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James Madison was the fourth president of the United States he was also one of its founding fathers In his political career he worked for American independence and helped to establish the government of the new nation He was secretary of state and finally president James Madison was born in 1751 and was raised in Orange County Virginia He received most of his schooling at home from his grandmother When he was twelve he went to the school of Donald Robertson in King and Queen County After a few years with Robertson he studied with Reverend Thomas Martin for about one year In 1769 he enrolled in the College of New Jersey which is now Princeton University Madison concentrated mostly on the study of history government and public law In 1771 he received his degree and pursued some postgraduate studies Uncertain about a career he read about literature theology and law In 1774 Madison was elected a member of Orange Countys committee of safety which carried out certain governmental functions as provided by the Continental Congress In 1776 he was elected a delegate to the Virginia constitutional convention Here he worked with Virginia legislator Thomas Jefferson in establishing religious freedom as part of Virginia law When the Virginia constitution went into effect in 1776 Madison became a member of the legislature In the meantime he had been appointed to the governors council where he gained valuable experience in politics In December 1779 Madison was elected to the Continental Congress where he took his seat the Virginia delegation He was the youngest man in Congress After a few months he assumed leading role in Congress In 1781 the war for independence came to an end and the United States was assured independence The new nation had to decide on a form of government and its relations with its neighbors Madison favored strengthening the central government by giving it the power to enforce its financial
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