Skip to main content

Madison, James°

MADISON, JAMES°

MADISON, JAMES ° (1750–1836), fourth president of the United States. The son of a prominent Episcopalian family, Madison graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1771. Because he was then considering a career in the ministry, he spent an additional year studying theology and Hebrew. Throughout his political career, he contended that complete religious liberty was essential for a harmonious society and that religious institutions established by the state engendered "ignorance and corruption." During the Virginia constitutional convention in 1776, he opposed a provision for full religious "toleration," proposing instead that the law declare "the full and free exercise of it [religion] according to the dictates of conscience." In 1784 he successfully led the opposition to a resolution in the Virginia House of Delegates for a tax in "support of the Christian religion, or of some Christian church" and warned that "Instead of holding forth an asylum to the persecuted, it is itself a signal of persecution." As president he vetoed two bills in 1811 which would have granted legal prerogatives to certain churches.

While serving as a congressman from 1780 to 1783, Madison borrowed money from the Jewish broker Haym *Salomon, whom he later referred to gratefully in a letter. Writing to Mordecai M. *Noah in 1818, he expressed delight at the blessings conferred upon Jews by religious liberty in America, while in 1820 he wrote to Jacob *De La Motta that while being little known, "the history of the Jews must be forever interesting." During his presidency he appointed several Jews to government posts, including John *Hays as collector for the Indian Territory in 1814, Mordecai Noah as consul general at Tunis in 1813, and Joel *Hart as consul at Leith, Scotland, in 1817.

bibliography:

G. Hunt, The Life of James Madison (1902), 8–12, 77–86; S.K. Padover (ed.), The Complete Madison (1953), 298–312; Kohler, in: ajhsp, 11 (1903), 60–65.

[Edward L. Greenstein]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Madison, James°." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Madison, James°." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/madison-jamesdeg

"Madison, James°." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved October 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/madison-jamesdeg

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.