Elections: James Madison

Quote of the Day:

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary." - James Madison

"The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, uner which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived." - James Madison

Day 4 VoCaBulary:









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James Madison: James Madison (1751-1836) was the fourth president of the US. He was President from 1809 until 1817. Madison belonged to the Democratic-Republican Party.

Madison entered the College of New Jersey(Princeton) when he was 17 years old, studying government and history. During college, he and some friends formed a political club called the American Whig Society, which discussed anti-British topics.

Madison helped write the Virginia Constitution, was a leader in the Virginia legislature, and was elected to the Continental Congress. 

In 1787, Madison was the youngest member of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Madison participated in editing the final draft of the US Constitution.

Madison was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a representative from Virginia. On Sept. 15, 1794, Madison married Dorothea Payne Todd; Dolley was a widow with one surviving child. James Madison and Dolley never had children. President Thomas Jefferson appointed Madison Secretary of State in 1801.

Madison was elected President of the USA in 1808 and in 1812; he served from 1809 until 1817. George Clinton and Elbridge Gerry were his Vice-Presidents.

Naval seizures by Great Britain caused Madison to declare war with Britain on June 1, 1812. During the war, the British burned the White House, the Capitol, and much of Washington, D.C. The War of 1812 ended with the Treaty of Ghent in 1814.

During Madison's term as President, the "Star-Spangled Banner" was written, steamboats began to operate, gaslights were introduced, many new roads were being built, parts of Florida became US territory, and Native Americans were defeated in many areas.

Madison retired to Montpelier, his home in Virginia, in 1817. Late in life, he worked in the Virginia Constitutional Convention, helped Jefferson found the University of Virginia, and worked against slavery. Madison died on June 28, 1836.

Discovering Elections:

Whom did President Madison have to campaign against when he was running to become president of the United States? James Madison ran against George Clinton.

How are political candidates chosen and how are they elected? Early on, presidential candidates were chosen by a few influential party members who assembled in state and congressional caucuses. Later, the curiously American ritual of the quadrennial national party convention.

In our country, when citizens punch their ballots for President, they actually vote for a slate of electors. Electors then cast the votes that decide who becomes President of the United States. When citizens exercise their right to vote, they do their part in electing the candidate of their choice. They determine the electoral vote for their state.

What is happening next in the 2012 campaign? The 3rd Presidental Debate was just held.

How many of our former American presidents were lawyers before they ran for election? 23 past presidents were lawyers at one time.

Do other countries have a constitution? YES

What is a primary? What is a caucus? Which one does your state hold and when? A primary election is an election that narrows the field of candidates before an election for office. Primary elections are one means by which a political party nominates candidates for an upcoming general election.

A caucus is a meeting of the local members of a political party especially to select delegates to a convention or register preferences for candidates running for office.

Illinois hosts a primary in March of the election year. Mitt Romney easily won the Illinois Republican Primary.