James Madison was called the great little Madison by his friends.Perhaps it was because he weighed less than one hundred pounds and was very short. But it was probably because this man did more to create the constitution than any other American. Madison came from Virginia and had written a constitution for the state. When Madison saw the problems that the United States had under the Articles of Confederation, he began to study other types of governments.
He believed a strong central government was needed to prevent like Shays rebellion. In 1787 Madison became a delegate to the constitutional convention. Before going to the convention, he had written his own plan for a constitution. His plan was known as the Virginia plan. It included checks and balances, separation of powers, and sharing power between state and federal governments. Most of Madison’s ideas became part of the constitution.
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To convince delegates to sign the constitution, Madison made more than one hundred speeches. To get states to ratify the constitution, he wrote the federalist papers with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. The federalist papers were put into a book. It is one of the most important books ever written about government. After the nations constitution was ratified in 1788, Madison wrote the bill of rights. His work became the first ten amendments to the constitution.
Madison kept a journal in which he wrote down everything that was said each say at the constitutional convention. Since all meetings were held in secrecy, it is from Madison’s journal that we know what happened there. Madison went on to become the fourth president of the united states. But he is best known as the father of the constitution because of all he did to create good laws for the united states.
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