Thursday, June 28, 2007

June 28, 1836:

James Madison Dies

Even a unsympathetic revisionist like Richard K. Matthews in If Men Were Angels: James Madison and Heartless Empire of Reason (1995) offers an amazing list of the if the "major political positions" of James Madison, Fourth President of the United States:

"He was in the forefront of the movement for a new constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation; architect of the Virginia Plan, champion of a strong central government, and unofficial but dedicated note-taker of the proceedings at the Philadelphia convention; a persuasive rhetorician both at the Virginia ratifying convention and as the political propagandist Publius -- one of the two principal authors of The Federalist; leader of the inaugural House of Representatives where he proved to be a reluctant, but ultimately forceful champion of the Bill of Rights, helped organize the new central government, and served as ghostwriter and adviser to President Washington; cofounder of the Republican party; Jefferson's trusted confidant as well as his secretary of state; president during America's second war of independence; and elder statesman, nationalist and protector of the Constitution."

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