James Madison was born on March16th, 1751 in Port Conway, Virginia. He was son of a wealthy landowner that owned more than 3,000 acres. He was the eldest of twelve siblings, in which only seven lived to adulthood. In 1762, Madison was sent to a boarding school in King and Queen County, Virginia. His father had him come home five years later and receive private tutoring because he was concerned about Madison's health. He would experience bouts of ill health throughout his life. . In 1769 he left for college the New Jersey, now known as Princeton University. Madison studied Greek, Latin, science and philosophy until he graduated in 1771.
Madison put his talents to good use in 1776 at the Virginia Convention, as Orange County's representative. It was around that time that he met Thomas Jefferson, and became good friends with him. Madison received an appointment to serve on the committee in charge of writing Virginia's constitution; he worked on the draft with George Mason. In 1780, he went to Philadelphia to serve as one of Virginia's delegates to Continental Congress.
Madison expressed many of his ideas about forming a three-part federal government in the Virginia Plan. In 1787, Madison represented Virginia at the Constitution Convention. He attended every meeting of the convention. Madison was a federalist at heart, and campaigned for a strong central government. He believed that it was very important for the new structure to have a system of checks and balances to prevent abuse of power from any one group. Madison's ideas were also included in the Constitution, but the document itself faced opposition of his native colony, Virginia, and many other colonies. The notes that he took during the convention later became the best records of the proceedings.
In 1789, Madison won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He became a crucial force behind the Bill of Rights. He submitted his suggested amendments to the Constitution to Congress...