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60-Second Presidents: James Madison

2 minutes

(Describer) Title: 60 Second Presidents: James Madison.

[band plays "Hail to the Chief"]

(female narrator) James Madison was short, shy, and surrounded by legends. His best friend was Thomas Jefferson, his wife, Dolly, was a famous hostess, but he was a superstar. A student of government, he helped set up the federal system at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. As part of the first Congress, he introduced the Bill of Rights to protect individual liberty. President Jefferson's secretary of state, Madison was elected president in 1809 to continue the Democratic- Republican Party's policies, which favored weaker federal government and a tiny military. Because of those policies, American merchants were assaulted by the British navy for years, leading to the War of 1812. Madison couldn't convince Congress to provide enough resources for the war. The British burned Washington, D.C., in 1814, and some New England states threatened secession. Eventually, there was peace, and the industrial revolution helped the economy improve. By then, Madison had learned one last lesson: weaker federal government can have its drawbacks.

(Describer) Accessibility funded by the US Department of Education.

[band plays "Hail to the Chief"]

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James Madison's legacy includes political triumphs and failures. He was successful in his bid to include the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. However, he saw defeat as Washington, D.C. was burned to the ground during the War of 1812. Part of the "60-Second Presidents" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 2 minutes

60-Second Presidents
Episode 1
2 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
60-Second Presidents
Episode 2
2 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
60-Second Presidents
Episode 4
2 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
60-Second Presidents
Episode 5
2 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
60-Second Presidents
Episode 6
2 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12