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The Papers of James Madison Digital Edition

  • J. C. A. Stagg, editor

The Papers of James Madison documents the life and work of one of the most important political and constitutional thinkers in our nation’s history. A vital project that continues to add new volumes, this publication has been consulted for decades by scholars and students for primary-source material by and about the fourth president. Rotunda now makes this invaluable resource available in a new online edition.

So significant were Madison’s accomplishments before he reached the White House, they very nearly overshadow his tenure as president. As chief author of the Constitution, he provided a framework through which the nation could function after independence. Madison was also one of the primary authors--with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton--of the Federalist Papers, as well as the Bill of Rights (a document about which he was ambivalent but which he recognized as crucial to ratification).

Madison was a member of the first Congress and, with Thomas Jefferson, founded the Democratic-Republican Party. As secretary of state under Jefferson, he oversaw the Louisiana Purchase. He succeeded his friend as president and was the first to conduct a war as president under the Federal Constitution.

Madison’s life touched on all the central issues of his times--which is to say, the cornerstone events of our history. His writings--covering his rivalry with Patrick Henry, his alliance with Jefferson, his eventual break with Hamilton, his marriage to Dolley Madison--bring us into contact with the most dynamic figures of the era.

This new digital edition collects all the volumes published thus far in the print edition’s Secretary of State series and Presidential series--as well as the Congressional series, including now-out-of-print volumes that are becoming increasingly difficult to find. New volumes will be added to the digital edition in periodic installments, rounding out the most extensive collection available of the fourth president’s writings.

This online resource contains all of the editorial content of the print edition and adds to this a powerful XML-based search functionality, linked cross-references, and the ability to navigate chronologically or by series volume. As part of the new Rotunda platform, it can be included in searches across the entire American Founding Era Collection, providing invaluable additional context to the great statesman’s works.

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