James Madison — Fascinating Facts

  • What two important foreign trade bills passed during James Madison’s time in office?

    Two foreign trade bills passed during James Madison’s time in office: the Non-Intercourse Act of 1809 and Macon’s Bill No. 2. The Non-Intercourse Act was relatively unenforceable, allowing the US to trade with all nations except France and Great Britain. In 1810, this act was repealed with Macon’s Bill No. 2. It said that whichever nation stopped attacking American ships would be favored, and the US would stop trading with the other nation. France agreed but Britain continued to impress soldiers.

  • Who is known as the Father of the Constitution?

    James Madison is known as the Father of the Constitution. Before the Constitutional Convention, Madison spent many hours studying government structures from around the world before coming up with the basic idea of a blended republic. While he did not personally write every part of the Constitution, he was a key player in all discussions and forcefully argued for many items that would eventually make it into the Constitution including population-based representation in Congress, the need for checks and balances, and support for a strong federal executive.

  • How were James and Dolley Madison described?

    Author Washington Irving described James Madison as “a withered little apple-john,” and his wife Dolley as a “fine, portly, buxom dame.”

  • Which of the Founding Fathers did not go to college?

    Of the Founding Fathers who became president, only George Washington did not go to college. John Adams graduated from Harvard; James Madison from Princeton; and Thomas Jefferson attended the College of William and Mary.