As a representative from Virginia (1789–97), he had a hand in getting the new government established and was a strong advocate of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution (the Bill of Rights). Yet, although modern historians have demonstrated the conservative nature of the Constitution and its founders, Madison was an opponent of the policies of the conservative wing in the Washington administration, a steadfast enemy of Alexander Hamilton and his financial measures, and a supporter of Thomas Jefferson, with whom he organized the Democratic-Republican party. Madison especially deplored Hamilton's frank Anglophilia. After the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts, he attacked these measures as unconstitutional and dangerous to the Union, and he prepared the protesting Virginia resolutions (see Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions).
Sections in this article:
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies