James Madison Presidential Dollar
A student of both history and law, James Madison attended the College of New Jersey (later known as Princeton University), returning to his native Virginia to help craft that state’s Constitution, as well as serving as a leader in the Virginia Assembly. Following the American Revolution, Madison was instrumental in determining the course of the new Republic and in framing the government of the new Nation. With Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, Madison wrote The Federalist Papers, a series of 85 essays that advocated the adoption of the United States Constitution. In Congress, James Madison helped secure passage for the Bill of Rights. France and Great Britain were at war when James Madison was elected to the presidency. Though he favored a more neutral position, the continued harassment of American sailors, combined with the seizure of American cargo, forced President Madison to ask Congress for a declaration of war with Great Britain on June 1, 1812.