The Divided Mind of James Madison, 1790: Nationalist Versus Ideologue
James Madison's mind was occupied with the dilemma of what it meant to be both a leading Federalist and a leading Virginian. The search for a resolution of that dilemma would turn out to claim virtually the whole of Madison's energies throughout the congressional session of 1790. Madison and Robert Morris, the senator from Pennsylvania, had a lengthy conversation on the question of where the national capital should eventually be located. Two factions, generally speaking, had been in contention, with a third holding the balance of power. For years it had been the dream of Thomas Jefferson, Madison, and George Washington himself that the capital might some day be located on the banks of the Potomac. It was likewise assumed that the temporary capital would meanwhile reside in one or the other of the country's two largest cities, in New York or in Philadelphia.
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