According to Wood's final argument, James Madison did not differ in his policies substantially but still remains one of the less credited founding fathers. I would argue, however, that there is an alteration in James Madison's ideals and policies throughout his political career and this does not cause or even have a correlation with his lack of equal reputation as Thomas Jefferson. The basis of my argument comes from both the belief that changing one's views overtime is not the mark of a illegitimate politician and that Thomas Jefferson was accused and is still accused of the same kind of waivering, but is stil one of the most memorable founding fathers. James Madison's role as a co-author of the Federalist Papers, most importantly Federalist #10, and the Virginia Plan that at least established some of the Constitutional principles and then later his role as a prominent Democratic-Republican with Thomas Jefferson is a change in thinking. It could be argued that this change is only seen in retrospect of our current political ideologies, but even Alexander Hamilton and John Adams noticed these changes in Madison. Similarly, I do not consider this change a negative thing necessarily--the times in which James Madison lived required constant changes in political thoughts to maintain stability in the new nation. As mentioned earlier, Thomas Jefferson has been accused of changing his political ideology as well, for he claimed to be a strict constitutionalist, but then exercised rights not explicitly granted during his presidency. Therefore, changing one's political ideals is not necessarily a bad thing and does not reflect any negative component of James Madison. I would contribute Madison's lesser known status instead to his persona of manipulating politics behind the scenes, as portrayed in Jospeh Ellis' "Founding Brothers."
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