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Happy Birthday, James Madison

March 16, 2010
Kevin R.C. Gutzman

Interposition, Nullification and the Political Thought of James Madison

James Madison, often referred to as the “Father of the Constitution,” is considered on of America’s leading founding fathers. He was the principle author of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, wrote over a third of the Federalist Papers, and was the fourth president of the United States (1809-1817).

In 1798, he secretly co-authored, along with Thomas Jefferson, the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions to protest the Alien and Sedition Acts. It was these resolutions where the principles of nullification and interposition first gained prominence in the American tradition.

In honor of James Madison’s birthday, March 16, 1751, we are pleased to announce the third installment of our “publications” section. This paper, “From Interposition to Nullification: Peripheries and Center in the Thought of James Madison,” by Kevin R.C. Gutzman, is a fantastic resource for understanding the political thought of Madison, which showed great changes over his career – from nationalism to state sovereignty and back.

It was originally published in the University of Virginia’s Essays in History, vol 26, 1994.

The story continues …..

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