JAMES MADISON LESSON
Print the James Madison reading
comprehension passage and questions (see
Students should read the story silently,
then answer the questions about the story that follow.
Excerpt from passage
James Madison was born on March 16, 1751, in the Westmoreland area of Virginia. He grew up the son of a wealthy planter. Madison had a chance to go to and graduate from what would become Princeton University in 1771. Apparently, the college experience
was valuable because five years later, in 1776, Madison was elected to the Virginia Convention.
Madison was hired for the Convention. He was given the job of mediating the relationship between the colonies and Great Britain. However, Madison did not agree with mediation. Instead, he urged the members of the Convention to consider making the colonies independent from Britain. By 1777 he was elected to be a member of the Governor's Council and served as a member until 1780. At that point he was elected as to become a member of the prestigious Continental Congress for three years. This was quite an honor because James was the youngest member!
Despite his young age his leadership ability was apparent and he rose through the ranks quite quickly. However, he did have problems working with such congress members as Alexander Hamilton and various other men. The main problem James had was that he believed in the need for a stronger central government and wanted to create this by giving Congress the power to tax and regulate trade.
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