Madison, James (17511836)

Madison, James, American statesman and President, born at Port Conway, Virginia, educated at Princeton; devoted himself to politics in 1776; he took part in framing the Virginia constitution, and subsequently secured religious liberty in the State; with Jay and Hamilton he collaborated to establish the federation of the States and to frame the Federal Constitution; the “three-fifths” rule, which won the adhesion of the slave-holding States, was his suggestion; elected to the first Congress, he attached himself to Jefferson's party, and was Secretary of State during Jefferson's Presidency, 1801-1809; he succeeded his former leader and held office for two terms, during which the war of 1812-14 with England was waged; his public life closed with his term of office, 1817 (17511836).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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