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James Monroe (April 28, 1758 – July 4, 1831) was the fifth President of the United States (1817–1825). Monroe was the last president who was aFounding Father of the United States, and the last president from the Virginia dynasty and the Republican Generation.Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E Battery

His presidency was marked both by an "Era of Good Feelings" – a period of relatively little partisan strife – and later by the Panic of 1819 and a fierce national debate over the admission of the Missouri Territory. Monroe is most noted for his proclamation of the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, which stated that the United States would not tolerate further European intervention in the Americas.Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/B Battery

Born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, Monroe fought in the American Revolutionary War. After studying law under Thomas Jefferson from 1780 to 1783, he served as a delegate in the Continental Congress. As an anti-federalist delegate to the Virginia convention that considered ratification of the United States Constitution,Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/L Battery

Monroe opposed ratification, claiming it gave too much power to the central government. Nonetheless, Monroe took an active part in the new government and in 1790 he was elected to the Senate of the first United States Congress, where he joined the Jeffersonians.Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/P Battery

He gained experience as an executive as the Governor of Virginia and rose to national prominence when as a diplomat in France he helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

During the War of 1812, Monroe held the critical roles of Secretary of State and the Secretary of War under President James Madison.Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/R Battery

Facing little opposition from the fractured Federalist Party, Monroe was easily elected president in 1816, winning over 80 percent of the electoral vote and becoming the last president during the First Party System era of American politics. As president, he sought to ease partisan tensions and embarked on a tour of the country and was well received everywhere.Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/W Battery

As nationalism surged, partisan fury subsided and the "Era of Good Feelings" ensued until the Panic of 1819struck and dispute over the admission of Missouri embroiled the country in 1820. Nonetheless, Monroe won near-unanimous reelection. In 1823, he announced the Monroe Doctrine, which became a landmark in American foreign policy.Sony VAIO VPCCW2S5C CN1 Battery

His presidency concluded the first period of American presidential history before the beginning of Jacksonian democracy and the Second Party System era. Following his retirement in 1825, Monroe was plagued by financial difficulties. He died in New York City on July 4, 1831.Sony VAIO VPCF112FX/B Battery


James Monroe was born on April 28, 1758, in a wooded area of Westmoreland County, Virginia. The site is marked and is one mile from what is known today as Monroe Hall, Virginia.Sony VAIO VPCF115FG/B Battery

Monroe's father, Spence Monroe (1727–1774) was a moderately prosperous planter who also learned the carpentry trade. His mother, Elizabeth Jones Monroe (1730–1774), married Spence Monroe in 1752. His paternal great-grandfather immigrated to America from Scotland in the mid-17th century. Sony VAIO VPCF116FGBI Battery

In 1650 Andrew Monroe patented a large tract of land in Washington Parish, Westmoreland County, Virginia. 

Education and military service

Between the ages of 11 and 16, Monroe studied at Campbelltown Academy, a school run by the Reverend Archibald Campbell of Washington Parish. Sony VAIO VPCF117FJ/W Battery

There he excelled as a prodigious pupil and progressed through Latin and mathematics at a rate faster than that of most boys his age. John Marshall, later Chief Justice of the United States, was among his classmates. At the age of 16, Monroe, the eldest son, inherited all his father's fortune and he became financially responsible for his establishing his siblings.Sony VAIO VPCF117HG/BI Battery

Monroe began forming a close relationship with his uncle, the influential Judge Joseph Jones, who had been educated at the Inns of Court in London. In 1774 Monroe enrolled in the College of William and Mary, but saw the atmosphere on the campus was not conducive to study, Sony VAIO VPCF118FJ/W Battery

and the prospect of rebellion against King George charged most of the students, including Monroe, with patriotic fervor. In June 1775, after the battles of Lexington and Concord, Monroe joined 24 older men in raiding the arsenal at the Governor's Palace. The 200 muskets and 300 swords they appropriated helped arm the Williamsburg militia. Sony VAIO VPCF119FC Battery

The following spring, Monroe dropped out of college and joined the 3rd Virginia Regiment in the Continental Army.

Between 1780 and 1783, he studied law under Thomas Jefferson. Monroe was not particularly interested in legal theory or practice,Sony VAIO VPCF119FC/BI Battery

but chose to take it up because he felt that it offered "the most immediate rewards" and that it would place him on a path to wealth, social standing, and political influence.

Although Andrew Jackson served as a courier in a militia unit at age thirteen, Monroe is regarded as the last U.S. President who was a Revolutionary War hero, Sony VAIO VPCF119FJ/BI Battery

since he served as an officer of the Continental Army and personally took part in the combats.[7] He served with distinction at the Battle of Trenton, where he was shot in his left shoulder. He spent three months recuperating from his wound. Sony VAIO VPCF11AFJ Battery

In John Trumbull's painting Capture of the Hessians at the Battle of Trenton, Monroe can be seen lying wounded at left center of painting. In an even more famous painting,Washington Crossing the Delaware, Monroe is depicted holding the flag. Following his war service, he practiced law inFredericksburg, Virginia.Sony VAIO VPCF11AGJ Battery

Marriage and children

James Monroe married Elizabeth Kortright (1768–1830), daughter of Laurence Kortright and Hannah Aspinwall Kortright, on February 16, 1786, in New York City. After a brief honeymoon on Long Island, the Monroes returned to New York to live with her father until Congress adjourned. The Monroes had the following children:Sony VAIO VPCF11AHJ Battery

  • Eliza Monroe Hay (1786–1835) – married George Hay in 1808 and substituted as official White House host for her ailing mother.
  • James Spence Monroe (1799–1801)
  • Maria Hester Monroe Gouverneur (1803–1850) – married her cousin Samuel L. Gouverneur on March 8, 1820, in the first wedding of a president's child in the White House. Sony VAIO VPCF11JFX/B Battery

Monroe fulfilled his youthful dream of becoming the owner of a large plantation and wielding great political power, but his efforts in agriculture were never profitable. He sold his small inherited Virginia plantation in 1783 to enter law and politics, and though he owned land and slaves and speculated in property he was rarely on-site to oversee the operation.Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E Battery

Therefore the slaves were treated harshly to make them more productive and the plantations barely supported themselves if at all. His lavish lifestyle often necessitated selling property to pay debts.

Virginia politics

Monroe was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1782 and served in the Continental Congress from 1783 to 1786.Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H Battery

In Virginia the struggle in 1788 over the ratification of the proposed new Constitution involved far more than a simple clash between federalists and anti-federalists. Virginians held a full spectrum of opinions about the merits of the proposed change in national government. Sony VAIO VPCF11MFX/B Battery

George Washington and James Madison were leading supporters; Patrick Henry and George Mason were leading opponents. The central actors in the ratification fight were those who held the middle ground in the ideological struggle. Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E Battery

Led by Monroe and Edmund Pendleton, these "federalists who are for amendments," criticized the absence of a bill of rights and worried about surrendering taxation powers to the central government. Virginia ratified the Constitution in June 1788, largely because these men suspended their reservations and vowed to press for changes after the new government had been established.Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B Battery

Virginia narrowly ratified the Constitution and Monroe ran for a House seat in the 1st Congress but was defeated by Madison. In 1790 he was elected United States Senator. He soon joined the"Democratic-Republican" faction led by Jefferson and Madison and by 1791 was the party leader in the Senate.Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E Battery

Ambassador to France

Monroe resigned his Senate seat after being appointed Minister to France in 1794.As ambassador, Monroe secured the release of Thomas Paine when the latter was arrested for his opposition to the execution of Louis XVI.Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery

He managed to free all the Americans held in French prisons, including Madame Lafayette. He issued American passports for the Lafayette family, (since they had been granted citizenship), before she traveled to Lafayette's place of imprisonment, in Olmutz.Sony VAIO VPCF11ZHJ Battery

A strong friend of the French Revolution, Monroe tried to assure France that Washington's policy of strict neutrality did not favor Britain. But American policy had come to favor Britain, and Monroe was stunned by the signing of the Jay Treaty in London. Sony VAIO VPCF127HGBI Battery

With France and Britain at war, the Jay Treaty alarmed and angered the French. Washington discharged Monroe from his office as Minister to France due to inefficiency, disruptive maneuvers, and failure to safeguard the interests of his country.Sony VAIO VPCF137HG/BI Battery

Monroe had long been concerned about untoward foreign influence on the presidency. He was alarmed at Spanish diplomat Don Diego de Gardoqui who in 1785 tried to convince Congress to allow Spain to close the Mississippi River to American traffic for 30 years. Sony VAIO VPCS111FM/S Battery

Here Monroe saw Spain overinfluencing the republic, which could have risked the loss of the Southwest or dominance of the Northeast. Monroe placed faith in a strong presidency and the system of checks and balances. In the 1790s he fretted over an aging George Washington being too heavily influenced by close advisers like Alexander Hamilton who was too close to Britain. Sony VAIO VPCS115EC Battery

Monroe favored France and so opposed the Jay Treaty in 1795. He was humiliated when Washington criticized him for his support of revolutionary France while he was minister to France. He saw foreign and Federalist elements in the genesis of the Quasi War of 1798–1800 and in efforts to keep Thomas Jefferson away from the presidency in 1801.Sony VAIO VPCS115FG Battery

As governor he considered using the Virginia militia to force the outcome in favor of Jefferson. Federalists responded in kind, some seeing Monroe as at best a French dupe and at worst a traitor. Monroe thus contributed to a paranoid style of politics.Sony VAIO VPCS117GG Battery

Governor of Virginia and Diplomat

Out of office, Monroe returned to practicing law in Virginia until elected governor there as a Republican, serving from 1799 to 1802. He called out the state militia to suppress Gabriel's Rebellion. Gabriel and 26 other enslaved people who participated were hanged.Sony VAIO VPCS117GGB Battery

President Jefferson sent Monroe to France to assist Robert R. Livingston to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase. Monroe was then appointed Minister to the Court of St. James (Britain) from 1803 to 1807. In 1806 he negotiated a treaty with Britain, known as the Monroe–Pinkney Treaty. Sony VAIO VPCS118EC Battery

It would extend the Jay Treaty of 1794 which had expired after ten years; Jefferson had fought the Jay Treaty intensely in 1794–95 because he felt it would allow the British to subvert American republicanism. The treaty had produced ten years of peace and highly lucrative trade for American merchants, but Jefferson was still hostile. Sony VAIO VPCS119FJ/B Battery

When Monroe and the British signed a renewal in December 1806, Jefferson decided to reject it, and not submit it to the Senate. Although the new treaty called for ten more years of trade between the U.S. and the British Empire, and gave American merchants certain guarantees that would have been good for business,Sony VAIO VPCS119GC Battery

Jefferson refused to give up the potential weapon of commercial warfare against Britain and was unhappy that it did not end the hated British practice of impressment of American sailors. Jefferson did not attempt to obtain another treaty, and as a result, the two nations moved from peace toward the War of 1812. Monroe was humiliated by the repudiation.Sony VAIO VPCS11AFJ Battery

1808 election and the Quids

The Republican Party was increasingly factionalized with "Old Republicans" or "Quids" denouncing the Administration for abandoning true republican principles. The Quids, seeing that Monroe's foreign policy had been rejected by Jefferson, tried to enlist Monroe in their cause. Sony VAIO VPCS11AGJ Battery

The plan was to run Monroe for president in the 1808 election in cooperation with the Federalist Party, which had a strong base in New England. John Randolph of Roanoke led the Quid effort to stop Jefferson's choice of James Madison.Sony VAIO VPCS11AHJ Battery

However, the regular Republicans overcame the Quids, kept control of the party in Virginia, and protected Madison's base. Monroe did not run and Madison was elected president.

Secretary of State and Secretary of War

Monroe returned to the Virginia House of Delegates and was elected to another term as governor in 1811, but only served four months.Sony VAIO VPCS11AVJ Battery

He became Secretary of State in April of that year. He had little to do with the War of 1812, as President Madison and the War Hawks in Congress were dominant. The war went very badly, so Madison turned to Monroe for help, appointing him Secretary of War in September 1814. Sony VAIO VPCS11J7E/B Battery

Monroe resigned as Secretary of State on October 1, but no successor was ever appointed, so he continued doing the work. Thus from October 1, 1814, to February 28, 1815, Monroe effectively held both cabinet posts. Monroe formulated plans for an offensive invasion of Canada to win the war, Sony VAIO VPCS11M1E/W Battery

but a peace treaty was ratified in February 1815, before any armies moved north. Monroe therefore resigned as Secretary of War and was formally reappointed Secretary of State. Monroe stayed on at State until March 4, 1817, when he began his term as the new President of the United States.Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E Battery

Presidential elections of 1816 and 1820

The congressional nominating caucus experienced little opposition during the administrations of Jefferson and Madison, but this situation changed in the election year of 1816. Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E/B Battery

An indeterminate number of anti-Virginia Republicans, led by the New York delegation, objected to the caucus system along with the Federalists. Disorganization and failure to agree on William H. Crawford, Daniel Tompkins,Henry Clay or another possible contender weakened opposition to Monroe.Sony VAIO VPCS11X9E/B Battery

The boycott by Virginia delegates of the March 12 caucus removed the chances of Monroe's opponents, and he received the caucus nomination four days later. With the Federalist Party in disarray due to the unpopularity of their opposition to the War of 1812, he was easily elected.Sony VAIO VPCS123FGB Battery

The Federalists did not even name a candidate, though Rufus King of New York did run in opposition to Monroe under the Federalist banner.[25] King carried only Connecticut, Delaware, and Massachusetts and won only 34 of 217 electoral votes cast.[25](See United States presidential election, 1816.)Sony VAIO VPCS125EC Battery

The collapse of the Federalists left Monroe with no organized opposition at the end of his first term, and he ran for reelection unopposed,[25] the only president other than Washington to do so. A single elector from New Hampshire cast a vote for John Quincy Adams, preventing a unanimous vote in the electoral college. (See United States presidential election, 1820.)Sony VAIO VPCS128EC Battery

Republican party dominance

Monroe largely ignored old party lines in making appointments to lower posts, which reduced political tensions and enabled the "Era of Good Feelings", which lasted through his administration. He made two long national tours in 1817 to build national trust. Sony VAIO VPCS129GC Battery

Frequent stops on these tours allowed innumerable ceremonies of welcome and expressions of good will. The Federalist Party continued to fade away during his administration; it maintained its vitality and organizational integrity in Delaware and a few localities, but was no longer a national factor. Sony VAIO VPCS12C7E/B Battery

Lacking serious opposition, the Republican party's Congressional caucus stopped meeting, and for practical purposes the Republican Party stopped operating.

Domestic troubles

Monroe's popularity was undiminished even when following difficult nationalist policies as the country's commitment to nationalism was starting to show serious fractures. Sony VAIO VPCS12L9E/B Battery

The Panic of 1819 caused a painful economic depression. The application for statehood in 1819 by the Missouri Territory as a slave state failed. An amended bill for gradually eliminating slavery in Missouri precipitated two years of bitter debate in Congress.Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B Battery

The Missouri Compromise bill resolved the struggle, pairing Missouri as a slave state with Maine, a free state, and barring slavery north of latitude 36/30' N forever. The Missouri Compromise lasted until 1857, when it was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court as part of the Dred Scott decision.Sony VAIO VPCY115FGS Battery

Cumberland Road

Congress demanded high subsidies for internal improvements, such as for the improvement of the Cumberland Road, during Monroe's presidency.Sony VAIO VPCY115FX/BI Battery

Monroe vetoed the Cumberland Road Bill, which provided for yearly improvements to the road, because he believed it to be unconstitutional for the government to have such a large hand in what was essentially a civics bill deserving of attention on a state by state basis.Sony VAIO VPCY115FXBI Battery

This defiance underlined Monroe's populist ideals and added credit to the local offices that he was so fond of visiting on his speech tours.

Native American Policies

Monroe sparked a constitutional controversy when, in 1817, he sent General Andrew Jackson to move against Spanish Florida to pursue hostile Seminole Indians and punish the Spanish for aiding them. Sony VAIO VPCY118EC Battery

News of Jackson's exploits ignited a congressional investigation of the 1st Seminole War. Dominated by Democratic-Republicans, the 15th Congress was generally expansionist and more likely to support the popular Jackson. Sony VAIO VPCY118GX/BI Battery

Ulterior political agendas of many congressmen dismantled partisan and sectional coalitions, so that Jackson's opponents argued weakly and became easily discredited. After much debate, the House of Representatives voted down all resolutions that condemned Jackson in any way,Sony VAIO VPCY119FJ/S Battery

thus implicitly endorsing Monroe's actions and leaving the issue surrounding the role of the executive with respect to war powers unanswered.

Monroe believed that the Indians must progress from the hunting stage to become an agricultural people, noting in 1817, Sony VAIO VPCY11AFJ Battery

"A hunter or savage state requires a greater extent of territory to sustain it than is compatible with progress and just claims of civilised life."[30] His proposals to speed up the assimilation process were ignored by Congress.Sony VAIO VPCY11AGJ Battery

Spanish Florida

Relations with Spain over the purchase of Spanish Florida proved to be troublesome, especially after General Andrew Jackson invaded that territory on what he believed to be the president's authorization, which Monroe later denied giving. Sony VAIO VPCY11AHJ Battery

But largely through the skillful work of John Quincy Adams, a treaty was signed with Spain in 1819 that ceded Florida to the United States in return for the assumption of $5,000,000 in claims and the relinquishment of any claims to Texas. Florida was ceded to the U.S. in 1821.Sony VAIO VPCY11AVJ Battery

Monroe Doctrine

After the Napoleonic wars (which ended in 1815), almost all of Spain's and Portugal's colonies in Latin America revolted and declared independence. Americans welcomed this development as a validation of the spirit of Republicanism. Sony VAIO VPCY11M1E/S Battery

Secretary of State John Quincy Adams suggested delaying formal recognition until Florida was secured. The problem of imperial invasion was intensified by a Russian claim to the Pacific coast down to the fifty-first parallel and simultaneous European pressure to have all of Latin America returned to its colonial status.Sony VAIO VPCY11S1E Battery

Monroe informed Congress in March 1822, that permanent stable governments had been established in the United Provinces of La Plata (present-day Argentina), Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico. Adams, under Monroe's supervision, wrote the instructions for the ministers (ambassadors) to these new countries. Sony VAIO VPCY11V9E/S Battery

They declared that the policy of the United States was to uphold republican institutions and to seek treaties of commerce on a most-favored-nation basis. The United States would support inter-American congresses dedicated to the development of economic and political institutions fundamentally differing from those prevailing in Europe. Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/BI Battery

The articulation of an "American system" distinct from that of Europe was a basic tenet of Monroe's policy toward Latin America. Monroe took pride as the United States was the first nation to extend recognition and to set an example to the rest of the world for its support of the "cause of liberty and humanity".Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/G Battery

Monroe formally announced in his message to Congress on December 2, 1823, what was later called the Monroe Doctrine. He proclaimed that the Americas should be free from future European colonization and free from European interference in sovereign countries' affairs.Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/L Battery

It further stated the United States' intention to stay neutral in European wars and wars between European powers and their colonies, but to consider new colonies or interference with independent countries in the Americas as hostile acts toward the United States.Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/P Battery

Although it is Monroe's most famous contribution to history, the speech was written by Adams, who designed the doctrine in cooperation with Britain. Monroe and Adams realized that American recognition would not protect the new countries against military intervention to restore Spain's power. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/L Battery

In October 1823 Richard Rush, the American minister in London, advised that Foreign SecretaryGeorge Canning was proposing that the U.S. and Britain jointly declare their opposition to European intervention. Britain, with its powerful navy, also opposed re-conquest of Latin America and suggested that the United States join in proclaiming a "hands off" policy. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/P Battery

Galvanized by the British initiative, Monroe consulted with American leaders and then formulated a plan with Adams. Ex-Presidents Jefferson and Madison counseled Monroe to accept the offer, but Adams advised, "It would be more candid ... to avow our principles explicitly to Russia and France, than to come in as a cock-boat in the wake of the British man-of-war.Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/SI Battery

" Monroe accepted Adams' advice. Not only must Latin America be left alone, he warned, but also Russia must not encroach southward on the Pacific coast. "...the American continents," he stated, "by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European Power."Sony VAIO VPCZ110 Battery

The Monroe Doctrine at the time of its adoption thus pertained more to the Russians in North America than to the former Spanish colonies. The result was a system of American isolationism under the sponsorship of the British navy. The Monroe Doctrine held that the United States considered the Western Hemisphere as no longer a place for European colonization; Sony VAIO VPCZ110GB/BI Battery

that any future effort to gain further political control in the hemisphere or to violate the independence of existing states would be treated as an act of hostility; and finally that there existed two different and incompatible political systems in the world.Sony VAIO VPCZ112GD/S Battery

The United States, therefore, promised to refrain from intervention in European affairs and demanded Europe to abstain from interfering with American matters. There were few serious European attempts at intervention. Sony VAIO VPCZ112GX/S Battery

Administration and Cabinet

Monroe made balanced Cabinet choices, naming a southerner, John C. Calhoun, as Secretary of War, and a northerner, John Quincy Adams, as Secretary of State. Both proved outstanding, as Adams was a master diplomat and Calhoun completely reorganized the War Department to overcome the serious deficiencies that hobbled it during the war of 1812.Sony VAIO VPCZ114GX/S Battery

Monroe decided on political grounds not to offer Henry Clay the State Department, and Clay turned down the War Department and remained Speaker of the House, so Monroe lacked an outstanding westerner in his cabinet.Sony VAIO VPCZ115 Battery


When his presidency ended on March 4, 1825, James Monroe resided at Monroe Hill on the grounds of the University of Virginia. This university's modern campus was Monroe's family farm from 1788 to 1817, but he had sold it in the first year of his presidency to the new college.Sony VAIO VPCZ115FC/B Battery

He served on the college's Board of Visitors under Jefferson and then under the second rector and another former President James Madison, almost until his death.

Monroe had racked up many debts during his years of public life. Sony VAIO VPCZ115FC/S Battery

As a result, he was forced to sell off his Highland Plantation (now called Ash Lawn-Highland; it is owned by his alma mater, the College of William and Mary, which has opened it to the public). Throughout his life, he was not financially solvent, and his wife's poor health made matters worse.Sony VAIO VPCZ116 Battery

For these reasons, he and his wife lived in Oak Hill, Virginia, until Elizabeth's death on September 23, 1830. In August 1825, the Marquis de Lafayette and President John Quincy Adams, were guests of the Monroes there.Sony VAIO VPCZ116GX/S Battery


Upon Elizabeth's death in 1830, Monroe moved to New York City to live with his daughter Maria Hester Monroe Gouverneur who had married Samuel L. Gouverneur in the White House. John Quincy Adams visited him there in April 1831.Sony VAIO VPCZ117 Battery

Adams found him alert and eager to discuss the situation in Europe, but in ill health. Adams cut the visit short when he thought he was tiring Monroe.

Monroe died there from heart failure and tuberculosis on July 4, 1831, becoming the third president to die on July 4. Sony VAIO VPCZ117FC/B Battery

His death came 55 years after the U.S. Declaration of Independence was proclaimed and 5 years after the death of the Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. He was originally buried in New York at the Gouverneur family's vault in the New York City Marble Cemetery. Sony VAIO VPCZ118 Battery

Twenty-seven years later in 1858 the body was re-interred to the President's Circle at the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. The James Monroe Tomb is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

Religious beliefs

"When it comes to Monroe's thoughts on religion," Bliss Isely notes, "less is known than that of any other President.Sony VAIO VPCZ118GC/B Battery

" No letters survive in which he discussed his religious beliefs. Nor did his friends, family or associates comment on his beliefs. Letters that do survive, such as ones written after the death of his son, contain no discussion of religion.

Monroe was raised in a family that belonged to the Church of England when it was the state church in Virginia before the Revolution.Sony VAIO VPCZ118GX/S Battery

As an adult frequently attended Episcopalian churches, though there is no record he ever took communion. He has been classified by some historians as a Deist because he used deistic language to refer to an impersonal God. Unlike Jefferson, Monroe was rarely attacked as an atheist and infidel for his deistic views. Sony VAIO VPCZ119 Battery

An exception came in 1832 when James Renwick Willson, a Reformed Presbyterian minister in Albany, New York, criticized Monroe for having "lived and died like a second-rate Athenian philosopher."

As Secretary of State Monroe dismissed Mordecai Manuel Noah from his post as consul to Tunis in 1815, for the apparent reason that he was Jewish.Sony VAIO VPCZ119FJ/S Battery

Noah protested and gained letters from Adams, Jefferson, and Madison supporting church-state separation and tolerance for Jews.


On October 15, 1799, some slave traders attempted to transport a group of slaves from Southampton to Georgia when the slaves revolted and killed the slave traders.Sony VAIO VPCZ119GC/X Battery

According to Scheer's article on the subject, the slave patrol responded and killed ten slaves on the spot in extra judicial killings without the benefit of trial. The five men taken alive were tried in an oyer and terminer court without the benefit of a jury, and that four were convicted (the fifth pleaded benefit of clergy and wad flogged and branded). Sony VAIO VPCZ119L Battery

Governor Monroe postponed their executions to check their identities, granting a pardon to one, and allowing two to hang, while the other died in jail from exposure to the cold. Scheer's argument is that Monroe "help[ed] secure a modicum of civil protection for slaves sentenced to death for capital crimes."Sony VAIO VPCZ119R/B Battery

When Monroe was Governor of Virginia in 1800, hundreds of slaves from Virginia intended to kidnap Governor Monroe, take Richmond, and negotiate for their freedom. Due to a storm on August 30, they were unable to attack. This is known as Gabriel's slave conspiracy.Sony VAIO VPCZ119R/S Battery

Monroe called out the militia, and slave patrols captured some slaves. Sidbury says some trials had a few measures to prevent abuses like an appointed attorney, but were "hardly 'fair'". Slave codes prevented slaves from being treated like whites, and had quick trials without a jury.Sony VAIO VPCZ11AFJ Battery

Monroe influenced the Executive Council to pardon and sell some slaves instead of hanging them. Nonetheless, historians say the Virginia courts executed between 26 and 35 slaves.

Monroe owned dozens of slaves, and according to William Seale, took some of his slaves to serve him when he resided at the White House from 1817 to 1825; Sony VAIO VPCZ11AGJ Battery

this was not unique, as other slave owning presidents also had the custom of bringing their slaves to work for them since there was no domestic staff provided for the presidents at that time.

As president of Virginia's constitutional convention in the fall of 1829, Sony VAIO VPCZ11AVJ Battery

Monroe reiterated his belief that slavery was a blight which, even as a British colony, Virginia had attempted to eradicate. "What was the origin of our slave population?" he rhetorically asked. "The evil commenced when we were in our Colonial state, but acts were passed by our Colonial Legislature, prohibiting the importation, of more slaves, into the Colony. Sony VAIO VPCZ11CGX/X Battery

These were rejected by the Crown." To the extreme chagrin of states' rights proponents, he was even willing to accept the federal government's financial assistance in emancipating and deporting the slaves. At the convention, Monroe made his final public statement on slavery, proposing that Virginia emancipate and deport its bondsmen with "the aid of the Union."Sony VAIO VPCZ11DGX/SJ Battery

Monroe was part of the African Colonization Society formed in 1816, which included members like Henry Clay and Andrew Jackson. These men were not abolitionists, but they did find common ground with some abolitionists who supported colonization, and together they helped send several thousand freed slaves to Africa from 1820 to 1840.Sony VAIO VPCZ11FHX/XQ Battery

The concern slave owners like Monroe and Jackson had was to prevent free blacks from influencing slaves to rebel in southern states. With about $100,000 in Federal grant money, the organization also bought land for those people in what is today Liberia. The capital of Liberia was named Monrovia after him.Sony VAIO VPCZ11V9R/B Battery

Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was the seventh President of the United States (1829–1837). Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans (1815) and the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (1814). Sony VAIO VPCZ11X9E/B Battery

A polarizing figure who dominated the Second Party System in the 1820s and 1830s, he destroyed the national bank and relocated most Indian tribes to the west. His enthusiastic followers created the modern Democratic Party, and the 1830-1850 period later became known as the era of Jacksonian democracy.Sony VAIO VPCZ11Z9E/

B Battery

Jackson was nicknamed "Old Hickory" because of his toughness and aggressive personality that produced numerous duels, some fatal.[2] He was a rich slave owner who appealed to the masses of Americans and fought against what he denounced as a closed undemocratic aristocracy. Sony VAIO VPCZ125GX/S Battery

He expanded thespoils system during his presidency to strengthen his political base, regardless of the cost of inefficiency and bias.

As president, he supported a small and limited federal government but strengthened the power of the presidency, which he saw as spokesman for the entire population–as opposed to Congressmen from a specific small district. Sony VAIO VPCZ127FC Battery

He was supportive of states' rights, but, during the Nullification Crisis, declared that states do not have the right to nullify federal laws. Strongly against the national bank, he vetoed the renewal of its charter and ensured its collapse. Sony VAIO VPCZ128GC Battery

Whigs and moralists denounced his aggressive enforcement of the Indian Removal Act, which resulted in the forced relocation of Native American tribes to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).

His legacy is now seen as mixed by historians. He is praised as a protector of popular democracy and individual liberty for American citizens, but criticized for his support for slavery and Indian removal.Sony VAIO VPCZ12M9E/B Battery

Jackson was born on March 15, 1767. His parents were Presbyterian Scotch-Irish colonists Andrew and Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson, who had emigrated from Ireland two years earlier.[5][6] Jackson's father was born in Carrickfergus,County Antrim, in Ireland around 1738.Sony VAIO VPCZ13M9E/B Battery

The house that Jackson's parents lived in, in the village of Boneybefore inCounty Antrim, Northern Ireland, is now preserved as the Andrew Jackson Centre and is open to the public.Sony VAIO VPCZ13V9E/X Battery

When they emigrated to America in 1765, Jackson's parents probably landed in Pennsylvania and made their way overland to the Scotch-Irish community in the Waxhaws region, straddling the border between North and South Carolina.[8] They brought two children from Ireland, Hugh (born 1763) and Robert (born 1764).Sony VAIO VPCZ13Z9E/X Battery

Jackson's father died in an accident in February 1767, at the age of 29, three weeks before Jackson was born. Jackson was born in the Waxhaws area, but his exact birth site is unclear because he was born around the time his mother was making a difficult trip home from burying Jackson's father.Sony VAIO VPCZZZHJ Battery

The area was so remote that the border between North and South Carolina had not officially been surveyed yet.

In 1824, Jackson wrote a letter saying that he was born at an uncle's plantation in Lancaster County, South Carolina.Sony VAIO VPZ117 Battery

But he may have claimed to be a South Carolinian because the state was considering nullification of the Tariff of 1824, which Jackson opposed. In the mid-1850s, second-hand evidence indicated that he may have been born at a different uncle's home in North Carolina.Sony VAIO VPZ118 Battery

Revolutionary War

During the American Revolutionary War, Jackson, at age thirteen, joined a local militia as a courier. His eldest brother, Hugh, died from heat exhaustion during the Battle of Stono Ferry, on June 20, 1779. Sony VAIO VPZ119 Battery

Jackson and his brother Robert were captured by the British and held as prisoners; they nearly starved to death in captivity. When Jackson refused to clean the boots of a British officer, the officer slashed at the youth with a sword, leaving Jackson with scars on his left hand and head, as well as an intense hatred for the British.Sony VPCM11M1E/B Battery

While imprisoned, the brothers contracted smallpox. Robert died a few days after their mother secured their release, on April 27, 1781. After his mother was assured Andrew would recover, she volunteered to nurse prisoners of war on board two ships in Charleston harbor, where there had been an outbreak of cholera. Sony VPCM11M1E/W Battery

She died from the disease in November 1781, and was buried in an unmarked grave, leaving Jackson an orphan at age 14.[11]Jackson's entire immediate family–aside from his father, who had died earlier–died from hardships during the war; Jackson blamed the British.Sony VPCM12M1E/L Battery

Jackson was the last U.S. President to have been a veteran of the American Revolution.

Legal and political career

Jackson received a sporadic education in the local "old-field" school. In 1781, he worked for a time in a saddle-maker's shop.Sony VPCM12M1E/P Battery

Later, he taught school and studied law in Salisbury, North Carolina. In 1787, he was admitted to the bar, and moved to Jonesborough, in what was then the Western District of North Carolina. This area later became the Southwest Territory (1790), the precursor to the state of Tennessee.Sony VPCM12M1E/W Battery

Though his legal education was scanty, Jackson knew enough to be a country lawyer on the frontier. Since he was not from a distinguished family, he had to make his career by his own merits; soon he began to prosper in the rough-and-tumble world of frontier law. Sony VPCM13M1E/L Battery

Most of the actions grew out of disputed land-claims, or from assault and battery. In 1788, he was appointed Solicitor of the Western District and held the same position in the government of the Territory South of the River Ohio after 1791.

Jackson was a delegate to the Tennessee constitutional convention in 1796. Sony VPCM13M1E/P Battery

When Tennessee achieved statehood that year, Jackson was elected its U.S. Representative. The following year he was elected U.S. Senator as a Democratic-Republican, but he resigned within a year. In 1798, he was appointed a judge of the Tennessee Supreme Court, serving until 1804.Sony VPCM13M1E/W Battery

Planter, merchant, and investor

Besides his legal and political career, Jackson prospered as a slave owner, planter, and merchant. He built a home and the first general store in Gallatin, Tennessee in 1803. The next year he acquiredthe Hermitage, a 640 acres (259 ha) plantation in Davidson County, near Nashville, Tennessee.Sony VAIO VGN-SR11M Battery

Jackson later added 360 acres (146 ha) to the plantation, which eventually grew to 1,050 acres (425 ha). The primary crop was cotton, grown by enslaved workers. Jackson started with nine slaves, held as many as 44 by 1820, and later held up to 150 slaves. Throughout his lifetime Jackson may have owned as many as 300 slaves.Sony VAIO VGN-SR11MR Battery

Jackson was a major land speculator in West Tennessee after he had negotiated the sale of the land from the Chickasaw Nation in 1818 (termed the Jackson Purchase) and was one of the three original investors who founded Memphis, Tennessee in 1819 (see History of Memphis, Tennessee).Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D Battery

Jackson was appointed commander of the Tennessee militia in 1801, with the rank of colonel.

During the War of 1812, Tecumseh incited the "Red Stick" Creek Indians of northern Alabama and Georgia to attack white settlements. Four hundred settlers were killed in the Fort Mims Massacre. Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/B Battery

In the resulting Creek War, Jackson commanded the American forces, which included Tennessee militia, U.S. regulars, and Cherokee, Choctaw, and Southern Creek Indians.

Jackson defeated the Red Stick Creeks at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/P Battery

Eight hundred "Red Sticks" were killed, but Jackson spared chief William Weatherford. Sam Houston and David Crockett served under Jackson in this campaign. After the victory, Jackson imposed the Treaty of Fort Jackson upon both the Northern Creek enemies and the Southern Creek allies, wresting twenty million acres (81,000 km²) from all Creeks for white settlement. Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/S Battery

Jackson was appointed Major General after this action.

Jackson's service in the War of 1812 against the United Kingdom was conspicuous for bravery and success. Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E Battery

When British forces threatened New Orleans, Jackson took command of the defenses, including militia from several western states and territories. He was a strict officer but was popular with his troops. It was said he was "tough as old hickory" wood on the battlefield, which gave him the nickname of "Old Hickory". Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/B Battery

In the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815, Jackson's 5,000 soldiers won a decisive victory over 7,500 British. At the end of the battle, the British had 2,037 casualties: 291 dead (including three senior generals), 1,262 wounded, and 484 captured or missing. The Americans had 71 casualties: 13 dead, 39 wounded, and 19 missing.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/P Battery

The war, and especially this victory, made Jackson a national hero. He received the Thanks of Congress and a gold medal by resolution of February 27, 1815.Alexis de Tocqueville later commented in Democracy in America that Jackson "...was raised to the Presidency, Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/S Battery

and has been maintained there, solely by the recollection of a victory which he gained, twenty years ago, under the walls of New Orleans."

First Seminole War

Jackson served in the military again during the First Seminole War. He was ordered by President James Monroe in December 1817 to lead a campaign inGeorgia against the Seminole and Creek Indians. Sony VAIO VGN-SR140N/S Battery

Jackson was also charged with preventing Spanish Florida from becoming a refuge for runaway slaves. Critics later alleged that Jackson exceeded orders in his Florida actions. His directions were to "terminate the conflict." Jackson believed the best way to do this was to seize Florida.Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/B Battery

Before going, Jackson wrote to Monroe, "Let it be signified to me through any channel... that the possession of the Floridas would be desirable to the United States, and in sixty days it will be accomplished."[19] Monroe gave Jackson orders that were purposely ambiguous, sufficient for international denials.Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/P Battery

The Seminoles attacked Jackson's Tennessee volunteers. The Seminoles' attack, however, left their villages vulnerable, and Jackson burned them and the crops. He found letters that indicated that the Spanish and British were secretly assisting the Indians. Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/S Battery

Jackson believed that the United States could not be secure as long as Spain and the United Kingdom encouraged Indians to fight, and argued that his actions were undertaken in self-defense. Jackson captured Pensacola, Florida, with little more than some warning shots, and deposed the Spanish governor.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EBJ Battery

He captured and then tried and executed two British subjects, Robert Ambrister and Alexander Arbuthnot, who had been supplying and advising the Indians. Jackson's action also struck fear into the Seminole tribes as word spread of his ruthlessness in battle (Jackson was known as "Sharp Knife").Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EBQ Battery

The executions, and Jackson's invasion of territory belonging to Spain, a country with which the U.S. was not at war, created an international incident. Many in the Monroe administration called for Jackson to be censured. Jackson's actions were defended by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, an early believer in Manifest Destiny. Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EEJ/C Battery

When the Spanish minister demanded a "suitable punishment" for Jackson, Adams wrote back, "Spain must immediately [decide] either to place a force in Florida adequate at once to the protection of her territory ... or cede to the United States a province, of which she retains nothing but the nominal possession, but which is, in fact ... a post of annoyance to them."Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NAB Battery

Adams used Jackson's conquest, and Spain's own weakness, to get Spain to cede Florida to the United States by the Adams-Onís Treaty. Jackson was subsequently named military governor and served from March 10, 1821, to December 31, 1821.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NBB Battery

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