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Journal Article

Madison and Jefferson: The Making of a Friendship

Lee Wilkins
Political Psychology
Vol. 12, No. 4 (Dec., 1991), pp. 593-608
DOI: 10.2307/3791548
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3791548
Page Count: 16
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Madison and Jefferson: The Making of a Friendship
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Abstract

The 50-year friendship between James Madison and Thomas Jefferson illustrates the development of an adult friendship. That friendship is also evocative of some of the leadership qualities the two men brought to the founding era. Madison and Jefferson became friends because each needed an intellectual compatriot in the political arena to replace a lost relationship. However, their initial relationship was more a mentor-student relationship rather than an egalitarian partnership. As illustrated through their letters, the friendship itself grew and deepened until Madison and Jefferson had their first and only serious intellectual break over the inclusion of a bill of rights in the proposed constitution. The friendship that emerged after this break was one of equality.

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