Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Jefferson, Madison, and the Making of the Constitution$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jeff Broadwater

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469651019

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469651019.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

A Happy Talent of Composition

A Happy Talent of Composition


(p.28) Two A Happy Talent of Composition
Jefferson, Madison, and the Making of the Constitution

Jeff Broadwater

University of North Carolina Press

In this chapter, Jefferson and Madison gain their first experience in constitution-writing. Madison served as a delegate to the Virginia convention of 1776 that produced Virginia’s first state constitution. As a novice lawmaker,Madison’s contribution was limited largely to strengthening protections for freedom of conscience. Although Jefferson was serving in the Continental Congress, he submitted a draft constitution of his own to the convention, but it had only a limited impact. At about the same time, Jefferson also drafted the Declaration of Independence, a process the chapter describes. Madison later reconciled the Declaration and the Constitution by describing the former as a statement of basic political principles and the later as a framework for a government that would respect the people’s rights. Although America’s Revolutionary-era Union was weak, Jefferson considered the emotional ties among Americans to be more binding than a formal alliance.

Keywords:   constitution-writing, Virginia convention of 1776, freedom of conscience, Continental Congress, Declaration of Independence, political principles, emotional ties

North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .