What Were James Madison’s Failures?

James Madison’s time in political office saw a few failures, including the inability to purchase West Florida from the Spanish, causing unrest and disruptive restrictions through a series of acts, failing to gain Canadian territory from the War of 1812 and having two failed amendments for the U.S. Constitution. Madison was elected as secretary of state on March 5, 1801, by President Thomas Jefferson and went on to become president in 1809, serving two terms.

Madison proposed 12 amendments to the Constitution when he served in the House of Representatives in 1789. Ten of these were ratified by the states but, unfortunately, the first two were not. The first of these related to the apportionment of members of the House of Representatives. but the vote fell just short of what was needed to make it law. The second amendment related to Congress not being able to issue itself with a pay raise. An unexpected discovery by a university student in 1982 highlighted that the amendment had no expiration date, and it is now the 27th Amendment of the Constitution. Madison’s 10 Amendments that were ratified became the Bill of Rights.

Madison collaborated with President Jefferson on the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, but they were unable to secure West Florida in the deal. Madison was finally able to annex West Florida by force during his presidency in 1810.

The Embargo Act of 1807 and the Non-Intercourse Act of 1809 were among the acts passed to aid the U.S. economy. However, they only resulted in disrupting U.S. trade and encouraging U.S. merchants to smuggle. Trade sanctions were enacted by European countries. Macon’s Bill No. 2 was signed in 1810 to stop these disruptions, but while France agreed to the terms, Britain did not. Madison declared war against the British in 1812.