James Madisonby Brendan January
"Little" James Madison made giant contributions to the establishment of the United States. He presented many of the major ideas for the new U.S. Constitution in 1787. He led the fight to get the Constitution ratified, defeating strong opposition in his home state of Virginia and writing brilliant essays arguing for ratification. He worked with Thomas Jefferson to create one of the two original political parties and helped get Jefferson elected president. After serving as Jefferson's secretary of state, Madison was elected the fourth president. As president during the War of 1812, he was criticized for U.S. defeats in battle. Soon afterward, however, U.S. fortunes improved, and Britain agreed to end the war. The United States gamed confidence from the war and Madison retired a popular president.
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