Washington & Madison’s Founding Fracture

The Father of His Country vs. The Father of the Constitution

The ideological differences between the founders are usually represented by Hamilton and Jefferson, but their story doesn’t have the same personal drama that comes with George Washington and James Madison. Washington and Madison were not just political partners but true friends—until they weren’t.

In this episode we look at the rise and fall of Washington and Madison’s friendship, from their partnership to create the Constitution to their bitter breakup amidst the birth of America’s two-party system. Of all the rifts, rivalries, betrayals that shaped the nation, this one might be the most personal, because those two have history.

Listen now:

James Madison by Richard Brookhiser
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham
John Adams by David McCullough
The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution by Lindsay Chervinsky
Washington: The Indispensable Man by James Thomas Flexner
Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph Ellis
Founding Friendship: George Washington, James Madison, and the Creation of the American Republic by Stuart Leibiger
The Age of Federalism: The Early American Republic, 1788-1800 by Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick
Washington, Jefferson & Madison by Allan Pell Crawford, MountVernon.com
Tobias Lear’s Record of George Washington’s Death, MountVernon.com
This episode was inspired by an earlier 4-part series from this blog, Madison’s Bad Blood with Washington

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