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The Amazing True Story of the Election That Saved the ConstitutionIn 1789 James Madison and James Monroe ran against each other for Congress—the only time that two future presidents have contested a congressional seatBut what was at stake as author Chris DeRose reveals in Founding Rivals Madison vs Monroe the Bill of Rights and the Election That Saved a Nation was than personal ambition This was a race that determined the future of the Constitution the Bill of Rights the very definition of the United States of AmericaFriends and political allies for most of their lives Madison was the Constitution’s principal author Monroe one of its leading opponents Monroe thought the Constitution gave the federal government too much power and failed to guarantee fundamental rights Madison believed that without the Constitution the United States would not surviveIt was the most important congressional race in American history important than all but a few presidential elections and yet it is one that historians have virtually ignored In Founding Rivals DeRose himself a political strategist who has fought campaigns in Madison and Monroe’s district relives the campaign retraces the candidates’ footsteps and offers the first insightful comprehensive history of this high stakes political battleDeRose revealsHow Madison’s election ensured the passage of a Bill of Rights—and howMonroe’s election would have ensured its failureHow Madison came from behind to win a narrow victory by a margin of only 336 votes in a district gerrymandered against himHow the Bill of Rights emerged as a campaign promise to Virginia’s evangelical ChristiansWhy Madison’s defeat might have led to a new Constitutional Convention—and the breakup of the United States Founding Rivals tells the extraordinary neglected story of two of America’s most important Founding Fathers Brought to life by unparalleled research it is one of the most provocative books of American political history you will read this year

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