Kevin Gutzman and his new book, James Madison and the Making of America

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Kevin Gutzman discusses his new book, “James Madison and the Making of America.”  Gutzman states his view on Madison’s biggest achievement, “Early in his career, Madison was responsible in the Virginia House of Delegates for adoption of the Virginia Statue of Religious Freedom.  We often credit Thomas Jefferson with that, but Jefferson merely wrote the bill and failed to have it pass.  It was only Madison nine years later who go it enacted into law and made Virginia the first society in the history of the world that was secular.”

Gutzman gives us his view about Madison being known as “Father of the Constitution.”  He points out, “Well, when it comes to the idea he is the Father of the Constitution, they will have this misconception corrected.  Madison famously went to the Philadelphia Convention were the Constitution was written with a draft of the Constitution which is called, ‘The Virginia Plan’ in mind, but in the Philadelphia Convention, this plan was rejected.”  Gutzman continued to make his case by pointing out, “It is inaccurate to call him the Father of the Constitution. This is best captured in a letter he wrote to Thomas Jefferson soon after the convention which he predicted that because Madison’s favorite idea, the federal veto of state laws have been defeated, it was likely that this government would fail within a few years.  So Madison was unhappy with the Constitution.  Far being it’s father, he was unhappy with it.”

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