Life After the Presidency

Upon the end of James Madison's second term as president, he returned to his plantation in Virginia. However, he stayed politically active throughout the rest of his life. He attended the Virginia constitutional convention in 1829. Further, he spoke against the misuse of his Virginia Resolutions that were being cited as grounds for the idea of nullification, or the ability of a state to proclaim a federal law as unconstitutional.

American Colonization Society

In 1833, James Madison became the president of the American Colonization Society. He had been a founding member of this group in 1816 that was created to help repatriate freed black slaves back to Africa. Over time, both the proslavery forces and the radical abolitionists fought against the society. It continued to exist after Madison's death until it was dissolved in 1913.


James Madison died on June 28, 1836, at his estate, Montpelier, in Virginia. Madison was truly an influential man in America's founding and early years. As Albert Gallatin said upon Madison's retirement from the presidency, “Never was a country left in a more flourishing situation than the United States at the end of [his] administration; and they are more united at home and respected abroad than at any period since the war of … independence.”

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