A Companion to James Madison and James Monroe
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A Companion to James Madison and James Monroe features essays from leading academics that consider various aspects of the lives and legacies of our fourth and fifth presidents.

  • Provides historians and students of history with a wealth of new insights into the lives and achievements of two of America’s most accomplished statesmen, James Madison and James Monroe
  • Features 32 state-of-the field historiographic essays from leading academics that consider various aspects of the lives and legacies of our fourth and fifth presidents
  • Synthesizes the latest findings, and offers new insights based on original research into primary sources
  • Addresses topics that readers often want to learn more about, such as Madison and slavery


Stuart Leibiger is Associate Professor and Chair of the History Department at La Salle University.  He is the author of Founding Friendship: George Washington, James Madison and the Creation of the American Republic (1999). Leibiger has worked on the editorial staffs of the Papers of George Washington and the Papers of Thomas Jefferson and is an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer.


List of Illustrations xi

Notes on Contributors xiii

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction 1
Stuart Leibiger

1 James Madison’s Political Thought: The Ideas of an Acting Politician 4
Jack N. Rakove

2 James Madison’s Journey to an “Honorable and Useful Profession, ” 1751–1780 21
Paul Douglas Newman

3 James Madison, 1780–1787: Nationalism and Political Reform 39
Adam Tate

4 James Madison and the Grand Convention: “The Great Difficulty of Representation” 56
Gordon Lloyd and Christopher Burkett

5 James Madison and the Ratification of the Constitution: A Triumph Over Adversity 74
Kevin R. C. Gutzman

6 James Madison in The Federalist: Elucidating “The Particular Structure of this Government” 91
Michael Zuckert

7 James Madison, Republican Government, and the Formation of the Bill of Rights: “Bound by Every Motive of Prudence” 109
Alan Gibson

8 James Madison in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1789–1797: America’s First Congressional Floor Leader 127
Carey Roberts

9 James Madison and the National Gazette Essays: The Birth of a Party Politician 143
Denver Brunsman

10 James Madison, the Virginia Resolutions, and the Philosophy of Modern American Democracy 159
Garrett Ward Sheldon

11 James Madison’s Secretary of State Years, 1801–1809: Successes and Failures in Foreign Relations 176
Mary Hackett

12 President James Madison’s Domestic Policies, 1809–1817: Jeffersonian Factionalism and the Beginnings of American Nationalism 192
Aaron N. Coleman

13 President James Madison and Foreign Affairs, 1809–1817: Years of Principle and Peril 207
David J. Siemers

14 James Madison’s Retirement, 1817–1836: Engaging the Republican Past, Present, and Future 224
James H. Read

15 James Madison and George Washington: The Indispensable Man’s Indispensable Man 241
Stuart Leibiger

16 James Madison and Thomas Jefferson: A “Friendship Which Was For Life” 259
Jeffry H. Morrison

17 James and Dolley Madison and the Quest for Unity 274
Catherine Allgor

18 James Madison and Montpelier: The Rhythms of Rural Life 292
David B. Mattern

19 James Madison and the Dilemma of American Slavery 306
Jeff Broadwater

20 James Monroe’s Political Thought: The People the Sovereigns 324
Arthur Scherr

21 James Monroe, 1758–1783: Student and Soldier of the American Revolution 343
Daniel Preston

22 James Monroe and the Confederation, 1781–1789: The Making of a Virginia Statesman 359
Robert W. Smith

23 James Monroe in the 1790s: A Republican Leader 375
William M. Ferraro

24 James Monroe as Governor of Virginia and Diplomat Abroad, 1799–1810: A Revolution of Principles and the Triumph of Pragmatism 391
David A. Nichols

25 James Monroe as Secretary of State and Secretary of War, 1809–1817: Toward Republican Strategic Sobriety 405
MackubinThomas Owens

26 James Monroe, James Madison, and the War of 1812: A Difficult Interlude 421
J.C.A. Stagg

27 President James Monroe’s Domestic Policies, 1817–1825: “To Advance the Best Interests of Our Union” 438
Michael J. McManus

28 President James Monroe and Foreign Affairs, 1817–1825: An Enduring Legacy 456
Sandra Moats

29 The Domestic Life of James Monroe: The Man at Home 472
Meghan C. Budinger

30 James Monroe and Thomas Jefferson: Republican Government and the British Challenge to America, 1780–1826 489
Michael Schwarz

31 James Monroe and James Madison: Republican Partners 505
Brook Poston

32 James Madison and James Monroe Historiography: A Tale of Two Divergent Bodies of Scholarship 521
Peter Daniel Haworth

References 541

Index 558


“For this reason, A Companion to JamesMadison and James Monroe should find a home in every academic library in theUnited States.”  (Journal of American History, 5 November 2013)

“Leibiger's volume manages to be at once authoritative and innovative. It brings together a remarkable roster of experts to present a trove of original, often pathbreaking essays on our fourth and fifth presidents. The juxtaposition of Madison and Monroe¯neighbors, colleagues, sometime rivals¯is a canny editorial choice, destabilizing old assumptions and providing unexpected insights into the founding era.”
Robert P. Forbes, University of Connecticut

 “These finely-crafted essays can be read either as two complete biographies or as thirty-two beacons illuminating the political thought and private and public lives of America’s fourth and fifth presidents.”
John Kaminski, University of Wisconsin

 “This superbly edited collection of essays by noted scholars provides state-of-the-art assessments that illuminate their topics, make original arguments, and will become the starting point for future work.”
Todd Estes, Oakland University