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James Madison - Influence on the Creation of American History

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James Madison’s Influence on the Creation of American History

PETRA HORNA

April 07, 2008

Table of Contents:

Introduction……………………………………………………………….…2

The Compromise of 1790……………………………………………………….…..3-4

James Madison……………………………………………………………………….4-5

Madison’s Defeat on Report on the Public Credit……………………………..5-6

Madison’s Opposition to Economic Injustice…………………………………..6-7

Slavery – a Hot Political Issue of the Union………………………………………7

Introduction

The decade of 1790s is the most decisive decade in our nation’s history, in which the greatest statesmen of their generation came together to define the new Republic and direct its course for the coming centuries. Of all the Fathers that have contributed to the formation of American national structure that has survived until today, I picked James Madison because he strikes me as one of the most outstanding people that have achieved great consequences for American history.

All our Founding Fathers had influenced the course of the American history in some significant way. Some might have hated each other for personal or political reasons like Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton and some might have stood by each other’s side like James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, but they all shared one thing: To keep the infant and fragile Union, the symbol of independence, strong and economically prosperous. Each of the Founders was of high statute in society and most were very well educated and they agreed upon a great document which set up a well rounded government for our new country.

The Compromise of 1790

It all happened one day by chance. Jefferson was the secretary of the state and Hamilton the secretary of treasury. They both were waiting outside the presidential office. Jefferson thought Hamilton looked odd and Hamilton confined that the leader of southern congressmen, James Madison, blocked the assumption of state debts by the federal government and therefore aborted his financial plan for the recovery of public credit. And Hamilton feared the whole union without the approval of his plan will inevitably meet the end.

Out of concern, Jefferson scheduled an unofficial dinner meeting in late June in his house, where both Hamilton and Madison were invited.

What went on in the room has not been recorded but according to Jefferson’s version, apparently political bargaining had occurred and Madison agreed to pass Hamilton’s financial plan. Hamilton in return promised that the Capital of the nation would be on the Potomac River (Washington D.C. today). If that is true, then “the Compromise of 1790” would put this dinner as the most meaningful dinner in the history.

Firstly, Madison had to come up with at least three votes on Assumption and secondly, Hamilton had to pursue his friends in New York and Massachusetts to support the Potomac location as a s permanent Capital. Lastly, four members, all of them congressmen from the districts bordering on the Potomac, had to switch their votes on the Assumption.

At no surprise, the House passed The Residence Bill by a vote of 32 to 29 in July of that year. A few days later the House passed the Assumption Bill by interestingly almost the same number of votes 34 to 28.

James Madison

But what kind of man was James Madison? Firstly, he was a young, politically savvy veteran of the constitutional battles and a favored son of Virginia. Secondly, he was probably the most creative, contributive

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