The name of James Monroe came up in a search for a list of conservative Presidents of the
; therefore, he is our VIP for this week. United States Monroe was the fifth President of the and the last of the Founders to hold the office. I wrote an article in April 2010 with the facts of the lifeof James Monroe; therefore, I will include few of the facts and more of his accomplishments and quotes. United States
President Monroe is best remembered for the Monroe Doctrine, proclaimed in 1823. This policy was historic and warned European countries to not interfere with the free nations of the
Western Hemisphere. While the war with Napoleon was raging in Europe, gave her American colonies little interest. The colonies took advantage of the situation and declared independence from Spain . Americans had great sympathy with the Latin-American revolutions and began in 1817 to call for recognition of these new countries. Spain
President Monroe also told Congress, "We owe it, therefore, to candor, and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we … shall not interfere. But with the Government … we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power, in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the
." United States
The Monroe Doctrine remains a basic American policy today. Since I also wrote an article in April 2010 about the Monroe Doctrine, I will not go into more details about it here.
President Monroe is said to have resembled George Washington, a fellow Virginian.
was tall and rawboned with a military bearing. He had gray-blue eyes, which "invited confidence." Almost everyone spoke well of him. Monroe
The years of the Monroe Administration are known generally as "the era of good feeling" due to the fact that nearly everyone belonged to the same political party and the country prospered from "fast growing industries and settlement of the West."
Because the White House was burned by the British during the War of 1812, Monroe and his family maintained a different residence for nine months until the mansion was rebuilt. They held a public reception on New Year's Day, 1818, to celebrate the reopening of the White House.
The Monroe Administration was one of the "most brilliant periods in American diplomacy." In the 1820 election,
ran unopposed for the presidency and received every electoral vote except one. Monroe
Information and all above quotes in this article came from an article by Ralph Ketcham in World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 13, pp. 734-738.
President Monroe was noted for a number of famous quotes during his years of public service. Wikipedia listed only a few of them.
"It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising their sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin."
"Peace and good will have been, and will hereafter be, cultivated with all, and by the most faithful regard to justice. They have been dictated by a love of peace, of economy, and an earnest desire to save the lives of our fellow-citizens from that destruction and our country from that devastation which are inseparable from war when it finds us unprepared for it."
"The best form of government is that which is most likely to prevent the greatest sum of evil."
"Never did a government commence under auspices so favorable, nor ever was success so complete. If we look to the history of other nations, ancient or modern, we find no example of a growth so rapid, so gigantic, of a people so prosperous and happy."
"Such, then, being the highly favored condition of our country, it is in the interest of every citizen to maintain it. What are the dangers which menace us? If any exist, they ought to be ascertained and guarded against."
"We must support our rights or lose our character, and with it, perhaps, our liberties. A people who fail to do it can scarcely be said to hold a place among independent nations. National honor is national property of the highest value. The sentiment in the mind of every citizen is national strength. It ought therefore to be cherished."