madison was a young man who was sickly. was born to the wealthiest planter in orange county in piedmont, virginia which then was essentially the frontier about 100 miles inland. he was born in orange county to the wealthiest man in the county and one might have expected that he was interested in studying medicine he would go off to edinburgh or interested in studying law he would go to london or if he had no interest in either of those he might spend some time as most of his peers did at the colonial college. the only college south of princeton in colonial america, william and mary. when the time came he did none of these and the reason was what he sometimes referred to as his for constitution. he was perennially unwell and he fought as people did at the time that williamsburg was a disease ridden environment. they thought the vapours made
you sick. he decided to go off to what was then called the college of new jersey. what we now call princeton. this was going to have a very important effect on his political career. there was a significant distinction to be made in those days between princeton and william and mary. william and mary was not a rigorous academic environment. it was a school in which enlightenment thinking dominated. on the other hand, it was run by the colonial church of virginia. the episcopal church and if he had gone there he would have had a different kind of nurturance of his intellect and he encountered it in the college of new jersey. the college of new jersey at the time was john -- run by john witherspoon who was at recently emigrated scottish presbyterian divine. at the college of new jersey,
madison encountered a particular occurrence of enlightenment thought that led him to have a very skeptical attitude about human nature. one way you can distinguish the american revolution from later revolutions, most notably the french and russian, is the people at the head of the american revolution tended not to think as leaders of the french and russian revolution said, their political program were successful we would see a transformation of human nature in russia. we are going to create the new soviet man. if you check madison's political writings through his entire life he never thought any such thing was possible. he thought people were naturally british. he tended to take for granted as i sometimes tell my students that all people want all the money, sex, power and fame they can't get. this is truer of politicians than most and you shouldn't trust them for one second. that helps to tell you why you
certainly should not mix an area of life dominated by people like that with an area dominated -- something so important as religion. we shouldn't understand madison as having fought. in wasn't important and that is why the government shouldn't be concerned with it. rather his reason was he took it so seriously. c-span time at the college of new jersey and went back to virginia at age 21. they're then commenced a time he engaged in a fascinating correspondence in the 20s with one of his prints and classmates named william bradford from pennsylvania. bradford would also be politically prominent. he was for a time the attorney general in the washington administration. what is more important about bradford is he was the fellow who elicited some ruminations on the relationship between government and religion from madison. in 1772 to 74 madison, then a
21-23 wrote several letters to bradford and got responds to have on the question of the relation to between government and religion. and he said first he would like bradford to tell him exactly how it worked in pennsylvania that there was no established church. pennsylvania and new jersey being founded by quakers never did established churches. favor essentially in the same boat as rhode island though not for the same reasons. madison class new york with the puritan -- with the quaker and rhode island experiments. because he said although there is nominally an establishment in new york there has not been one effectively. madison was livid in 1772 with the authorities in virginia because he said in this and neighboring counties and by that he meant orange county on the
virginia piedmont there have in recent weeks been several people who have been jailed, whipped, find and mistreated for being baptists and spreading baptist's teachings. there were also a couple cases in nearby counties and it happened fortuitously although i don't know whether madison said this was fortuitous but it happened madison was born in the epicenter of radical protestantism in america. the baptist movement was strongest in neighboring counties in virginia and happened that was thomas jefferson's home county. they were witness to this treatment that was being meted out to the baptists in virginia and the last few years of the colonial period. besides the with things, findings and jailings that madison -- we have other episodes. the local leader of the gentry,
the local elite chief figurehead waited until the local baptists had gone in for their meeting on sunday morning and closed the door and walked them and had thrown a beehive through the window. there was another episode in which a leader of the gentry, this one also eat is the alien because that was the established church and that was your church likely in your county and your family that paid for the chapel but another time the leader of the gentry in colonial virginia waited for the baptists to go into their meeting house sunday morning and followed them in on horseback riding down the center aisle whipping everybody in reach. there was another case for,
apparently a sport. might chuckle and somewhat embarrassed me chuckle or nervously chuckle. but for madison this was just appalling. she couldn't believe this kind of thing could happen. he finally at the end of this correspondence with bradford said i think -- here we see a breakthrough in thought that was not parallel to the rest of his extremely significant intellectual life. he took the lead in writing the u.s. constitution but this is the most important he arrived at. madison wrote to william bradford and he said if we in north america could have agreed on a right church to establish and if we had been right that it was the right one, it still would have been a bad thing to establish it because he said wherever you have an established church you always have lack of freedom and other areas of
intellectual life. even if we all agree on what the true religion was an even if we were right, establishment would have been a bad thing. for the rest of his wife, madison was going to work to see there was no such thing. it happened in 1776. madison age 25 was elected to a parliamentary body for the first time and one a parliamentary body it was to be elected to. madison was elected the youngest delegate to the virginia revolutionary convention. what happened was the colonial governor, will be appointed governor had fled virginia. jefferson said this was a very wise decision for him to flee. he fled virginia and so the council and the house of burgesses decided to rule in his absence and they met jointly in what came to be called the convention. they had an election for the convention and people were told we are going to be creating a
new model of government. the virginia convention of 1776 was responsible for writing the first written constitution adopted by the people's representative in the history of the world. madison was the youngest participant. before they did that, they decided and here we see the influence of george mason, madison's older colleagues, who called himself a man of 1688 because he was a devoted a of the glorious revolution in england by which parliament had been made supreme, over the monarchies, they decided before they adopt a constitution they had to lay out their philosophical premises with a declaration of rights. madison was appointed a member of the committee chaired by george mason to draft a declaration of rights for the full convention to consider. once again he was the youngest member of the convention and must be the youngest member of the committee but this is a very
interesting episode because when the committee reported out its draft declaration of rights it had 16 articles and began with general statements about political philosophy. all men are born free and equal it said and they had a debate about that and ended up making a little amendment saying when they enter a state of society government is responsible for protecting their rights and what they were doing was deciding slaved in virginia were not being allowed to enter society with whites so from the beginning of the virginians were deciding the black people in virginia were a separate people. thomas jefferson referred to them as the captive nation. i tell my students they were not african-americans. they were not allowing you to be an american. that was the crime of it. madison didn't object to that. they went on to save the government authority was derived from the consent of the
government and they must have elected representatives periodically return to the people. there had to the elections on a regular basis. there were several articles that had to do with individual rights. the right to own a gun and freedom of speech and due process and trial by jury and the last article, arbuckle xvi drafted by george mason said virginians were going to be entitled to the full list toleration in matters of religion. toleration was the formula that was used in england at the time. in england in the seventeenth century they had a conflict between at the dominant puritan and the king was an episcopal alien. finally parliament won and they executed the king and established a puritan dictatorship rejected ten years english men decided they loathed said after the king to come back and adopted the act of toleration which said in england
you can be any kind of promising new one. this was a very liberal position in the seventeenth century. in spain you could be any kind of catholic you wanted. in russia you could be any kind of orthodox you wanted. in turkey you could be any kind of muslim you wanted but in england you could be any kind of protestant. george mason who was a liberal virginian said virginia should be entitled to the fullest toleration meaning you can be any kind of protestant you want. this is the most liberal think i can think of. medicine, youngest man in the rooms as i object to this idea. he said the implication of toleration offended him. the problem he said was if you said the government was going to tolerate your religious opinions, you are saying a couple things. the first is the government knew better than you did and the second was that the government was putting up with your error
for now. the implication was that might correct later. and article 16, virginia declaration of rights that virginians were entitled to, quote, free exercise of religion. once madison said this in the full convention. george mason said i agree. that is a superior formulation and that point the record tells us the agreement was unanimous. everyone accepted this idea. at age 25 madison invented this notion of free exercise of religion on the basis of his experience in orange county and ended the influence of his having been in new jersey in san of virginia because of his sickly nature. i should say madison was complaining in his early 20s he was sickly and about to die and he was going to be complaining about that for 60 more years.
was and if you read madison's correspondence you find him saying in his 20s and 30s to his 80s still complaining i am going to die any moment. he was finally right of course. but i gave away the end of the book. sorry. any way in 1776 after he had this success, the virginia declaration of rights was the first american declaration of rights. not only was he the youngest draftsman of the first written constitution adopted by the people's ministry of the world. he also took this significant role second only to drafting the first american declaration of rights. he might have thought he was elected to virginia house of delegates newly renamed from the house of burgesses. virginia beginning in 1619 was
the first elected assembly in the western hemisphere. no native americans ever had democratic government and tended have athenians filed democracy where all men could show up and participate but virginia house of burgesses were the first elected body wyche this. after they renamed it madison age 25 thought they stand for election but there's something about his personality. they had a tradition called treating. as in other colonies, in new york as in virginia if he showed up on voting day you show up at the polls, the sheriff would call you to come vote on voting day and if you did show up in virginia you could be fine. if you were eligible to vote and didn't you could be fined. imagine that. is that a good idea? not too sure about that. but anyway madison thought he
could be elected to the house of delegates. they had this tradition of trading which was people would show up and the sheriff would ask you, mr. gutzman how the vote? there were no germans at that time. i vote for john randolph and randolph is sitting right there and shake your hand and say i will never forget it. the other guy is thinking i will never forget it. this is why people tended to vote for the nearest rich die. the rich fellow who'd lived nearest your house was going to be a patron and you were going to count on him in case of plowing, more ice in the summer or you need help putting your barn back of. you want to be good in with him. the reason you are good with him is say aye vote for my neighbor. not i vote for whoever. after the voting they would go out into the lawn outside the courthouse and the people who voted for randolph were smith or whoever would expect randal for
smith or whoever to give them all the whiskey they could drink. virginians were known for this. i think virginia is notable for this. my father was in the army when i was a kid. i am not a texan. i happen to live in texas and went to the university of texas and stop partying in texas. basically you have church schools, agricultural colonies and the university of texas. you want a party you go there. i never saw drinking until i went to virginia. i am not exaggerating. i saw people hanging out of cars. i was a week at you va when i saw people lying unconscious on the sidewalk. it was amazing. this was always a very old tradition. in the seventeenth century a place where people drink a lot. put that in context. the historian of this question calculated in the nineteenth century the average american frank 5 gallons of with the
3-year. isn't that right? so that would be almost an ounce a day. men, women and children young and old visited philadelphia and reported seeing 5-year-olds staggering around the street. it is true. people drank like fish. virginians drank more. people talked about how virginians drake more. unbelievable. madison thought this tradition that if you vote for me come outside and i will give you all the whiskey you can consume in a weekend that is not republican. people should vote for me because i'm the most qualified. i will stand up for this principle and the house of delegates election of 1776 is the only election in his life that james madison lost. virginians have not changed their mind about this. we think we have a better idea. what this meant was the house of burgesses when it was convened voted for madison to be on what is called the executive council which was going to be a
committee of which the governor was chairman that would run the executive branch of the new government. for that reason madison was not in the house of delegates when jefferson drafted the virginia statute for religious freedom. he wasn't involved because he hadn't been elected in 1776 and so he didn't have any role in that but his friend jefferson did become a good friend of his as one of the governor's wild madison was on the council. his friend jefferson was sent to france in 1784 to be the american minister to france. while he was gone madison who had been off to congress came back to virginia and was elected to the house of delegates and he was there just in time to oppose a new proposal for what was called a general assessment. the idea here was this was an idea shared by several prominent figures in virginia politics notably edmund pendleton who was
a cousin of madison's and top judge in virginia and patrick henry. the most popular politician in revolutionary virginia. they both had the idea that during the revolution, the morality had declined. for example they thought there was more betting than before. like saying there's more drinking than before. there was more batting and more killing houses which we would call bars. people were not paying their taxes. imagine not paying taxes. for various reasons they fought that there needed to be a general assessment. what this was going to be with a kind of resuscitation of government involvement in religion. pendleton and henry were episcopalians. they were not restoring the official establishment. beginning in 1776 the a government of virginia stopped collecting the taxes to pay for the state church. in theory the episcopal church,
formerly the anglican kurd church leaders and we see why they renamed it, was still the establishment church that they were not collecting taxes. we need to start collecting taxes again. but we are good liberals too. we won't force everybody to pay for the church of england. means that will say you can specify where your tax money will go. for example if you are a methodists you can say now the local episcopal alien but methodist congregation will get my tax revenue. not local episcopalian but baptist congregation will get my tax revenue. by doing this they hoped to restore a situation in which all virginians were contributing to protestant religion. that is what the act said. was about protestant religion. you can imagine madison disapproved of this idea. one secret of political history
is you couldn't beat patrick henry in virginia politics. every time he butted heads with madison patrick henry won. every time he butted heads with jefferson patrick henry won. the only thing we can do is pray for him to die. what happened with this general assessment bill in 1785 was they were following the state constitution requirement that every bill passed on three readings so they brought it up for a first vote and it passed pretty easily and they brought it up for a second vote and it passed easily and the third time around madison said i think patrick henry ought to be governor. under the 1776 constitution the legislature elected the governor and it just happened the old governor's term expired between the second and third readings. i nominate patrick henry. he is ready for his fourth term as governor. put him back in the governorship. so they did.
as soon as henry was sworn in and he has been kicked upstairs madison says here's what i think. rather than another vote on general assessment with refer this to the people. we should print copies and distribute in every county and have a full public conversation throughout virginia of this question whether people believe we should have tax support for religion. the first time ever there was a statewide popular political campaign. they didn't have political parties. wasn't the statewide election. he was elected by the legislature. this is the first time there was a statewide political campaign and what it was about was whether there should be a general assessment. george nicholas who was the delegate from jefferson went to madison and said what we need is a pamphlet flameout the argument against this idea. you need to write it. madison says i will write it but keep my identity secret. people did go madison had
written this document against religious assessments. he didn't say and nobody else said he had written it for over three decades but they circulated against religious assessments throughout virginia. it laid out the classic evangelical argument that radical evangelical argument against state establishments. by the time he got to the writing of the remonstrance against religious assessments madison made speeches against the idea of having this general assessment and he laid out several arguments about why there should not be -- why there could not be both state support for some kind of protestantism and religious freedom. anytime you say you allow money on protestantism you get va. judges in the question on who is
a christian man who is not. this is what we don't want. we have in madison's favors two notes, against the general assessment. in the first one he laid out several questions he didn't think proponents financing. so suppose a judge has a question brought before him. here is a local minister. these people want to give him their tax money but i don't think he is a christian so they should not give him tax money. is he a christian? the judge is going to ask is he using the bible in his services? which vital is going to be required? isn't going to be the hebrew bible? the greek bobble? the whatcom bible? which translation of the bible is christian? which can of scriptures is going to be accredited and approved by the state? the protestant cannon scriptures? the protestant list of books in the bottle?
the catholic west of books in the bottle? the lutheran list of books in the bible? once we pass this question of what text to use what approach will in minister be required to take before he is accredited as a christian? will have to say the bible is divinely inspired in every word? that the bible is divinely inspired in general? is going to have to say the bible was divinely inspired in its essentials? if we can agree about that how will he be fined god? god is the trinity in the orthodox way? is allowed to say god is the trinity in the area and way? that god created jesus instead of god be getting jesus? you might think this is some abstract stuff. the point madison was making is incontrovertible. once you said only christians can receive this tax money the government is going to be right back in the game of deciding who is a christian man who is not an his religion is accredited and who gets money and who is not
and next thing you know he says we are going to have an act of uniformity and we are right back in england and you will think toleration is liberal again. in the other speech madison layout against this idea of a general assessment, he took a different ground. here he said religion is not for the civil authority to be concerned in because once the civil authorities involved in enforcing any kind of definition of christianity you are on your way toward uniformity. you are on your way toward queen elizabeth's decision at the end of the sixteenth and beginning of the seventeenth century in england. we just have to say this is what christianity is and means the same thing everywhere in miking demand we are doing that in virginia. people are back to within baptists. were establishment's necessary to religion? were they necessary to christianity madison asked, he thought clearly not. besides that he said several
states have been devoted to. is liberty and religion has prospered and flourished. he thought new jersey was more christian than virginia even though in new jersey they never had an establishment. that is why there was a new jersey. i wondered why there was new jersey. there's your answer. he pointed at article 16. this is contrary to the state declaration of rights. we said people are entitled to free exercise of religion. what if my religion says i shall support a minister who is the leading the way i think he ought and this guy isn't and i don't want to give him money? i have to give the episcopalian -- i don't like him either. i should be able to give him no money this year. not because i hate religion but i like it. madison didn't think that the government should be secular because he was sir religious. we often make the mistake of thinking anybody who doesn't think the government should be enforcing a religious position must think religion is not
important. but there is nothing in any of madison's writing to think that was his view. his view is it was -- his stated position was because it was the most important thing he didn't want politicians to be involved in it. here's something we don't think about. if you think about the world today you will see it is true. he thought having a general assessment would drive immigration. start enforcing religion people will leave virginia. they will go to pennsylvania. they will go to kentucky or somewhere else where you have freedom of religion. it happens in our world all the time. besides that he said the argument people are making in favor of a general assessment doesn't make sense. if there has been a breakdown of society during the work it is because we have a war and was not like a war in 2012 for americans. the war is over cease if you know people who are involved and really paying attention it is important to you but not like having the work of on manhattan.
it is not like that. madison said the reason we had any decline in popular morality is we have this war fought in our own backyards. people marched across the virginia. that is past. things are going to improve again. besides that, this was the culminating argument. a general assessment would dishonor christianity he said. it implies it is necessary and he insisted that it wasn't necessary. in that memorial remonstrance of 1785 he took this most radical of evangelical positions about the proper relationship between government and religion. he was obviously wrong but he said that a close link between church and state had never existed in christianity. everyone knows the early history of christian church knows that is not true. this was the most radical
position in madison's time and one that he had imbibed at the college of new jersey and come to believe in after witnessing what was being done to baptists in orange county. so it is owed to god, not the state and general assessment could be ordered so can a general the establishment and so on. this pamphlet was circulated throughout the commonwealth. thousands of people -- nine or ten many fine the anti general assessment decision as the pro. when they came back the following year the house of delegates didn't even vote on the general assessment. not only did they not vote for it they didn't even bring it up. they decided they wouldn't and madison said i have an alternative. that is when he waved the virginia statute for religious freedom and at that point virginians were ready to adopt
this policy which said there are three sections. the first is a long philosophical predicate written by jefferson. the most harshly anti-establishment position you can envision that says essentially my favorite part of it is where he says government can only make people into hypocrites or lawyers if it requires them to say what they think. if you require me -- jefferson's friend john adams wrote the 1780 massachusetts constitution that if you're going to be the governor you had to swear you were christian. jefferson's bill said you could make him a liar. i am going to run for governor. am i going to say i am not a christian? have you made me into a christian by making me say that? jefferson said this is a spoof on christianity and the same kinds of things about the historic relationship between church and state that madison laid out. it has never been beneficial and
absolutely not necessary. it is injuries to the government and the church to have the government meddling in the church or have the church meddling in the government. both of these should be avoided. that was a philosophical predicate and the second operative article virginia said that people are not going to have to pay to support any particular religion. they're not going to participate in any particular religion, no civil penalties for not participating. in his private correspondence with richard henry lee who is a prominent politician in virginia at the time and was president of the congress, we and madison both wrote this principle that religious freedom was only for christians was incorrect. apply to hindus and muslims and jews and freethinkers. it is somewhat breathtaking that madison came to these conclusions given the context in which he was writing.
but he agreed with jefferson's preamble that almighty god has created the mind free hand in the wake of the adoption of the virginia statute of religious freedom madison wrote the project of binding men's mind had been forever laid to rest in virginia. this was accomplished in 1786. you might think either its role in the declaration of rights for his role in adopting the virginia statute of religious freedom would be enough for a whole career. name contemporary politician who has done more than that. you can't. that wasn't the end of it because in 1787 madison finally succeeded in a project he had long been working on and that was in bringing together an interstate convention supposedly with the goal of proposing amendments to the articles of confederation.
at least that was the theory of it. so the confederation congress and 12 state send delegates to philadelphia in 1787, said the reason for the convention was to propose amendments to the article of configuration but they did not have that in mind. they substituted the national government for the federal government. we don't have time to go into the old description of the back-and-forth over the question whether the government should be national or federal. that authority should originated the center and be partial to the states as far as convenient to the center. that is a national all war whether they should be seen as originating in states and delegated to the federal government in so far as convene for the state's. that is the federal model. madison favored the national idea but was defeated in philadelphia on that. not only was he defeated on the question of where authority
should be seen to lie in the federal system but two of his virginia colleagues were among the three people who stayed through the summer of 1787 and refused to sign the constitution and one of the reasons they game, george mason, the fellow who took the lead in writing the declaration of rights and the governor of virginia, edmund randolph who was madison's right hand man pushing the national mall one of the reasons mason and randolph game for not signing the constitution was they said there should be a bill of rights. it is unacceptable that there should be. no reason we couldn't stay very traditional rights of english men are respected by this new central government. the argument against them including by madison was we don't need to have a bill of rights. we don't need to lay on individual rights and the constitution because the new
government is only being given the powers expressly enumerated. if you look at article 1 section 8 the reasoning goes the see anything that says congress can take away your guns of congress can't take away your gun. you don't see anything that congress can regulate the press so congress can't regulate the press. you don't see anything that says congress can have your search -- house search without a board so they can't have your house searched without a warrant. the chief proponent of this argument was the delegate from connecticut but madison joined in making this argument. he was among the majority and ultimately all state delegates voting voted not to have a declaration of rights in the constitution in the philadelphia convention. that is one of the main reasons mason and randolph refused to sign. as madison wrote the night they signed the constitution colonel mason has left philadelphia in very ill humor in need. mason promised he would go home to virginia and see that the
constitution was not ratified. the governor drafted a pamphlet and sent it to the speaker of the house of delegates laying out his objections. there were several important ones but the chief one was there was no bill of rights in this constitution. so what to do? madison finally got around a little over a month after the constitution's signing date sending a copy to his friend jefferson in france. everybody thinks jefferson wrote the constitution but he was in france. madison wrote to jefferson and gave him a long description of what happened in the philadelphia convention, laid out several reasons he didn't like the constitution but said this was better than the articles of confederation so i am for. will fail in a few years but i am for it. jefferson said i like the way that you compromised claims of large states and small states by
having different ways of portion in-house and senate and the way you compromised interests of the slave state and carrying states by compromise regarding importation of slaves and tariffs. i like various parts of this constitution the tree to things i dislike. perpetual be eligibility of the president. once somebody is elected president he can be there for life. there needs to be a term limit. madison says no. the second thing was there has to be a bill of rights. that is the essential. madison wrote and explained what i told you they thought about if the congress isn't given a power to violate a particular right then congress won't have that power and it went back and forth and finally jefferson said a bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against any government in the world. if you r. madison you must have thing -- jefferson, randolph, mason, not looking good in
virginia. so they are going to have a ratification convention in virginia. madison first thought he would stay out of it. he was one of the draftsman of the constitution's ocean play a role in passing on it but he said in several other states people and the philadelphia convention have been participating so i want to do that too. the baptists in orange county were going to defeat him. his father wrote him a letter. he is in new york where he is participating in confederation congress and his father sends him a letter that says get back to orange county because local baptist are telling everybody what a national church which is why there is no bill of rights in the constitutions of madison goes to orange county and promises his neighbors if you elect me to the ratification convention i will see that we do something about this. so he goes to the ratification convention and they make the
same arguments and he is skeptical about the idea. the constitution is narrowly ratified in virginia and it is time to have elections for the first house of representatives. this question comes in the den of the bill of rights and they're skeptical of his candidacy. madison has to travel around. this was not expected by him. he said i have to do what i have never done before which was to stand up on a public roster and a rain the planters. he thought it was beneath him to give a public talk saying why he ought to be elected but the reason he had to travel around his district with james monroe, a leading opponent of ratification was the baptists were skeptical. they thought he wanted a national church. he said he liked me to congress and i will see to it that amendments are proposed making clear there is not going to be any national church. what ultimately came out of this is the first amendment which
reflected -- use the same language madison used in article 16. we don't often note the peculiar language of the first amendment's -- results of the failure of madison to get what he wanted in congress on this regard. madison's original proposal said that there wouldn't be any establishment of religion. at that point congressman from three new england states objected and said does this mean there can't be any religion at all? government can't have anything to do with religion? at the time massachusetts, new hampshire and connecticut had state churches and wanted to keep their state churches. if a new provision said there won't be any establish with the religion they were afraid this would mean you have to stop taxing people to pay for puritanism in connecticut. madison says we will have its say congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion which would mean
congress couldn't establish a religion. congress couldn't non establish a religion. congress couldn't say anything about established religion. the point is also madison wanted a national statement about freedom of religion with ended that coming out of congress's the federal principle that we let the states decide what their religion policy was. he also tried to get a statement in the constitution that the state couldn't violate free exercise of religion or freedom of the press. this too was rejected and people in the congress were in favor of clarification of limits of federal authority but not some new limits on the state's power in this very and why was that? they had just gotten through a revolution against centralized authority, they had just won the revolution and self-government legislative elections. they were not about to turn around and say five or six years later we want a newfangled model in which we connecticut
residents or virginian for new yorkers are not going to have control over these questions. so madison ultimately did not get the version of the establishment clause he wanted out of the first congress. this was also not the end of madison's role in deciding what the federal regime's relationship would be to religion because as president which he was from 89 to 17 madison had two occasions to veto laws on the basis they violated the principle of the establishment of religion. the first came on february second, eighteen eleven. what happened was congress passed a bill that would have incorporated in the episcopal church in alexandria. originally alexandria was part of the district of columbia and congress proceeded the part of virginia that was part of the sea so d.c. is all in maryland and there's not any virginia in it anymore but originally district of columbia was the
full ten miles square that the constitution allowed and part of that was south of the potomac including alexandria so congress passed this law incorporating the episcopal church in alexandria. among other things it would have said how internal authority would lurk in this episcopal parish and would have given certain welfare functions to the colonial america especially in the episcopal colonies. if you were blind or retarded or an old widow who couldn't take care of herself and was the local episcopal parish that would handle these functions. ..uld handle these functions. they didn't have a welfare state. instead handled through the church. the congress envisioned having that continue and madison says no is unconstitutional. we cannot have congress telling the episcopal church total function and we cannot have the congress delegating civil functions to the church. only a couple weeks later and
madison had a second opportunity to consider what the meaning of the establishment clause was then in this case, congress had given land to some mississippi baptist for setting up a local congregation in their community and he said well of course we can't be having congress gave land to religious congregations. in fact, that is the north carolina go to the president and thanked him for this veto. so the principle of the establishment was one still central to baptist identity. we don't have any response or record of the responses mississippi baptist i suppose they're less happy in the north carolina converse. after 1800 according to gca stagg, editor of the papers of james madison university of virginia, stagg told me we don't have any record after 1800 madison made any positive comments about christianity that
is as a doctrine. you might think does that mean he was a religious? the answer is no, he called religious references from his correspondence. so we don't have his ruminations on religion. why is that? it is because he thought public figure should not be trying to influence you by the weight of their names or offices and what kind of religion you follow. we know that was his opinion because circa 1819 has scribbled notes, which historians have called detached memoranda on subjects in one of the once he came to his of religion and he said he didn't think there should eat public -- government days of thanksgiving. the reason he didn't and there should be government gave the thanksgiving is the implication that the government was doing this lane at a prayer for people to say for a schedule or even saying you should prayers that
all. this does not mean nice and didn't say prayers. people knew he went to church, but the point was that government should not try to influence you in this direction. the alternative leading you to the right of uniformity. madison batmobile that the president should he telling you when you pray, what to pray, how to pray come he apparently thought he had been mistaken during the war of 181221 sites people to pray for american arms. he also decides being against it for thanksgiving and calls for prayers that he did not think the government should pay for there to be chaplains and military or chaplains and the congress and why was that? when it came to the congress, he said it was impossible to have a chaplain without offending somebody. no matter which nomination, everybody else had to pay two. the only way to avoid the problem with not to have one. if the members of congress
wanted to pray, they could do that but shouldn't do it on the public dime. why was that? again he was opposed to the idea of establishment generally remained opposed to his surprise he can tell from the point in the early 1770s and has a very young man he was writes william bradford added to the very end of his life. thank you very much. [applause] >> the idea here is were going to take questions but you need to await the microphone's arrival please. >> is that on? >> what did not offend my -- what did not have been learned from weatherspoon that made him think differently about the baptist from the other virginia?
>> it was about the baptist specifically. it is the idea of religious persecution, the fact of the environment in new jersey in which people were punished for religion. so madison annexed here and an environment in which there is complete religious toleration is very sad and in new jersey, they can be in a quaker state. so when i got home and saw the whippings come the beatings commence next to the window, he thought this was appalling, shameful. he was contemplating leaving virginia, which there is a saying among historians, dukes don't emigrate. the fact that he was leaving at the county was far-fetched. he was appalled because he had seen the contrary possibility in action in new jersey.
>> thank you very much. use the word enough for me several times. but his historical etymology of that as far as to the context of founding fathers and diversity of thought and what was written as far as how important diversity is because not inadequately look at that as the corresponding solution that diversity of an equation actually will provide a vast solution versus equation. >> well, the word uniformity -- thank you, should've explained what he meant by that. i didn't realize they've managed to do that. there is an active uniformity detected by parliament at 16th century queen elizabeth decided she was not going to issue the establishment of bishops and would require people to use the book of common prayer throughout the kingdom. if you're familiar with the episcopalian church today, they still have what is called the book of common prayer although it's not the same one. what that meant was the matter which pierce you are in an queen
elizabeth vampire in a particular do you think the same prayers and say the same hands, same implications and seen scripture readings and any other part of the kingdom literacy and affirmative services throughout the kingdom. and of course the implication was people would be made to do what they didn't believe in and that was what andersen was supposed to. so with once you -- the point in regard to the general assessments and madison thinking was that once you say christians will be eligible to receive this tax money if their designated local taxpayers, you're automatically going to have a situation in which the judges would have to decide which sells for investigators were christian. have you cite would an actual christian is and then get back to question that which can and
can the scriptures, translation, how do you define god? the whole thing. recapitulate the whole history of christian dogma every time this came into a courtroom and the implication was no judge is equipped for that. who knows all that stuff? the only way to avoid an active uniformity de facto was not to the general assessment, not any establishment in all, even if it were so liberal as to say any kind of christian. >> yes, what do you think madison was say about the current situation, where churches get tax breaks, which is a form of government interference and it should be challenged on constitutional grounds because a lot of people are secular, freethinkers and a lot of people don't get their churches paid for by the government to tax abatement, for example, which is the tentacle worshipers than others.
so what you say about the tax breaks for churches? not ascend in his old age when he was writing the cash memoranda and a longer one was about the subject of religion. he was opposed to tax breaks for the very reason you've pinpointed. it seems obvious that anytime you have a tax break for anyone it's effectively a subsidy. and so, he thought nobody stuck to pay for anybody else's religion, should be forced to do it. again what you end up is a situation in which some people's decisions are made eligible and others aren't. that's a situation you want to avoid. the pressure finger on the contemporary practice to a chaplain sees season so on, yeah.
>> first of all, it thank you for your access. >> you're welcome. thank you. can you give some information regarding this family background , like his parents very rich people and so, did he practice any medicine or law as a lawyer? and whether he had any input in the drafting of the independence? peanut gallery. we have three elements of the question. the first of that madison's family background. taken about madison's legal training of any and the third with his role if any in drafting the declaration of independence. well, i mentioned a couple times that madison's father was the wealthiest men in orange county. he was the biggest landowner, slaveowner. he was the center of the
political and social elite in orange county. during the revolution he was the county lieutenant, which means he was head of the militia and accounting and responsible for mastering the militia when the governor called for them to come out. not ascend -- james madison senior is what i'm talking about. james madison senior, our hero, the president -- james madison junior also was later a member of the vestry. we know he attended church through his life. he went to church right across from the white house today. in fact recently a television i saw president obama and his family coming out of the same church james madison used to attend pierces through his wife he did attend church. when he was a young man he apparently was uncertain what he wanted to do for a career. so after he completed his graduate studies at prince and he stayed on as a graduate student for a year, where he
studied among other things hebrew and the only practical application of hebrew for a protestant guys from orange county i think what has been to the time a minister. but apparently he decided at an early age he did not to be a minister to the next he turned to the idea he would become an attorney and a static which after a few weeks he described as exceedingly dry and i can say yes. it's exceedingly shy. he had absolutely nothing to do with drafting the declaration of independence because he was in virginia drafted the declaration of rights. these are done at the same time. thomas jefferson is now more famous for madison because he was the chief draftsman of the declaration of independence. one philadelphia was writing to williamsburg same please release me. send someone to be in congress. i would succumb to what this is all about, which is held after
state constitution. such ever since i drafted the state constitution was what the war was about. at one point he said if we end up with a bat over a device in iphone except when it was on a her from across the water without albeit in. the main thing we do here is my constitution. he didn't get to hold to that food be satisfied with the declaration of independence. madison was on the ground for doing such ever since i was the more important thing, inventing the idea of written constitutions adopted by the people's representatives, were not ascend that his political start and of course the end of playing the lead role in drafting the federal constitution. i didn't mention this because he didn't have anything to do the church and state, but at the end of his life in 1829 and 30 when he was and has laid a 70s, he was involved in another constitutional convention where they revise the original state constitution peers that was the last major political event and that is in place.
-- event in madison's life. [inaudible] >> not that i'm aware of. apparently he thought better of his one call while president for people to pray for american arms. but it was in retirement he said he didn't think this kind of thing should never be issued. for example, annual days of thanksgiving are entirely contrary to his principle. but you can see through his life actually he is working on this idea and he did see it
implemented or incorporated into the virginia constitution and u.s. constitution but it is becoming more liberal in regard if he thought it more in retirement. so you might say well, the notion, for example that they would be tax subsidies, in other words come a tax-free status for church congregations seems to be implicit in the notion of not having an establishment. but he hadn't elaborated that idea until he was an old man. i think the same is true about the chaplain he is. >> at the age -- at the age of 25's, what idea was rejected and why? >> well, when he was 25 he was involved in the virginia
convention about the constitution and declaration of rights. i am not sure which you are referring to. i can't think of a proposal he made in the convention that was reject it. >> i meant the idea. >> i can't think of one. >> what -- what -- i mean, i'm sorry, my bad. how old was he when he was the youngest participant? >> he was 25 years old when he was the youngest member of the participant. he was the youngest member of the convention and of course the youngest member of the committee that drafted the declaration of rights in the constitution. as i said what they were of the
declaration of rights he played a key role in drafting article xvi. he was the one who came up with the idea of guarantee of the free exercise of religion instead of just toleration. >> i wonder how you explain the difference between how the founding father came out of the revolutionary war in favor of freedom and we come out after 9/11 in the opposite direction and many people feel the constitution is being shredded by the petri attack and obama's recent executive order. and also, we have chaplains in the congress and how is all this to be explained? [laughter] >> well, i could see via a one semester course in constitutional history, while people who were involved in making the american revolution in making the federal constitution all believed that
constitutions generate over time. even if they have optimal constitution eventually it will generate in every society will end up in tierney at one point or another. it would not be surprising to many people who are formative thinkers in the process of creating either virginia's constitution, certainly church may send believed governments to generate over time. madison believed that he was almost universally holiday dia but over time there will be change. if it is good it can only get worse. that is unsurprising to find happy. >> i understand you went to college and university so he didn't have to have his slaves
belying -- is that the main reason he went to new jersey so he would have to earnestly to fund the slaves that were inherited? >> and outcome of the reason he went was physically unwell and he believed that the environment to williamsburg was unhealthy. so to be avoided yet this is a common kind of idea among division elite. richard henry elite, president of congress did not participate in the ratification convention in 1788 because he was on while anti-richmond was a sickly environment. he didn't want to go there while he was unwell. so that was not the reason. in fact, not ascend took slaves with him when he would to congress in new york and philadelphia. there's interesting exchanges between him and his father over what to do about the fact that the slaves had become accustomed to more latitude in behavior while they were away from
virginia. in one case he freed a man because he's used to being freed now. i camping and that. that was not why he went to the college of new jersey. >> in hindsight, could he be considered a deiced and an atheist? and also, did he believe in absolute state rights in spite of what he said about congress? >> and 30 words or fewer? now, we have no evidence that he was a deiced. we have no evidence in the talk after 1800 after what he said about christianity. we know he attended christian church while he was president and we know that apparently he had been interested in christianity enough to stay on a steady heber after graduating from college of new jersey. we know he was an active member of the vestry, which is the
committee of the layman who ran an episcopal congregation in cooperation with the minister. that he intended for us not to know what is specific religious beliefs were again because he did not exist as a kind of thing your politicians should be telling you. you don't need to say vote for me on a catholic, anglican, jewish. this is not supposed to be a ground of our politics. so keep it out. don't ask me. i'm not going to tell you. apparently when he died he had his correspondence called it to remove this kind of thing besides personal letters there's no love letters from james madison to dali. you can't quite imagine him writing a love letter. but assuming it was romantic at any point, we don't have any evidence of it. why was that? well, these people although they knew there would be people like
me who made careers of reading their mail, they didn't want us to read all of it. so they took that stuff out. well, he certainly believed that today would be seen at the very conservative conception of the state's rates. he believed in a fedel system instead of the national and here the government should decentralized and at various points was a great pain to describe how it should be bad. if you're interested in his views about.com you could go to the internet and google the phrase, james madison bonus describe how it should be read. if you're interested in his views about.com you could go to the internet and google the phrase, james madison bonus and you can find a long message if you're interested in his views about.com you could go to the internet and google the phrase, james madison bonus and you can find a long message from him and his fine act as president was to veto a bill sponsored by his closest ally in congress and here he is excited by and gives what to would be called a states rights explanation of the constitution. this is entirely consistent with what he said at the beginning of the constitution in response to alexander hamilton's bank bill. he said the same thing. the government has few powers and so on.
now seems the classic jeffersonian republic position but another area in which jefferson gets the credit for something madison did save the.into virginia religious freedom has been found in the jeffersonian party. it is madison's party, jefferson made a better face for it and madison recognized that. it became the jeffersonian party quote, unquote. billy was madison thinking that delayed the thinking about the constitution. >> would you say that on the same switched from sort of his position -- nationalist position of the convention distorted his views in the veto message was not -- which you character that is a conversion or nearly the fact once the constitution is ratified as written he just felt that he had -- he was obligated
by that notwithstanding his earlier nationalist views? >> i think the latter. i think he felt the proper way was that it had been explained to the people when he was ratifying it. so although he favors some came before it was agreed to in philadelphia, he always after that called for it to be enforced at it then explain to to people during the ratification process. although this is not the subject of tonight's top, i devote a whole chapter to it in james madison in the making of america. so if you're interested i'd be happy to sign your copy. >> it seems to me that ahmed the tax memoranda -- it seems to reveal the thinking -- madison thinking that seems more disjointed on the matter of
religion and concise. i was when i come it did in fact have a concise idea of what religion is that these but it should be as opposed to what it shouldn't be? >> well, he didn't say what it should or shouldn't be. so this section of the detached memoranda that is about revision is not about prescribing or proscribing religion. it's about not prescribing a proscribing religion. in other words, his concern was the government should be telling you and politicians shouldn't be telling you. vote for me in the catholic. vote for me i'm an anglican. but for me i'm jewish. that's an anti-madisonian. if you asked about his religion he would've told you go away. he apparently took great pains to ensure that this correspondence that survives to us in these people by the way for very egocentric and the sense that some of them from a freakishly early age saved other correspondence. thomas jefferson was a teenager
when he wrote some of them said say this letter. one day people are going to read my letters. john adams when it's in his early 20s when he wrote abigail smith, his soon-to-be wife and said from now on say whatever i write. you people are going to want to read this. so madison knew that people were going to be interested in his ruminations on these questions, but he also believed we shouldn't be. this is not the issue. just because some guy at the politician doesn't mean he knows anything about god or not god. it's not what they're about. you shouldn't inquire of him. go ask your minister or mom or the sun. that was madison's attitude. >> just a second. this way for the for the microphone, please. >> buttress his position on who
could go? to be the position? >> on who could vote? voting rights. >> well, i mentioned an attack that in the virginia convention when he was 25 that the committee drafted the declaration of rights that all men are born free and equal in government is responsible for taking their right. and when the committee reported that the full convention, one of the members that this will lead to social compulsion. do we really want to sell want to sell men are born free and equal. i propose a menace by sabin entered into a state of society government has to protect the rights and the implication being black people weren't allowed to enter into this pocket society. so you have your contact on the way virginians that the people within virginia's territory are not allowed to participate. madison did not object. he didn't say i approve. he just was silent. but this was not an issue that
came up this is not an issue i am unaware he would have to consider. he had a key role in drafting them what she had a key role in explaining the federalist series this was left entirely to the state to decide. that's kind of saying that the federal system that's supposed to be up to the state to decide. again we don't get any information about whether he thought blacks or women or whoever should about. he was involved in this in 1829 and 1830 and they did extend the suffrage from formerly only man who held a certain amount of land to men who were renting land and men who had less well from now.
i guess you could say at the end of the life you give up liberalizing the suffrage requirements. this not been as liberal as we expect. everyone can vote. he never propose such thing. >> during the time of madison in england, there is christian persecution. i should say catholic persecution. there is a rule you have to be an episcopalian to attend oxford or cambridge. there were other disabilities use the third if you're not an episcopalian. there were many which were not subject and put it down for her. there were many which were not subject and put it down for her. there were many which were not subject and put it down for her.
is faster process, but not subject and put it down for her. guess that's fair price, but keep in mind that in spain you have to be catholic and orthodox. and in england you made no allowance for some dissenters, even if that was on the other protestants at least it's more liberal in any other place. there is no christian persecution per se. by the time the revolution and rhode island there is another colony of maryland had no state and eventually was forced to adopt and clement son and the rest as the mall had state
churches. anyway good unless you read what i than you had to pay for puritanism and you could be punishing very safe if you want it. 10. he had to be an anglican including in new york they have at least on the books the official church of england. this place is called new york and named with the duke of york and he was an anglican. so they set up a state church in the beginning of english rule here, even though it was not energetically enforced because the population is highly heterogeneous bert -- unlike virtually any other good >> a chapter ratifying the constitution you talked about in the middle of the chapter may send talking about how the confederate state -- confederacy of states could actually form different confederacies within that. there wasn't this pledge to union is one of those gatherings. and that corrector is set -- can
you summarize the thoughts of the time as far as whether states could succeed from this union been established? >> i do want to give it away. >> later on in the chapter -- i guess you haven't gotten that far. but they ratify the constitution, george nicholas and governor randolph or two of the three leading spokesman along with madison in the virginia convention are going to explain that if this government abuses the powers giving we can reclaim them. they can use the word the secession yet. it had not been brought into wide use, but clearly that is what this means. we can reclaim them and take it that. this is one of the novel discoveries that this boat. i am not aware of any other book that is pointed this out. so the leading fabulous set in the convention that virginia could make him the powers granted to federal government. >> you should note that in new
york state catholics are not allowed to vote until 200 years ago. >> catholics were persecuted everywhere in north america except again in the earliest maryland, in new jersey, pennsylvania and rhode island. >> he abolished to that. >> even in the civil war -- after the civil war the religious and connecticut if i'm not mistaken. >> not only dared. >> before you made the case for the presidency, what accounts for the fact that there is a rupture in his own party when john randolph and speaker make in bro quit then. was it morality or politics? >> the break was during the jefferson administration in the
issue had to do with what day -- with the quiz that about what was going on in the jefferson administration. but when madison had to provide formal interpretations of the constitution, he always came back to the same argument as it made against a bank bill in 1791 the congress had few enumerated powers that were specified in article i, section eight and that is the basis of his veto in 1817. he did make an exception. he said because there's been a bane for 20 years from 1791 to 1811 he had to defer to the judgment of past congresses and presidents and he could not roll back every question in every administration. but in general he appeared to the same principle through his presidency. there is discussion of the criticism in the book.
so i agree with you that is an interesting passage. what he is talking about for those of you who don't know as the thomas jefferson administration in which jefferson's cousin, john randolph who had been the majority leader when jefferson broke with jefferson and start a third party to oppose jefferson. so your cousin is now a senator majority leader is now chief opponent. that's a very interesting passage in the size that in the book there is a sketch from life as the deformed randolph has never been published before. you see him on horseback and he looks very unwell, which he was, unlike madison. [laughter] >> i was just wondering, like what is the reason that you, like, are investigating madison anyways. is he a conservative populist aura that should be like exam
and, like, in an age of populism -- as just curious about that. >> perhaps if i'd begun writing about him last or that would've been the reason. but actually i first encountered not assume any serious way in 1993. i was writing a book about revolutionary virginia and what i found them and what i sound sense in writing a couple books about the constitution was there were several points in madison's career which i thought the generally accepted version of his five was just mistaken. it was inconsistent with the primary sources. so after i came to six or seven points at which major junctures in his life that which i thought that with this ethos that was just wrong, i realized i should write a book about them and not for the book came from. it was that we have occupy wall street had better read about james madison. that had nothing to do with it.
>> you know what his opinion about immigration us at the time if he had a strong feelings about it? >> was a segment talk, he thought one reason to oppose the idea of general assessment was deleted because from virginia. there is a competition to see which could be most welcoming and one reason you want a liberal policy we see what people come from foreign countries to virginia. the negative effect on slavery and people in the south that had eventually would be far more populous than in the north because the environment was more salubrious as they would have said. the weather is better, land was smart for them. by when people move here. in his old-age madison saw had happened. they said why not? people don't want to compete with slave labor would make an
move to ohio and so they've done not even know ohio is cold and windy. the land is as good. >> i believe i read in one of tom woods' books that new york state made it a condition of signing the constitution that it had the right to succeed. >> yeah, i think he got that from me actually. last night that's true, they did say they could -- well, yes -- the short answer is yes. >> can you say a little about his foreign piracy because the secretary of state and president? >> well come in the area foreign policy is the big flap with madison's career. madison beginning in the mid-1780s wanted to experiment in economic coercion instead of
military coercion and ultimately secretary of state persuaded jefferson to try the experiment to basically disbanded army and navy and relying on militia in the first instance with farcical gunboats as the means to protect in american ports in the end result was that the british burned on the capital in the white house. it didn't work. it is a grim passage. basically it was, i think, irresponsible in the middle of a world war into which it is obvious the united states were going to be in some way to say here is our rule. you don't play by our rules will take our football and go home. the british and french were not going to play that game either. so i said ultimately madison called to declare war without first preparing financially or via a military buildup and then
the british had no difficulty invading maryland and burning down washington. so that's why i didn't give a talk on james madison's wonderful foreign policy. [laughter] any other questions? i think we have whenever they are. >> outside of virginia at the federalists like you described there were certain centers i guess of the country that would like dominant as far as controlling politics or whatever. would you say like texas is another state -- would there be any other centers? >> texas became a state in 1845. >> i know, that saddam hussein. there were originally 13 colonies, where nationstates at
that point. but around that time before. what i am saying is to describe, like you said he was a fatter list. the federalists was like they were just separated. there was that uniformity, which you are talking about earlier. were there certain areas of the colonies were certain areas of the country that he felt which should be more dominant than others as far as representing a nation? >> well, not a fan died in 1836, so the question of taxpayers points west was not the issue. i use the word federalists. that's a very confusing word because people who favored ratifying the constitution in 1787 to 90 colleton federalists. in 1792 there's a political party called the federalist
party. that's a different party from the people say they're ratifying the constitution. madison was an opponent of the second group. what he meant was the favored the principle of federalism, decentralized government. yes, he did and consistently. after the constitution had been bitten. so as to whether he favored an particular region or another, he was a southerner, but wanted to incorporate northerners entered the jeffersonian coalition and that is why they chose first george clinton from new york and aronberg from new york to be jefferson's running mates for president. i don't know where to go beyond that. just a minute. we can hear you. just a minute. we need to get the microphone to you. >> at the beginning you are saying his stand was one of the largest -- one of the largest
families and you mentioned a lot of flake, it seemed like a state politics. wasn't like they were lake based in like the franchi said talking about france was what it looked that, like the french system? but like the state of virginia, mostly wasn't that one of the biggest areas that the united states, where light, british culture was like, still exist today. i didn't understand on the state level. you talk about local politics than he favored, like a french kind of like -- you mentioned -- you were saying -- >> i don't know what you mean by favoring french. >> no -- on the local level when you're talking about -- i think you touched on property right
and you're talking about like politics and ideology and philosophical politics or philosophical politics. i'm curious how that was. >> virginia was a british colony and it became independent during the revolution. i don't know what you mean by france. i have no idea. >> i am just saying as a culture and the state of virginia. like i thought it was more than any other state, maybe like massachusetts with the another state that would be similar to that. so i thought i heard you mention when you're talking about when his family was interacting with the other -- with the other families that had he asked
interacting with the other population in its areas and he was getting political ideas are a debtor, he mentioned in your attachment that religion then you said that, like, you said that -- yeah, you mentioned the difference but being anglican and french. he talked about that a little bit in the french influence as far as political rhetoric. >> i really have no idea which are talking about a regard to france. i don't think i talked about the french religion at all. a couple people asked questions about catholicism, but i don't think i said much about it. so i don't know what you're referring to. any other questions? >> for more information visit the author's went site, kevingetman.com.
kevingutzman.com. >> you're watching booktv. next, rachel maddow talks about the u.s. embrace of perpetual war as a way of life and looks at how our views of war and the business of war have changed since vietnam. this is about an hour and 15 minutes. [applause] >> good evening, everyone. i'm lynn, i'm president of mount holyoke college. [cheers and applause] it is my honor to welcome you to our campus for what i know will be an engaging evening. rachel maddow is known to all of us as the host of the rachel maddow show. the critically-acclaimed msnbc program where rachel takes on issues at the forefront of public discussion and private debate every day. she is an author, a collar and -- scholar and one of the
finest examples i know of using liberal learning for purposeful engagement in the world. [cheers and applause] mown holyoke has educating women for 175 years, and i am so, so proud to have such an extraordinary role model on our campus this evening. before we get to rachel's presentation, i want to introduce my dear friend joan from the odyssey book shop. [cheers and applause] without her, this event would not be possible, so, joan -- [applause] >> hello, everyone! what a great night. first of all, i want to say happy birthday, cesar chavez! [cheers and applause] he would be 85 years old. he would be 85 years old today,
and he was very important in my political development. the odyssey book shop is honored to be co-sponsoring this event with mount holyoke college, the research center and the gender studies department. this year -- [applause] okay, let's give 'em all a clap. [applause] be this fall the odyssey book shop will be celebrating our 49th anniversary -- [cheers and applause] and since you're such a captive audience, i have to tell you about some of our programs. our first edition club has over 255 members around the country and several international members. we have an incredible selection committee at the odyssey. they have an amazing record of choosing books that go on to win major prizes, including the recent selections tiger's wife which won the orange prize and open city which won the hemingway pen award.
so once a month you would get a signed first edition. it's a great graduation present, it's a great mother's day present, it's just a great year-round present. we also have a gifted reading program x this is fantastic for grandparents or aunts and uncles, and john and i are grandparents of three girls now. our children's book buyer will hand pick a book each month for your child. there are four different age groups spanning ages 2-18, the books are gift wrapped x it's so much fun. i want you all to visit our web site. we have a new web site, and now you can purchase everything-books from us at oddity bks.com for -- odyssey bks.com. so your ipad, your tablets, your android smartphones, your nooks, four sony readers, your laptops, desktop computers, it's all -- you can do it very easily. so now we are a full service bricks and clicks bookstore.
[laughter] yeah, i kind of like that too. [laughter] new books, sale books, e-books and over the next few months we'll be greatly expanding our used book department. lots of options for you to support your locally-owned, independent book shop. [applause] hey, thanks. we host over 125 events a year, and i want to tell you about a couple. gerald ashanti will be with us, aic viking penguin editor, and her new book is the unruly passion of -- i didn't say that -- it's french, so i can't do that too well. [laughter] the book is set in bordellos, salonses and the streets of 19th century paris at different times from what rachel will be talking about tonight, a different war, but surprisingly resonant with
the issues swirling around us today, especially with regard the -- to women. and we are delighted to be co-sponsoring that, and an incredible reception will follow at the center if desserts to die for. on april 10th we are hosting a launch from dean of faculty and author christopher pens si. [applause] chris will assist husband critically -- his critically-acclaimed new memoir, and that event is co-sponsored with the english department at mount holyoke. quickly, quickly, on april 19th vijay presad will be with us for his new book x on the 24th, michael claire, the race for what's left: the global scramble for the world's last resources. and finally, on wednesday, april 25th, national priorities
project -- which is an organization that we love dearly, it's national headquarters is in northampton, massachusetts -- they're printing their first book, "a people's guide to the federal budget," and that will be at 7:00. and we share a wonderful -- [applause] >> yeah. we share a wonderful staffer with the project, and that's sheila who does a lot of the associate media for both organizations s. finally, i do want to mention mount holyoke's class of '96 and executive director of jobs with justice is speaking on april 18th at 4:15. so, um, i have quite a wonderful local organizer named john weissman -- [applause] okay, i'm married to him. [laughter] a little bit about the signing
procedures. there's over 400 people who will be in line, and there's a dance in many here at 11:00. [laughter] so no indescriptions, no post photos, we'll be calling you up by a, b, c, d, and moving it right along. so this is rachel's second event of the day, and she's in cambridge tomorrow, so we want to keep the line going. i really would like you to join me in giving the odyssey staff a warm round of applause. they have been incredible. [cheers and applause] and now it is my pleasure to introduce another amazing woman, karen remler, professor of german studies and gender studies at mount holyoke college. karen has worked tirelessly to bring us all together today to hear rachel maddow. karen? [cheers and applause]
>> good evening. i also wanted to give generous thanks to joan. it's through her dedication to this community, to south hadley, to the mount holyoke community that we have celebrated authors who come here every week. thank you, joan, and be thank your staff. ms. -- [applause] many people worked very hard to make this event happen, and i'd like to take just a minute to thank some people by name, and many of you know that we appreciate your work. i'd like to thank elizabeth layman who's the assistant direct director of the five college women's studies research center, bridget barrett, the senior assistant at gender studies, mount holyoke college, chris birdbalm who is working up there, thank you. [cheers and applause]
all of these people and many more have coordinated people, space, technology to make it possible for you all to sit here comfortably in anticipation of rachel maddow. i'd also like to thank the staff facilities management and the campus police for keeping the peace and for setting up -- thank you so much. prison -- [applause] >> and then finally, a heartfelt thanks to the president, she's very modest, she's also a frequent commentator on radio, as you know, so she's out there for us. thank you. [cheers and applause] i have the privilege of directing the five college women's studies research center, also celebrating an anniversary, 21 years. we are an international interdisciplinary center that supports the work of feminist scholars, activists, artists and practitioners from around the world and here in the pioneer valley.
in fact, as you know, the pioneer valley and the five colleges are probably the largest concentration of feminists in the world. [cheers and applause] and i invite you -- i'm not going to go through the whole list of events, but we have a table out in the hobby, and i invite you to pick up a flier about some of our upcoming events, and we are always open to the community, so i welcome all of you to join us. we are especially pleased to welcome rachel maddow this evening. the center is planning to launch a new initiative on women, the media and the public sphere worldwide, and we are hoping to bring rachel maddow back at some point along with other women who have worked tirelessly, rigorously around the world to bring the news to you and to
comment about the politics of the day. and we hope many of you will jump into the fray and also become commentators in the public sphere; real, virtual, local, global. okay. i have to say one word of organization. i know you're all waiting. rachel maddow has generously agreed to answer questions and, again, she's been working tirelessly this week. she's been on david letterman,on terry gross, on jon stewart, so she's very, very busy. we have set it up to have four mics, we'll have two mics on either aisle, one at the top where all our students are sitting -- [cheers and applause] and then one to one on the secod balcony, and we will take turns. we'll go one mic to the other, so be prepared to line up after rachel speaks. rachel maddow is no stranger
here. in fact, she's a lot of your neighbor, a lot of you have her as your neighbor. she also started her first radio gig down the road in holyoke, massachusetts, as many of you know. and as the president mentioned, she is a brilliant scholar. she has a degree from stanford university, oxford university, she's a rhodes scholar and an emmy award-winning television host of her own show. i have read her book, "drift: the unmooring of american military power," and i recommend it to you. i've been recommending it to everyone including the marines that i know. i think they'll -- they actually confirm a lot of what's in the book so far. she argues that the military, the u.s. military has become so private that many americans stay out of the whole process of going to war altogether. she reminds us of unexpected connections, say between the cost of daycare for toddlers of
military parents and a bird called the -- [inaudible] hunted in balochistan, pakistan. she reminds us that this book took at -- a lot of time a lot of research, much of which was in the public record. so listen to your public officials, read the documents and also follow the money. rachel herself on her blog said recently: the book is not about democrats and republicans, it's not about liberals and conservatives and not even about good and be bad guys. it is about america as a great country that has forgotten one of the things that makes us great. and i think we can get back to what that was, and i would love it if we could at least have a big national talk about it. so rachel maddow is here to have, to continue that big national and, i would say, international talk about it. so welcome, please, rachel