The best way to define Madison’s system is to say that he supported a weak federal system in the beginning and strong states’ rights. However, as he got older and rose in position, he began to see that the federal branches needed to be stronger and assert more authority in certain matters. In the War of 1812, there was no strong national army, no was there was central federal currency. Even though there was a spirit of nationalism in the air which made Americans feel like they defeated the British, the war was still unsuccessful which a dark spot upon Madison’s Presidency was.
While Madison and Jefferson initially held the same views about federalism and nationalism, one can see that there was a change in his overall views during his Presidency. Madison began to see the practicality behind a strong federal system, including having a national bank with centralized currency. Additionally, there were also questions about how nationalism drew the citizens of the United States together so that a common enemy could be defeated. Madison was a practical man who saw that changes in his beliefs could be beneficial for everyone involved. This included his views on slavery, which led to the three-fifths compromise which was an attempt to protect slaves and what limited rights Madison believed they had.
The Jacksonian Era was not one of great popularity for the President, and many citizens felt as though he were attempting to take the Executive Branch and turn it into one of supreme authority. During his Presidency, Andrew Jackson wanted to take the Executive Branch and inflate its power to where it had the supreme authority to do whatever it wanted to exert its own will over the people. This goes against everything Madison stood for and fought for when ratifying the Constitution.