If you remembered that Madison comes before Monroe, you can remember James Monroe's place in the presidential roll call. Another good way to remember Monroe's place is think about the Monroe Doctrine, but that was really written by John Quincy Adams (Monroe's Secretary of State), of whom we will learn more next week. And Monroe was Madison's Secretary of State. See? Another Secretary of State promotion to the top job. Condi, are you reading this? Colin? Anyone?
Monroe was one of the first presidents to surround himself with a well-balanced cabinet. He selected the fiery Southerner, John C. Calhoun as his Secretary of War and Northerner John Quincy Adams as his Secretary of State. The refusal of Henry Clay to join the cabinet denied Monroe a Westerner. This was fortuitous for Monroe, as during his presidency the issue of slavery in Missouri came to a head and it was Henry Clay who negotiated the Missouri Compromise.
Florida also joined the Union during Monroe's presidency, along with the aforementioned Missouri and Maine. To avoid a really funky looking flag, the American flag was standardized with thirteen stripes to honor to original 13 colonies.
It is noteworthy, given the direction of the current presidential campaign, that James Monroe was the first president to have served as a Senator prior to the presidency (although he is immediately Secretary of State before being elected President - yeah, yeah, I know, I'm like a dog with a bone).
- born April 28, 1758, Westmoreland County, Virginia
- died July 4, 1831, New York City, New York (5 years after Jefferson and John Adams), age 73
- Monroe came to prominence when he helped to negotiate the purchase of the Louisiana Territory.
- Although adopted during his Presidency, the Monroe Doctrine, which basically told all foreign powers (read: Europe) to say out of the Western Hemisphere, was not known as such until 20 years after Monroe's death.
- Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, is named for Monroe. He is the only other US President to have a capital city named for him (Washington being the first).
- Monroe is the last American President to have fought in the Revolutionary War (although Andrew Jackson was a courier).
- Monroe is pictured in the painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware. He is behind Washington, holding the flag.
- The US Marine Band made their debut at Monroe's inauguration and have played at inaugurations ever since.
- When he was reelected in 1820, he received all but one electoral vote. That elector wanted George Washington to be the only president to have been elected unanimously.
- The White House Biography
- Internet Public Library
- Biography from the Miller Center
- Biography from C-SPAN
- The Monroe Papers at Yale Law School
- The Finding Aid for the Monroe Papers at the College of William and Mary (hey, "that is what I said" - a little help here?)
- Monroe's home in Charlottesville, Ashlawn (around the hill from Monticello) - been there, that's four.