This past weekend, we were pleased to host 20 teachers from around the country for a weekend colloquium at James Madison’s Montpelier. Throughout the weekend, we discussed Madison’s ideas and his contributions to American history through his involvement in the Constitutional Convention, Ratification debate, adoption of the Bill of Rights, and in the politics of the early republic. Teachers explored Madison’s understanding of the concept of “faction,” including ways that Madison attempted to devise a constitutional system that would minimize the danger of faction, and the ways in which that concept appears today.
As guests at Montpelier for the weekend, teachers had the opportunity to stay on the grounds in the “Constitutional Village” that has been built for visiting scholars. Teachers also had the opportunity to tour the Madison’s home, where they saw Mr. Madison’s study and library, and where they learned more about his relationship with Dolley – who may have made the Madisons into Washington D.C.’s first “power couple”. And most importantly, teachers got to meet Mr. Madison himself (or at least a character actor who does a fine job of portraying Mr. Madison), who was present over the weekend to offer guests his holiday greetings.
This weekend’s program was one of several weekend colloquia which Ashbrook co-sponsors with a partner organization, Liberty Fund.