Author: James Madison

James Madison, portrait by John Vanderlyn, 1816

The nation’s fourth president, James Madison (1751–1836) is perhaps best remembered as author of the Bill of Rights and one of the chief authors of the Federalist Papers. Educated at Princeton University, Madison served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and worked with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay to secure ratification of the Constitution. As a result, he produced a number of the Federalist Papers, seen as America’s great contribution to political philosophy and one of the seminal documents of the American founding period.

Federalist 10

James Madison

The Federalist Papers, originally published in New York newspapers between October 1787 and August 1788, were intended to encourage ratification of the new federal Constitution. The 85 essays by Publius (the collective pseudonym for James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay) have become a much-respected source for understanding the intentions of the Founders in creating our complex governmental structure.