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An Overview of James Madison's Administration

Streams of settlers surged westward during Madison's administration. The lack of imported goods during the War of 1812 encouraged industries to expand, and set the country on the path to becoming an industrial nation. The war also gave the American people their national anthem. Early one morning, as British shells burst about Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor, Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner."

official White House portrait of James Madison, by John Vanderlyn
White House portrait of James Madison

Election of 1808   Election of 1812

James Madison
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
George Clinton

Electoral Votes



James Madison
DeWitt Clinton

Electoral Votes


His Vice-Presidents and Cabinet
Vice-President George Clinton
Elbridge Gerry (1813)
Secretary of State Robert Smith
James Monroe (1811)
Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin
George W. Campbell (1814)
Alexander J. Dallas (1814)
William H. Crawford (1816)
Secretary of War William Eustis
John Armstrong (1813)
James Monroe (1814)
William H. Crawford (1815)
Attorney General Caesar A. Rodney
William Pinkney (1811)
Richard Rush (1814)
Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton
William Jones (1813)
B.W. Crowninshield (1814)
United States Events During His Administration
States Admitted Louisiana (1812); Indiana (1816)
Territories Organized Missouri (1812); Alabama (1817)
Population in 1817 8,900,000
1810 Congress passed a bill to reopen trade with both Britain and France.
November 7, 1811 William Henry Harrison defeated Indian forces at the Battle of Tippecanoe.
1811 The Cumberland Road was started -- as part of a federal program to improve canals, roads and bridges.
June 18, 1812 Congress declared war on Great Britain.
1814 New England Federalists held a secret meeting known as the Hartford Convention.
February 1815 The United States and Great Britain both ratified the Treaty of Ghent, officially ending the War of 1812.
1816 The first savings banks in the country were founded at Philadelphia and Boston.
World Events During His Administration
1809 Dr. Ephraim McDowell performed the world's first successful ovariotomy.
1812 Napoleon invaded Russia, but had to retreat.
1814 Denmark gave Norway to Sweden.
1815 Belgium united with The Netherlands to form a single country.
1815 Napoleon was crushed at Waterloo.
1815 Switzerland became independent of France.

Notes and Trivia

Madison was the only President to face enemy fire while in office, during the British invasion of Washington, D.C., in 1814. He was also the only President to actively exercise his role as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, taking command of an artillery battery during that same invasion.

See Also

War of 1812
The Star-Spangled Banner
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
George Clinton
DeWitt Clinton
Elbridge Gerry
James Monroe
Albert Gallatin
William H. Crawford
Richard Rush
William Henry Harrison
Cumberland Road
Treaty of Ghent
Napoleon Bonaparte
The Netherlands

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The Robinson Library >> James Madison's Administration

This page was last updated on August 30, 2018.