James Madison, Jr. (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836) was a political theorist, American statesman, and served as the fourth President of the United States (1809–17). He is hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for his pivotal role in drafting and promoting the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Madison inherited his plantation Montpelier in Virginia and owned hundreds of slaves during his lifetime. He served as both a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and as a member of the Continental Congress prior to the Constitutional Convention. After the Convention, he became one of the leaders in the movement to ratify the Constitution, both nationally and in Virginia. His collaboration with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay produced The Federalist Papers, among the most important treatises in support of the Constitution. Madison changed his political views during his life. During deliberations on the constitution, he favored a strong national government, but later preferred stronger state governments, before settling between the two extremes late in his life.