The Political Philosophy of James Madison

Front Cover
JHU Press, Feb 13, 2003 - History - 160 pages

Among the founders, James Madison wielded the greatest influence in drafting the Constitution of 1789. In this book, Garrett Ward Sheldon offers a concise synthesis of Madison's political philosophy in the context of the social and political history of his day.

Tracing the history of Madison's thought to his early education in Protestant theology, Sheldon argues that it was a fear of the potential "tyranny of the majority" over individual rights, along with a firmly Calvinist suspicion of the motives of sinful men, that led him to support a constitution creating a strong central government with power over state laws. In this way, Madison aimed to protect individual liberties and provide checks to "spiteful" human interests and selfish parochial prejudices. Among the topics Sheldon covers are Madison's Princeton education, his contributions to the Federalist Papers, his arguments in defense of states' rights on behalf of Virginia, his views on federal power during his terms as secretary of state and president, and, in his later years, his defense of the Union against those Southerners who advocated nullification.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

i want this book

Contents

Politics Philosophy
1
Politics and Religion
27
Federalist Nationalism
37
Construction and Ratification
52
The States Rights of
78
Nationalism Revisited
98
Last Testaments
112
Extract from The Report on the Virginia
125
Politics and Religion 27
27
Federalist Nationalism
37
Construction and Ratification
52
5
61
Virginia Resolutions 78
78
Nationalism Revisited 98
98
Last Testaments
112
Extract from The Report on the Virginia
125

Index
141
Liberalism Classical Republicanism
Politics Philosophy
1

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2003)

Garrett Ward Sheldon is the John Morton Beaty Professor of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Virginia's College at Wise. He is the author of The Political Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson, also available from Johns Hopkins.