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        The Presidents - Biography: 4. James Madison

        As president, James Madison helped establish the Democratic-Republican Party of Jeffersonian ideals. He asked Congress to declare war on Britain in 1812, and the war began so badly that by fighting to a draw, Americans of 1815 felt they had earned a victory and were swept up in a self-congratulating nationalism. A slight man of less than 100 pounds, Madison's marriage to the buxom and vivacious Dolley Payne Todd surprised many and provided the nation with one of its great First Ladies. Learn more with this resource from American Experience: "The Presidents."

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