James Monroe

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James Monroe
The United States emerged with a new sense of pride and confidence after the War of 1812. The country was growing (due to the Louisiana Purchase during Jefferson’s presidency), new factories were being built, people were moving west, and changes in politics were being made. Many journalists of the time called the period in history the Era of Good Feelings.

In the election of 1816, the Republicans chose James Monroe as their candidate. Remember that the Federalist Party died in 1815, and many of the Federalists were joining the Republican Party. James Monroe won an easy victory over Rufus King. Monroe won a second term in office in 1820 when no one ran against him. During his presidency, the United States resolved several conflicts with foreign countries.

One conflict that needed to be settled was who controlled the waterways along the borders of the United States and British Canada, specifically the Great Lakes. Both sides agreed that naval power would be limited in this area, and they also agreed to set the border between the United States and Canada at the 49th parallel, extending as far west as the Rocky Mountains, and they would both occupy the Pacific Northwest

Monroe also had to deal with Spain during his presidency, specifically with the borders of Spanish Florida. Many Americans were angry with Seminole Indians raiding U.S. towns that bordered Spanish Florida. They were also upset that the Seminoles would help slaves escape into Florida. Monroe sent his Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, to negotiate an agreement with Spain. At the same time Monroe sent Andrew Jackson to attack the Seminoles. Monroe gave Spain a choice; they could either "police" the borders or turn Florida over to the United States. Spain decided to give up Florida to the United States for $5 million.

The situation in Latin America caused major concerns for both President Monroe and Secretary of State Adams. Latin American countries had fought for their freedom from Spain and Portugal. Some European countries had vowed to help Spain and Portugal regain control of their colonies. Monroe decided to warn Europe against taking such an action by creating the nation’s first major foreign policy statement. This statement became known as the Monroe Doctrine, which was written by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams. The Monroe Doctrine warned European nations not to try to establish new colonies in the Americas. The Monroe Doctrine showed the U.S. was determined to keep Europe out of the Western Hemisphere, and showed a continued growth of American pride. Europe did not challenge the Monroe Doctrine, because the British and their navy supported the U.S.
The Main Points of the Monroe Doctrine

  • European countries could no longer form colonies in North or South America.

  • Europe was not to interfere with the newly independent nations of Latin America.

  • The United States would consider any attempt by Europe to influence politics in the Americas as a threat to its "peace and safety"

  • The United States would not interfere in European governments or their existing colonies.

1. When was James Monroe elected president?

2. What political party did Monroe represent?
3. How many terms did Monroe serve as president?
4. What conflict did Monroe need to settle between the U.S. and British Canada?
5. What was the agreement made between to settle the conflict in question 4?

6. What country owned Florida during Monroe’s presidency?

7. Why were many Americans upset with Florida (give 2 reasons)?

8. Who was Monroe’s Secretary of State?

9. Who did Monroe send into Florida to control the Seminole Indians?

10. Latin American nations fought for their freedom from what two countries?

11. What was the name of the United States first foreign policy document?

12. What was the warning the document in question 11 gave to European nations?

13. Why did Europe not challenge the Monroe Doctrine?

14. What did the Monroe Doctrine show that the United States was determined to


15. List the four main points of the Monroe Doctrine

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