James Madison served as the 4th President after Thomas Jefferson, and I think he's probably the earliest President most Americans today know nothing about. Was he good or forgettable?
From what I understand, Madison was not a supporter of the First Bank of the United States. When it's charter expired, and the War of 1812 broke out, the United States went through severe inflation, and Madison found out how hard it was to pay for the war without it. So he helped create the Second Bank of the United States.
The biggest thing within his Presidency was the War of 1812, which was the first major conflict between the new United States and Great Britain since the Revolution.
What basically triggered the war was the British Navy attacking American merchant ships and persuading any potential British subjects to join the Navy.
Madison warned the British about the attacks, and was ignored. Mr. James got pissed and considered a potential invasion of Canada, and rallying up people for war. Madison finally got Congress to declare War on Britain.
Probably the most embarrassing moments was when the British occupied Washington D.C. of all places, which forced Madison to flee, and the damn red coats burned the White House down. This was an act of revenge for when American troops burned buildings in Canadian parliament.
The main guy behind the capture was Rear Admiral George Cockburn. What kind of name is that? And how did he manage to pwn America?
What was even worse than the war itself, was the fact that the British pretty much forced the coastline to collapse economically. Even domestic trade was doomed. New England was hit quite hard.
After unpopular support, the British and Americans wanted the war ended. So both sides forgot the causes and called a truce with everything going back to normal.
One of the most famous America battles was that of the Battle of New Orleans. Where future-President Andrew Jackson defeated British troops trying to capture Cajun country. The most funny part about the battle was that it was fought 2 weeks after the war ended. Needless deaths due to slow communication.
Near the end of his presidency, Maidson didn't do too much. Though peace had been set after the war, and political pressure was declined when the Federalist party collapsed and disappeared from politics. On his last act of office, Madison vetoed the Bonus Bill Act of 1817 which would have built new roads and bridges, claiming that was against state's rights.
Was James Madison a bad President? Well yeah pretty much. Begging for a needless war pretty much makes it a bad presidency.