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The Biography Of James Madison Essay

1053 words - 5 pages

James Madison's second inaugural speech was on March 4, 1813. Madison was a member of the Democratic-Republicans, but still held some views of the Federalist Party. The War of 1812, also known as Madison's War, with Britain began in Madison's first term and continued throughout his second. He had to deal with countless trading problems with France and Britain, the large split between Republicans and Federalists, and conflicts with Indians. Madison's second term was anything but peaceful. The country at the time of Madison's inauguration was full of tension. Madison's Embargo Act of 1809, which cut of trade with France and Britain, was a watered down version of Jefferson's ...view middle of the document...

General Harrison's win at the Battle of Tippecanoe made him an American hero. There was also much tension between the two parties. The Federalists and Republicans were practically split on everything. The Federalists wanted a strong central government, loose interpretation of the Constitution, a strong navy, and were pro-British. The Republicans on the other hand wanted weak central government to protect the states rights, a strict interpretation of the Constitution, and were pro-French. Madison's decision to declare war on Britain gained support from the Republicans but extracted bitterness from the pro-British Federalists. This caused an even larger split. The events of 1813 caused Madison to write his speech the way he did. Madison seemed to be addressing his audience with explanation of his actions. Madison began his speech by stating why the US declared war on Britain. He went on to say how America must rise together and defend America's honor. He described how Britain was handling the war. Madison saw them as being dishonorable in how they were using impressments on prisoners of war and how they operated in their alliance with the Indians. He then stated how unwilling he was for America to go to war, but still believed that it could ban together and defeat Britain. Madison boasted of how the American naval unit had won to battles early on, but this was not the tone the war followed. His last paragraph seemed to try to boost American morale and the spirit of the people into fighting for America's honor. In his speech he stated America's goal of having a swift American victory in the War of 1812. This unfortunately did not happen. The war ended in a stalemate with many of the problems Americans had with the British overlooked. Madison also tried to improve the United States. Madison wanted a to strengthen the central government, improve fortification, create a permanent army, and national universities. Madison's economic policy included the second National Bank,...

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