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Famous Ancestor: James Madison

February 24th marked exactly 210 years since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the landmark case Marbury v. Madison. Madison had been serving as Secretary of State under Thomas Jefferson. During his lifetime, Madison also served as a representative in the First U.S. Congress, served as president for two terms, and was instrumental in drafting and ratifying the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights.

In his political theory, James Madison emphasized the importance of having checks and balances, and his three-branch system became the foundation of the Constitution. Once it was drafted, he teamed up with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton to write the Federalist Papers, published in 1787 and 1788 to rally public support for the new government system.

Initially Madison was not in support of a bill of rights; he did not feel that it was necessary to include in the Constitution. But when it became clear that many states would not ratify the document without a bill of rights, Madison changed his mind. He proposed twelve amendments to the Constitution, ten of which were approved and became the Bill of Rights. He is sometimes called the "Father of the Constitution" for his role in drafting and ratifying it. He served as U.S. president for two terms, from 1809 to 1817.

You can also see whether or not you are related to James Madison by going to the Relationship Calculator on the Family Dashboard Page when you login to OneGreatFamily.

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