Delegates to the Constitutional Convention:James Madison Jr.

James Madison Jr.State: Virginia

Age at Convention: 36

Date of Birth: March 16, 1751

Date of Death: June 28, 1836

Schooling: College of New Jersey (Princeton) 1771

Occupation: Politician

Prior Political Experience: Lower House of Virginia 1776, 1783-1786, Upper House of Virginia 1778, Virginia State Constitutional Convention 1776, Confederation Congress 1781- 1783, 1786-1788, Virginia House of Delegates 1784-1786, Annapolis Convention Signer 1786

Committee Assignments: Third Committee of Representation, Committee of Slave Trade, Committee of Leftovers, Committee of Style

Convention Contributions: Arrived May 25 and was present through the signing of the Constitution. He is best known for writing the Virginia Plan and defending the attempt to build a stronger central government. He kept copious notes of the proceedings of the Convention which were made available to the general public upon his death in 1836. William Pierce stated that “Mr. Madison is a character who has long been in public life; and what is very remarkable every Person seems to acknowledge his greatness. He blends together the profound politician, with the Scholar. … The affairs of the United States, he perhaps, has the most correct knowledge of, of any Man in the Union.”

New Government Participation: Attended the ratification convention of Virginia and supported the ratification of the Constitution. He also coauthored the Federalist Papers. Served as Virginia’s U.S. Representative (1789-1797) where he drafted and debated the First Twelve Amendments to the Constitution; ten of which became the Bill of Rights; author of the Virginia Resolutions which argued that the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 were unconstitutional. Served as Secretary of State (1801-1809) Elected President of the United States of America

Contents

Introduction

The year was 1787. The place: the State House in Philadelphia. This is the story of the framing of the federal Constitution.

The Convention

Read the four-act drama and day-by-day summary by Gordon Lloyd, as well as Madison’s Notes on the Convention.

Interactive Map of Historic Philadelphia in the Late 18th Century

Learn about historic Philadelphia and where the founders stayed, ate, and met.

View Interactive

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