Renowned historian and social commentator Garry Wills takes a fresh look at the life of James Madison
, from his rise to prominence in the colonies through his role in the creation of the Articles of Confederation
and the first Constitutional Congress
Madison oversaw the first foreign war under the constitution, and was forced to adjust some expectations he had formed while drafting that document. Not temperamentally suited to be a wartime President, Madison nonetheless confronted issues such as public morale, internal security, relations with Congress, and the independence of the military. Wills traces Madison's later life during which, like many recent Presidents, he enjoyed greater popularity than while in office.
James Madison helped draft the Constitution, collaborated on the Federalist Papers and became Americ'as Fourth President. The Articles of Confederation were drawn up during the American Revolution to define the national government, but were too weak to achieve their goals and were replaced by the US Constitution. The Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia in 1787 to produce a successor to the inadequate Articles of Confederation.