Madison’s treasonous act

Yesterday I spent a few hours at the beach, where I learned that James Madison committed an act of treason by attempting to rescind the Articles of Confederation and ratify his newly drafted Constitution. The ducks in the water at Little Dix Bay didn’t seem quite as impressed by Madison as I was, but then, I don’t really value the opinion of ducks much on issues pertaining to our our fourth president. If I was reading a book called “Sticking My Head in the Water and Catching Fish with My Mouth, a Duck’s Manifesto,” then perhaps I’d take the opinion of the ducks more seriously. But I digress…

Madison needed to gather a group of leading Americans in order to drum up support for changing the Articles. While we now call this the Second Constitutional Convention, it was at the time actually an anti-Constitutional Convention, since the Articles of Confederation were the Constitution. The act, therefore, of rewriting the Articles was therefore tantamount to treason. So Madison had his men meet in secrecy and with great controversy and debate. That they eventually passed was a triumph in dealmaking and compromise, and was Madison’s greatest work to date.

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