James Madison

In John R. Shook (ed.), The Dictionary of Early American Philosophers. New York: Continuum/Bloomsbury. pp. 667-674. (2012)
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Heralded as the “Father of the Constitution,” James Madison was, besides one of the most influential architects of the U.S. Constitution, a man of letters, a politician, a scientist and a diplomat who left an enduring legacy for American philosophical thought. As a tireless advocate for the ratification of the Constitution, Madison advanced his most groundbreaking ideas in his jointly authoring The Federalist Papers with John Jay and Andrew Hamilton. Indeed, two of his most enduring ideas—the large republic thesis and the argument for government separation-of-powers/checks-and-balances—are contained in there. In his life’s work, Madison fused together the three dominant philosophies in post-revolutionary, antebellum America: Lockean liberalism, classical republicanism and Christian Protestantism.

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Shane Ralston
University of Ottawa (PhD)


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