Author Topic: Madison: "Father of the Constitution"?  (Read 1292 times)


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Madison: "Father of the Constitution"?
« on: August 01, 2013, 11:57:58 PM »
Madison - "Father of the Constitution"?

To this day many bolster constitutional arguments by quoting James Madison and citing him as the "Father of the Constitution", but is this accurate?

Most would be surprised to learn that, no, the honorific title "Father of the Constitution" is not accurate at all.

Reference to Madison as "Father of the Constitution" is really an historically inaccurate perspective. While Madison was instrumental in creating a starting point that led to the drafting of the Constitution, historians recognize Madison was not such a father to our philosophy at all.

The fact is, as a result of Madison’s experience in the Virginia legislature, he believed that the states had entirely too much authority, and Madison supported the full transition of sovereignty from the individuals and states, to the federal government.

Madison actually promoted a feudal in which the government itself is sovereign, with individuals and states having no sovereignty whatsoever... and the state having all the sovereignty. This is would be exactly the same sort of feudalistic, centralized government we rejected in the Revolutionary War, except by only another name.

Madison was quite literally the only delegate who wanted to deprive the states of sovereignty completely, which he considered the only solution to the problems resulting from the disorganized Articles of Confederation. Given this, it is not surprising to see that what Madison argues at that time,  is virtually identical to British common law feudal government, where the government is entirely sovereign and compelled upon the individual.   This is why we see conflict in Madison's quotes to this day, in addition to other founder's statements in conflict with the Constituiton (context is everything).

While Madison’s “Virginia Plan” was influential in getting the debate started at the commencement of the convention, virtually all of what Madison argued for therein was rejected. Given this, Madison provided a starting point for the debates to follow, but not the philosophy of this country.

For Madison to actually have been the “Father of the Constitution”, it would require more than just an altering the Articles of Confederation, and would required a thorough change in the character of the national compact, with citizens and states no longer sovereign. It would even necessitate nullifying or ignoring all the claims made in the Declaration of Independence, of the citizen being sovereign, and the sole purpose of government being to protect those unalienable individual rights.

As recognized by historian Gordon S. Wood, most of what was controversial structure in the Virginia Plan, was removed, and any of the rest had been commonly accepted for decades as basically necessary for a functional government.

Reference:  Gordon S. Wood,  Is there a "James Madison Problem"?

« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 12:04:24 AM by Trip »

Offline daidalos

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Re: Madison: "Father of the Constitution"?
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2013, 05:11:50 AM »
If our Constitution has any "father" or "mother" in the first place. Then surely it must be said that this "father" or "mother" are those individuals who not only crafted the document, but then also ratified the document.
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