Thursday, September 19, 2013

'Which Founder Are You?' ... James Madison?


There's a Constitutional quiz making the rounds of Facebook so this morning I decided to answer the eleven questions and see which Founding Father I was most like, just for the fun of it.

The history geek in me was surprised to find that I was considered to be most like fellow Virginian James Madison who was "diligent, scholarly, and shy," according to the Constitution Center's "Which Founder Are You?" quiz. Madison is known as the Father of the Constitution and was co-author of the Federalist Papers. Wonder if he would be a photographer of the beautiful Virginia countryside if still alive today?

Wonder if I got extra points for my son graduating from Mr. Madison's University in Harrisonburg?

Here's the Constitution Center's brief bio of Madison (1751-1836):
The oldest of ten children born to a distinguished planter family, Madison received a good education from tutors and the College of New Jersey. Despite a long and relatively healthy life, Madison was something of a hypochondriac, perhaps due to a sickly and frail childhood.

Even before he chose a profession, Madison decided on a life in politics; he threw himself enthusiastically into the independence movement, serving on the local Committee of Safety and in the Virginia convention, where he demonstrated his abilities for constitution writing by framing his state constitution. During the war he served in the assembly and in the Council of State, kept from military service by poor health. In 1780 Madison became the youngest delegate to the Continental Congress.

An early advocate of a strong central government, Madison attended both the Mount Vernon conference and the Annapolis convention before earning the title "Architect of the Constitution" for his work at the Philadelphia convention. He campaigned tirelessly for ratification in Virginia and reached out to influence New York as well by his contributions to the essays known as The Federalist Papers.

Madison won a seat in the first House of Representatives, where he served until 1797. By this time he was a committed leader of the Democratic-Republicans, and he became secretary of state in 1801 when his friend and cofounder of that party, Thomas Jefferson, became president. Madison succeeded Jefferson in 1809, and it was during his administration that the long-standing tensions between Britain and the United States finally erupted into war.

After his second term as president, Madison retired to his plantation, Montpelier, where he edited the journal he kept during the Constitutional Convention. He wrote newspaper articles supporting fellow Democratic-Republican and Virginian President James Monroe and acted as Monroe's informal adviser on foreign policy. In his last years, Madison became actively involved in the American Colonization Society, an organization that encouraged the emancipation of slaves and their resettlement in Africa.
Earlier this month we visited Thomas Jefferson's Monticello with both my sisters and a brother-in-law who is from Colorado and had never seen that beautiful historical spot. At the time I noted to my husband that I had never visited Montpelier, home of James Madison in nearby Orange located north of Charlottesville, and would like to make a trip over there one day. Maybe we should go in October when there are lots of activities planned including Homeschool Day. Montpelier has definitely been added to the bucket list.

2 comments:

Philip L said...

Madison as well

Lynn R. Mitchell said...

So, Phil, I'm going to look at you like you're probably looking at me and say, "Shy???" Quiet is one thing ... shy is something else. Either way, welcome to the Madison Club. :)