James Madison facts for kids

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James Madison
James Madison.jpg
4th President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1809 – March 3, 1817
Vice President George Clinton; Elbridge Gerry
Preceded by Thomas Jefferson
Succeeded by James Monroe
Personal details
Born (1751-03-16)March 16, 1751
Port Conway, Virginia, U.S.
Died June 28, 1836(1836-06-28) (aged 85)
Montpelier, Virginia, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Democratic-Republican
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Spouse(s) Dolley Todd Madison

James Madison (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836) was the fourth President of the United States. He was also the most important author of the United States Constitution. Madison was the shortest President, with a height of 5 feet 4 inches (1.63 meters).

Political life

He begun his career in the Virginia state legislature and learned many things from Thomas Jefferson. Madison wanted a stronger federal government of the United States than the Articles of Confederation provided. He was a member of the meeting that formed the current United States Constitution. Madison is called the "Father of the Constitution" because he helped write a large part of it.

Madison and Jefferson were good friends and helped create the Democratic-Republican Party, he was selected by Jefferson to be his Secretary of State.


Madison was selected by his political party to be the Democratic-Republican candidate for president in 1808. He won that election and the next election in 1812.

The War of 1812 started while Madison was president. Madison still hoped for peace, but Congress wanted war so he gave in and approved a declaration of war against Britain on June 18, 1812. Madison and his family were forced to flee in 1814 when British forces seized control of Washington D.C and burned the White House, and many other buildings, to the ground. The war caused Madison to want a stronger government than he had before.

While he originally was against a national bank, Madison realized that it was necessary and it was impossible to fund a war without it. When the government's national bank expired, Madison renewed it.

Personal life and death

Madison was the oldest of twelve children. His father and mother were James Madison Sr. and Nellie Conway. Madison married Dolley Todd (née Payne) on April 18, 1794, she is known for saving a portrait of George Washington during the War of 1812. Madison retired to Virginia after his second term and died on June 28, 1836.

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James Madison Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.