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government, its first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress. Articles Four and Six embody concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments, the states in relationship to the federal government, the shared process of constitutional amendment. Article Seven establishes the procedure subsequently used by the thirteen States to ratify it, it is regarded as the oldest codified national constitution in force. Since the Constitution came into force in 1789, it has been amended 27 times, including an amendment to repeal a previous one, in order to meet the needs of a nation that has profoundly changed since the eighteenth century. In general, the first ten amendments, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, offer specific protections of individual liberty and justice and place restrictions on the powers of government.
The majority of the seventeen amendments expand individual civil rights protections. Others modify government processes and procedures. Amendments to the United States Constitution, unlike ones made to many constitutions worldwide, are appended to the document. All four pages of the original U. S. Constitution are written on parchment. According to the United States Senate: "The Constitution's first three words—We the People—affirm that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens. For over two centuries the Constitution has remained in force because its framers wisely separated and balanced governmental powers to safeguard the interests of majority rule and minority rights, of liberty and equality, of the federal and state governments."The first permanent constitution of its kind, adopted by the people's representatives for an expansive nation, it is interpreted and implemented by a large body of constitutional law, has influenced the constitutions of other nations. From September 5, 1774, to March 1, 1781, the Continental Congress functioned as the provisional government of the United States.
Delegates to the First and the Second Continental Congress were chosen through the action of committees of correspondence in various colonies rather than through the colonial or state legislatures. In no formal sense was it a gathering representative of existing colonial governments; the process of selecting the delegates for the First and Second Continental Congresses underscores the revolutionary role of the people of the colonies in establishing a central governing body. Endowed by the people collectively, the Continental Congress alone possessed those attributes of external sovereignty which entitled it to be called a state in the international sense, while the separate states, exercising a limited or internal sovereignty, may rightly be considered a creation of the Continental Congress, which preceded them and brought them into being; the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was the first constitution of the United States. It was drafted by the Second Continental Congress from mid-1776 through late 1777, ratification by all 13 states was completed by early 1781.
The Articles of Confederation gave little power to the central government. The Confederation Congress lacked enforcement powers. Implementation of most decisions, including modifications to the Articles, required unanimous approval of all thirteen state legislatures. Although, in a way, the Congressional powers in Article 9 made the "league of states as cohesive and strong as any similar sort of republican confederation in history", the chief problem was, in the words of George Washington, "no money"; the Continental Congress could print money but it was worthless. Congress couldn't pay it back. No state paid all their U. S. taxes. Some few paid an amount equal to interest on the national debt no more. No interest was paid on debt owed foreign governments. By 1786, the United States would default on outstanding debts. Internationally, the United States had little ability to defend its sovereignty. Most of the troops in the 625-man United States Army were deployed facing – but not threatening – British forts on American soil.
They had not been paid. Spain closed New Orleans to American commerce. S. officials protested, but to no effect. Barbary pirates began seizing American ships of commerce. If any military crisis required action, the Congress had no credit or taxing power to finance a response. Domestically, the Articles of Confederation was failing to bring unity to the diverse sentiments and interests of the various states. Although the Treaty of Paris was signed between Great Britain and the U. S. and named each of the American states, various states proceeded blithely to violate it. New York and South Carolina prosecuted Loyalists for wartime activity and redistributed their lands. Individual state legislatures independently laid embargoes, negotiated directly with foreign authorities, raised armies, and
Benjamin Franklin was an American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a leading author, political theorist, freemason, scientist, humorist, civic activist and diplomat; as a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod and the Franklin stove, among other inventions, he founded many civic organizations, including the Library Company, Philadelphia's first fire department and the University of Pennsylvania. Franklin earned the title of "The First American" for his early and indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies; as the first United States Ambassador to France, he exemplified the emerging American nation. Franklin was foundational in defining the American ethos as a marriage of the practical values of thrift, hard work, community spirit, self-governing institutions, opposition to authoritarianism both political and religious, with the scientific and tolerant values of the Enlightenment.
In the words of historian Henry Steele Commager, "In a Franklin could be merged the virtues of Puritanism without its defects, the illumination of the Enlightenment without its heat." To Walter Isaacson, this makes Franklin "the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become."Franklin became a successful newspaper editor and printer in Philadelphia, the leading city in the colonies, publishing the Pennsylvania Gazette at the age of 23. He became wealthy publishing this and Poor Richard's Almanack, which he authored under the pseudonym "Richard Saunders". After 1767, he was associated with the Pennsylvania Chronicle, a newspaper, known for its revolutionary sentiments and criticisms of British policies, he pioneered and was first president of Academy and College of Philadelphia which opened in 1751 and became the University of Pennsylvania. He organized and was the first secretary of the American Philosophical Society and was elected president in 1769.
Franklin became a national hero in America as an agent for several colonies when he spearheaded an effort in London to have the Parliament of Great Britain repeal the unpopular Stamp Act. An accomplished diplomat, he was admired among the French as American minister to Paris and was a major figure in the development of positive Franco-American relations, his efforts proved vital for the American Revolution in securing shipments of crucial munitions from France. He was promoted to deputy postmaster-general for the British colonies in 1753, having been Philadelphia postmaster for many years, this enabled him to set up the first national communications network. During the revolution, he became the first United States Postmaster General, he was active in community affairs and colonial and state politics, as well as national and international affairs. From 1785 to 1788, he served as governor of Pennsylvania, he owned and dealt in slaves but, by the 1750s, he argued against slavery from an economic perspective and became one of the most prominent abolitionists.
His colorful life and legacy of scientific and political achievement, his status as one of America's most influential Founding Fathers, have seen Franklin honored more than two centuries after his death on coinage and the $100 bill and the names of many towns, educational institutions, corporations, as well as countless cultural references. Benjamin Franklin's father, Josiah Franklin, was a soaper and candlemaker. Josiah was born at Ecton, England on December 23, 1657, the son of blacksmith and farmer Thomas Franklin, Jane White. Benjamin's father and all four of his grandparents were born in England. Josiah had seventeen children with his two wives, he married his first wife, Anne Child, in about 1677 in Ecton and immigrated with her to Boston in 1683. Following her death, Josiah was married to Abiah Folger on July 9, 1689 in the Old South Meeting House by Samuel Willard. Benjamin, their eighth child, was Josiah Franklin's fifteenth tenth and last son. Abiah Folger was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on August 15, 1667, to Peter Folger, a miller and schoolteacher, his wife, Mary Morrell Folger, a former indentured servant.
She came from a Puritan family, among the first Pilgrims to flee to Massachusetts for religious freedom, when King Charles I of England began persecuting Puritans. They sailed for Boston in 1635, her father was "the sort of rebel destined to transform colonial America." As clerk of the court, he was jailed for disobeying the local magistrate in defense of middle-class shopkeepers and artisans in conflict with wealthy landowners. Ben Franklin followed in his grandfather's footsteps in his battles against the wealthy Penn family that owned the Pennsylvania Colony. Benjamin Franklin was born on Milk Street, in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 17, 1706, baptized at Old South Meeting House, he was one of seventeen children born to Josiah Franklin, one of ten born by Josiah's second wife, Abiah Folger. Among Benjamin's siblings were his older brother James and his younger sister Jane. Josiah wanted Ben to attend school with the clergy, but only had enough money to send him to school for two years, he did not graduate.
Although "his parents talked of the church as a career" for Franklin, his schooling e
President of the United States
The president of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. In contemporary times, the president is looked upon as one of the world's most powerful political figures as the leader of the only remaining global superpower; the role includes responsibility for the world's most expensive military, which has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP; the president possesses international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, it vests the executive power of the United States in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic and judicial officers, concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. The president directs the foreign and domestic policies of the United States, takes an active role in promoting his policy priorities to members of Congress. In addition, as part of the system of checks and balances, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation; the power of the presidency has grown since its formation, as has the power of the federal government as a whole. Through the Electoral College, registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term; this is the only federal election in the United States, not decided by popular vote. Nine vice presidents became president by virtue of a president's intra-term resignation. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 sets three qualifications for holding the presidency: natural-born U. S. citizenship.
The Twenty-second Amendment precludes any person from being elected president to a third term. In all, 44 individuals have served 45 presidencies spanning 57 full four-year terms. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, so he is counted twice, as both the 22nd and 24th president. Donald Trump of New York is the current president of the United States, he assumed office on January 20, 2017. In July 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, the Thirteen Colonies, acting jointly through the Second Continental Congress, declared themselves to be 13 independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. Recognizing the necessity of coordinating their efforts against the British, the Continental Congress began the process of drafting a constitution that would bind the states together. There were long debates on a number of issues, including representation and voting, the exact powers to be given the central government. Congress finished work on the Articles of Confederation to establish a perpetual union between the states in November 1777 and sent it to the states for ratification.
Under the Articles, which took effect on March 1, 1781, the Congress of the Confederation was a central political authority without any legislative power. It could make its own resolutions and regulations, but not any laws, could not impose any taxes or enforce local commercial regulations upon its citizens; this institutional design reflected how Americans believed the deposed British system of Crown and Parliament ought to have functioned with respect to the royal dominion: a superintending body for matters that concerned the entire empire. The states were out from under any monarchy and assigned some royal prerogatives to Congress; the members of Congress elected a President of the United States in Congress Assembled to preside over its deliberation as a neutral discussion moderator. Unrelated to and quite dissimilar from the office of President of the United States, it was a ceremonial position without much influence. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris secured independence for each of the former colonies.
With peace at hand, the states each turned toward their own internal affairs. By 1786, Americans found their continental borders besieged and weak and their respective economies in crises as neighboring states agitated trade rivalries with one another, they witnessed their hard currency pouring into foreign markets to pay for imports, their Mediterranean commerce preyed upon by North African pirates, their foreign-financed Revolutionary War debts unpaid and accruing interest. Civil and political unrest loomed. Following the successful resolution of commercial and fishing disputes between Virginia and Maryland at the Mount Vernon Conference in 1785, Virginia called for a trade conference between all the states, set for September 1786 in Annapolis, with an aim toward resolving further-reaching interstate commercial antagonisms; when the convention failed for lack of attendance due to suspicions among most of the other states, Alexander Hamilton led the Annapolis delegates in a call for a convention to offer revisions to the Articles, to be held the next spring in Philadelphia.
Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until James Madison and Edmund Randolph succeeded in securing George Washington's attendance to Philadelphia as a delegate for Virginia. When the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1787, the 12 state delegations in attendance (Rh
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is an American politician, lawyer and public speaker. She served as the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001, U. S. Senator from New York from 2001 to 2009, 67th United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, as the Democratic Party's nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election, the first woman nominated by a major party. Born in Chicago and raised in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, Clinton graduated from Wellesley College in 1969 and earned a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 1973. After serving as a congressional legal counsel, she moved to Arkansas and married future president Bill Clinton in 1975. In 1977, she co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Families, she was appointed the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation in 1978, became the first female partner at Little Rock's Rose Law Firm the following year. As First Lady of Arkansas, she led a task force whose recommendations helped reform Arkansas's public schools.
As First Lady of the United States, Clinton advocated for healthcare reform. Her marital relationship came under public scrutiny during the Lewinsky scandal, which led her to issue a statement that reaffirmed her commitment to the marriage. In 2000, Clinton was elected as the first female Senator from New York, she was reelected to the Senate in 2006. Running for president in 2008, she won far more delegates than any previous female candidate, but lost the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama. During her tenure as U. S. Secretary of State in the Obama Administration from 2009 to 2013, Clinton responded to the Arab Spring by advocating military intervention in Libya, she helped to organize a diplomatic isolation and a regime of international sanctions against Iran in an effort to force curtailment of that country's nuclear program. Upon leaving her Cabinet position after Obama's first term, she wrote her fifth book and undertook speaking engagements. Clinton made a second presidential run in 2016.
She received the most votes and primary delegates in the 2016 Democratic primaries and formally accepted her party's nomination for President of the United States on July 28, 2016, with vice presidential running mate Senator from Virginia Tim Kaine. She lost the presidential election to Republican opponent Donald Trump in the Electoral College, despite winning a plurality of the popular vote, she received more than 65 million votes, the 3rd-highest count in a U. S. presidential election, behind Obama's victories in 2008 and 2012. Following her loss, she wrote her third memoir, What Happened, launched Onward Together, a political action organization dedicated to fundraising for progressive political groups. Hillary Diane Rodham was born on October 1947, at Edgewater Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, she was raised in a United Methodist family. When she was three years old, her family moved to the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, her father, Hugh Rodham, was of English and Welsh descent, managed a small but successful textile business, which he had founded.
Her mother, Dorothy Howell, was a homemaker of Dutch, French Canadian and Welsh descent. Clinton has two younger brothers and Tony; as a child, Rodham was a favorite student among her teachers at the public schools that she attended in Park Ridge. She earned numerous badges as a Brownie and a Girl Scout, she has told a story of being inspired by U. S. efforts during the Space Race and sending a letter to NASA around 1961 asking what she could do to become an astronaut, only to be informed that women were not being accepted into the program. She attended Maine East High School, where she participated in the student council, the school newspaper and was selected for the National Honor Society, she was elected class vice president for her junior year, but lost the election for class president for her senior year against two boys, one of whom told her that "you are stupid if you think a girl can be elected president". For her senior year and other students were transferred to the new Maine South High School, where she was a National Merit Finalist and was voted, "most to succeed".
She graduated in 1965 in the top five percent of her class. Rodham's mother wanted her to have an independent, professional career, her father, otherwise a traditionalist, felt that his daughter's abilities and opportunities should not be limited by gender, she was raised in a politically conservative household, she helped canvass Chicago's South Side at age 13 after the close 1960 U. S. presidential election. She saw evidence of electoral fraud against Republican candidate Richard Nixon, volunteered to campaign for Republican candidate Barry Goldwater in the U. S. presidential election of 1964. Rodham's early political development was shaped by her high school history teacher, who introduced her to Goldwater's The Conscience of a Conservative and by her Methodist youth minister, with whom she saw and afterwards met, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. at a 1962 speech in Chicago's Orchestra Hall. In 1965, Rodham enrolled at Wellesley College. During her freshman year, she served as president of the Wellesley Young Republicans.
As the leader of this "Rockefeller Republican"-oriented group, she supported the elections of moderate Republicans John Lind
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D. C; the composition and powers of the Senate are established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The Senate is composed of senators; each state, regardless of its population size, is represented by two senators who serve staggered terms of six years. There being at present 50 states in the Union, there are presently 100 senators. From 1789 until 1913, senators were appointed by legislatures of the states; as the upper chamber of Congress, the Senate has several powers of advice and consent which are unique to it. These include the approval of treaties, the confirmation of Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, flag officers, regulatory officials, other federal executive officials and other federal uniformed officers.
In addition to these, in cases wherein no candidate receives a majority of electors for Vice President, the duty falls to the Senate to elect one of the top two recipients of electors for that office. Furthermore, the Senate has the responsibility of conducting the trials of those impeached by the House; the Senate is considered both a more deliberative and more prestigious body than the House of Representatives due to its longer terms, smaller size, statewide constituencies, which led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere. The presiding officer of the Senate is the Vice President of the United States, President of the Senate. In the Vice President's absence, the President Pro Tempore, customarily the senior member of the party holding a majority of seats, presides over the Senate. In the early 20th century, the practice of majority and minority parties electing their floor leaders began, although they are not constitutional officers; the drafters of the Constitution created a bicameral Congress as a compromise between those who felt that each state, since it was sovereign, should be represented, those who felt the legislature must directly represent the people, as the House of Commons did in Great Britain.
This idea of having one chamber represent people while the other gives equal representation to states regardless of population, was known as the Connecticut Compromise. There was a desire to have two Houses that could act as an internal check on each other. One was intended to be a "People's House" directly elected by the people, with short terms obliging the representatives to remain close to their constituents; the other was intended to represent the states to such extent as they retained their sovereignty except for the powers expressly delegated to the national government. The Senate was thus not designed to serve the people of the United States equally; the Constitution provides that the approval of both chambers is necessary for the passage of legislation. First convened in 1789, the Senate of the United States was formed on the example of the ancient Roman Senate; the name is derived from Latin for council of elders. James Madison made the following comment about the Senate: In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure.
An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, to balance and check the other, they ought to be so constituted. The Senate, ought to be this body. Article Five of the Constitution stipulates that no constitutional amendment may be created to deprive a state of its equal suffrage in the Senate without that state's consent; the District of Columbia and all other territories are not entitled to representation allowed to vote in either House of the Congress. The District of Columbia elects two "shadow U. S. Senators", but they are officials of the D. C. City Government and not members of the U. S. Senate; the United States has had 50 states since 1959, thus the Senate has had 100 senators since 1959. The disparity between the most and least populous states has grown since the Connecticut Compromise, which granted each state two members of the Senate and at least one member of the House of Representatives, for a total minimum of three presidential electors, regardless of population.
In 1787, Virginia had ten times the population of Rhode Island, whereas today California has 70 times the population of Wyoming, based on the 1790 and 2000 censuses. This means some citizens are two orders of magnitude better represented in the Senate than those in other states. Seats in the House of Representatives are proportionate to the population of each state, reducing the disparity of representation. Before the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, senators were elected by the individual state legislatures. Problems with repeated vacant seats due to the inability of a legislature to elect senators, intrastate political struggles, bribery and intimidation had led to a growing movement to amend the Constitution to allow for the direct election of senators; the party composition of the Senate during the 116th Congress: Art
James Madison Jr. was an American statesman, diplomat and Founding Father who served as the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817. He is hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for his pivotal role in drafting and promoting the United States Constitution and the United States Bill of Rights, he co-wrote The Federalist Papers, co-founded the Democratic-Republican Party, served as the fifth United States Secretary of State from 1801 to 1809. Born into a prominent Virginia planting family, Madison served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and the Continental Congress during and after the American Revolutionary War, he became dissatisfied with the weak national government established by the Articles of Confederation and helped organize the Constitutional Convention, which produced a new constitution to supplant the Articles of Confederation. Madison's Virginia Plan served as the basis for the Constitutional Convention's deliberations, he was one of the most influential individuals at the convention.
Madison became one of the leaders in the movement to ratify the Constitution, he joined with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay in writing The Federalist Papers, a series of pro-ratification essays, considered to be one of the most influential works of political science in American history. After the ratification of the Constitution, Madison emerged as an important leader in the United States House of Representatives and served as a close adviser to President George Washington, he was the main force behind the ratification of the United States Bill of Rights, which enshrines guarantees of personal freedoms and rights within the Constitution. During the early 1790s, Madison came to oppose the economic program and accompanying centralization of power favored by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Along with Thomas Jefferson, Madison organized the Democratic-Republican Party, which was, alongside Hamilton's Federalist Party, one of the nation's first major political parties. After Jefferson won the 1800 presidential election, Madison served as Secretary of State from 1801 to 1809.
In that position, he supervised the Louisiana Purchase. Madison succeeded Jefferson with a victory in the 1808 presidential election. After diplomatic protests and a trade embargo failed to end British attacks against American shipping, he led the United States into the War of 1812; the war was an administrative morass and ended inconclusively, but many Americans saw it as a successful "second war of independence" against Britain. The war convinced Madison of the necessity of a stronger federal government, he presided over the creation of the Second Bank of the United States and the enactment of the protective Tariff of 1816, he retired from public office in 1817 and died in 1836. He is considered to be one of the most important Founding Fathers of the United States, historians have ranked Madison as an above-average president. James Madison Jr. was born on March 16, 1751, at Belle Grove Plantation near Port Conway, Virginia, to James Madison Sr. and Nelly Conway Madison. He grew up as the oldest of twelve children, with seven brothers and four sisters, though only six of his siblings would live to adulthood.
His father was a tobacco planter who grew up on a plantation called Mount Pleasant, which he had inherited upon reaching adulthood. With numerous slaves and a 5,000 acres plantation, Madison's father was the largest landowner and a leading citizen in the Piedmont. Madison's maternal grandfather was a prominent tobacco merchant. In the early 1760s, the Madison family moved into a newly built house. From age 11 to 16, Madison was sent to study under Donald Robertson, a Scottish instructor who served as a tutor for a number of prominent planter families in the South. Madison learned mathematics and modern and classical languages—he became proficient in Latin. At age 16, Madison returned to Montpelier, where he began a two-year course of study under the Reverend Thomas Martin in preparation for college. Unlike most college-bound Virginians of his day, Madison did not attend the College of William and Mary, where the lowland Williamsburg climate - thought to be more to harbor infectious disease - might have strained his delicate health.
Instead, in 1769, he enrolled at the College of New Jersey. His studies at Princeton included Latin, Greek and the works of the Enlightenment. Great emphasis was placed on both debate. Along with another classmate, Madison undertook an intense program of study and completed Princeton's three-year bachelor of arts degree in just two years, graduating in 1771, he remained at Princeton to study Hebrew and political philosophy under President John Witherspoon before returning home to Montpelier in early 1772. His ideas on philosophy and morality were shaped by Witherspoon, who converted Madison to the philosophy and modes of thinking of the Age of Enlightenment. Biographer Terence Ball says that at Princeton: He was immersed in the liberalism of the Enlightenment, converted to eighteenth-century political radicalism. From on James Madison's theories would advance the rights of happiness of man, his most active efforts would serve devotedly the cause of civil and political liberty. After returning to Montpelier, who had not yet decided on a specific career, served as a tutor to his younger siblings.
In the early 1770s the relationship between the American colonies a