What Did President James Madison Achieve During His Presidency?


Quick Answer

One of President James Madison's biggest achievements during his presidency was ending America's economic dependency on Britain. Even though America had won independence through the American Revolution, it was still financially dependent on Britain.

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What Did President James Madison Achieve During His Presidency?
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Full Answer

After the American Revolution, the British continued to take aggressive actions against America, such as seizing its ships. Prior to Madison taking office, steps had been taken to attempt to stop the seizure of ships by the British. Nothing worked. The previous president had instituted and enforced an embargo that prevented trading with Britain. The embargo also prohibited trade with France. Britain and France had both seized American ships during its war against each other. As a result of those seizures, American fell into a depression.

By the time Madison took office, the embargo had been repealed, but the seizure of American ships had not stopped. This prompted the president to declare war against Britain. Even though it was difficult to declare either side a "winner," America emerged from the war economically stronger and more independent from the British. In addition to this accomplishment, Madison was also well-regarded for his respect of the Constitution. As one of the authors of the documents, he did everything possible to avoid overstepping his powers to achieve the desired results.

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