James Madison, fourth President of the United States. Gilbert Stuart, ca. 1828. Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ppmsca-19166

Documents in Detail: James Madison's Memorial and Remonstrance

On August 30, 2018

James Madison authored a powerful defense of religious liberty while serving in the Virginia state government, arguing that there should be no tax collected to support any established – that is, state-supported – church or other religious group. Seen as one of the seminal discussions of the topic in American political thought and discourse, Madison’s multi-point argument expressed both the belief that the mind is free, and that no man’s conscience can be dictated by the state.

Focus Document

Complementary Documents



The Declaration of Independence: Full Reading


Teaching America's Founding

Join your fellow teachers in exploring America’s history.