“How appropriate that this magnificent compilation of original essays is being published in the year that James Madison’s mansion at Montpelier has been restored to its original simple elegance. Every student of the early republic will enjoy and profit from this fascinating, well-crafted anthology.”
John P. Kaminski, University of Wisconsin–Madison
“(T)hese essays provide a rich and nuanced look at Madison’s life and legacy.”
“By emphasizing (Madison’s) activities and achievements during his long career, these authors (of two Madison books) help provide contemporary audiences with an increased appreciation of the fourth president of the United States.”
Virginia Magazine of History and Biography
James Madison: Philosopher, Founder, and Statesman presents fresh scholarship on the nation’s fourth president, who is often called both the father of the U.S. Constitution and the father of the Bill of Rights. These essays by historians and political scientists from the United States and abroad focus on six distinct aspects of Madison’s life and work: his personality and development as a statesman; his work at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and contributions to larger constitutional design; his advocacy for the adoption of the Bill of Rights; his controversial role as a party leader; his presidency; and his life after leaving office.
James Madison continues to be regarded as one of America’s great political theorists, a man who devoted his life to, and who found fulfillment in, public service. His philosophical contributions remain vital to any understanding of the modern American polity. This book will be of great interest to political scientists and theorists, as well as to historians of early American history and politics.
John R. Vile is a professor of political science and dean of the University Honors College at Middle Tennessee State University.
William D. Pederson is a professor of political science at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.
Frank J. Williams is chief justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island. He is one of the world’s most eminent scholars of Abraham Lincoln and has published widely.
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Gibbons v. Ogden, Law, and Society in the Early Republic examines a landmark decision in American jurisprudence, the first Supreme Court case to deal with the thorny legal issue of interstate commerce. Decided in 1824, Gibbons v. Ogden arose out of litigation between owners of rival steamboat lines over passenger and freight routes between the neighboring states of New York and New Jersey.
In 1846 two slaves, Dred and Harriet Scott, filed petitions for their freedom in the Old Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri. As the first true civil rights case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, Dred Scott v. Sandford raised issues that have not been fully resolved despite three amendments to the Constitution and more than a century and a half of litigation.
Historically, most black voters in the United States have aligned themselves with one of the two major parties: the Republican Party from the time of the Civil War to the New Deal and, since the New Deal—and especially since the height of the modern civil rights movement—the Democratic Party.