In this article, Wood discusses the fact that Madison is widely considered to be America's philosopher and the Father of the Constitution, as well as the less commonly known idea that he has two different ideologies and identities. Before reading this article, I was completely unaware of the conflict over his beliefs. However, in my opinion it is not his "flip-flopping" beliefs that are the so-called problem. Many of the founding fathers changed their minds during their political careers, with good reason, having never seen their political system at work before. The more interesting problem with Madison is the misinterpretation of his legacy as the creator of a unique and modern form of government. I think Wood makes a fantastic point that "if any of the founding fathers was a modern man, it was not Madison but Hamilton....[Madison] had no intention of creating the kind of modern war-making state that Hamilton had in mind"(165). Beyond Madison's political ideas, Wood argues that the American government is not really different in practice and outcome from European governments, though it may have different ideological fundamentals. This is contrary to Madison's plan, and thus also contrary to the belief that Madison is the father of the constitution, which is Wood's larger point.
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