James Madison: 3 Reasons He Was A Federalist

BornMarch 16th, 1751
DiedJune 28th, 1836
Famous Quote“If men were angels, no government would be necessary”
Known For4th president of the United States, drafting the U.S Constitution
Region of WorldUnited States, 18th and 19th centuries
Further ReadingGeorge Washington: The 3 Ways He Changed History Forever and Thomas Jefferson: The 3 Reasons He Is Famous Today

James Madison was one of the founding fathers of the United States of America and had 3 reasons to back his federalist policies. His belief on how a nation should be governed and grow was drastically different from his counterpart Thomas Jefferson. While Jefferson believed in a smaller central government and more of a republic Madison believed in a weaker republic and a strong central government.

There are 3 reasons why James Madison was a federalist. First, James Madison knew that a nation divided across 13 states would be weaker than one strong state. Second, James Madison saw the failure of the initial Articles of Confederation and wrote the U.S Constitution. Third, in order to protect the people of the United States from a federal government Madison created the bill of rights.

Today James Madison remains one of the most important presidents in U.S history for his creation of the U.S constitution. To this day millions of people around the United States are governed by this document which seeks to protect their rights.

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Without further ado; here are the 3 reasons James Madison was a federalist.

James Madison Knew That 13 States Each With Their Own Sovereignty Were Weaker Then One Strong Central Government

One of the main reasons that James Madison was a federalist was because he was highly educated in the ideals of the enlightenment. While obtaining his education at Princeton Madison would be taught to read ancient history and literature.

This gave Madison a massive background in how previous nations were built and how they failed. Because of this strong background in history and political philosophy Madison remained a proponent of Federalism his entire life.

This fascination with ancient governments would continue for Madison’s entire life. After the revolutionary war Madison would return to his estate to read law books and study ancient democracies throughout history.

James Madison knew that one of the main reasons that some of the greatest states throughout history fell was because of internal turmoil. This turmoil would create conflict which if the state could not act quickly to fix would cause a downfall.

This can be seen in the late Roman Republic for example.

Madison was afraid that a government of 13 separated states all attempting to work together would fail. They simply could not react fast enough.

This remains one of the main reasons that Madison was a federalist.

James Madison Saw The Failure Of the Articles Of Confederation And Wrote the U.S Constitution

One of the main reasons that James Madison was a federalist was because he saw first hand how catastrophic the first government of the United States was.

Initially the United States was created through the Articles of Confederation. This document essentially bound the 13 independent states into one governing entity. While there was a national government it was so weak that it held virtually no power.

There was a president but they remained more of a figurehead of state.

This first government of the United States was catastrophic. Each state could issue their own rules. Each state was essentially sovereign and could issue laws in their own name. Imagine getting 13 states all to agree to settle a major conflict.

Because of this the United States was almost overthrown by an internal revolt during Shays’ Rebellion in the winter of 1786.

James Madison saw these events unfolding and worked to convince the U.S congress to create a new form of government that had a strong central government but still protected the liberties of citizens.

This was the backdrop for the creation of the U.S constitution. In 1789 James Madison would draft the U.S constitution in an effort to create a stronger central government with set powers.

The U.S constitution remains one of the main examples and reasons why James Madison was a federalist. He is often called the “father of the U.S constitution” due to his major influence and being the primary drafter. Across the U.S constitution Madison would clearly demonstrate what powers a federal government should have.

James Madison Created The Bill of Rights

One of the main reasons that James Madison was a federalist was because he knew of the historical abuses of power by a strong central government.

This is why he included the first 10 amendments to the U.S constitution called today the Bill of Rights. Initially other federalists saw this as inherently unnecessary. However Madison was afraid that an unhinged strong federal government could lead to an authoritarian abuse of power.

This is why in an effort to ensure the federal government of the U.S constitution would forever serve the U.S people Madison created the Bill of Rights. It demonstrates the primary reason Madison was a Federalist. To make a nation that would serve the people of the United States of America.

This is why the first sentence of Madison’s Constitution reads “We The People of the United States.” This gave power directly to the U.S people to create the bill of rights and ultimately the federal government.

Simply put, while Madison was a federalist he also believed firmly that governmental power comes from the people, or the consent of the governed.

As such, the U.S bill of rights remains one of the main examples and reasons why James Madison was a federalist. He believed that a strong federal government to support the people was necessary.


There you have it; an entire article on the 3 reasons why James Madison was a federalist.

Madison was only 5.4 ft. tall and weighed less than 100 lbs. his entire life. He suffered from several ailments. However, when he walked in the room he commanded attention and respect. Even during his time people understood his brilliance and genius. Graduate students of history looking for a study subject will find much in regards to Madison’s effect upon the founding fathers.

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