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James Monroe

Important Terms, People, and Events

General Summary

Section 1: Virginian-Born

Terms

Antifederalists  -   · Along with the Federalists, they were one of the first two political parties. The Antifederalists, who later were known as the Democratic Republicans and then just the Republicans, believed in smaller, state-oriented government.
Louisiana Purchase -   · In 1803, Monroe oversaw the purchase of the Louisiana territory from France for sixty million francs. The purchase roughly doubled the size of the United States and paved the way for massive westward expansion and settlement.
Era of Good Feelings -   · The Era of Good Feelings, a term coined by a Boston newspaper during Monroe's fifteen-week northern tour, described the time of relative prosperity and wealth from 1816–1819. The era, beginning with the fall of the Federalist party also saw little political bickering due to there only being one party. Monroe stayed immensely popular throughout the country.
Missouri Compromise -   · The agreement, reached after much heated debate and veiled threats of war, allowed Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state while Maine entered as a free state to keep the balance even. It also prohibited slavery above the thirty-six'' thirty' parallel.
Monroe Doctrine -   · In his annual address to Congress in December 1823, Monroe laid out the first formal U.S. foreign policy, which declared that the Americas were closed to further colonization by European powers and that the U.S. would not tolerate interference in North or South American affairs.
Federalists  -   · The Federalists, one of the first major American political parties, were led by Alexander Hamilton. They supported the Constitution and a strong centralized national government. Their lack of support of the War of 1812 fatally wounded the organization and by the election of 1816, the party had largely disappeared.
Ashlawn -   · Also known as Highland, Ashlawn was Monroe's estate in Virginia, adjacent to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello plantation.
Virginia Influence -   · A concern expressed by northern states, particularly New York during the election of 1816, which saw Monroe running largely unopposed for the presidency–the third successful candidate in a row from Virginia.
Adams-Onis Treaty -   · The treaty that settled the land dispute over Florida with Spain. Spain realized that it was unable to properly protect its colony there, and so risked losing Florida without any compensation. Instead, it yielded the land to the U.S. in exchange for canceling five million dollars in debt.

People

John Jay -  Jay was seen as an extremely controversial choice to be George Washington's minister to Great Britain. He was seen as too pro-British and therefore Washington appointed Monroe, a francophile, as minister to France as a counterbalance. Jay was sent to Britain with the authority to negotiate trade treaties with the country–information that never was conveyed to Monroe. Therefore, Monroe took much heat in Paris when word arrived of Jay's Treaty, which granted substantial trading rights to Britain.
Robert Livingston -  Thomas Jefferson sent Monroe to help Livingston negotiate the purchase of New Orleans from France in 1803. Livingston remained forever bitter about Monroe receiving most of the credit for the Louisiana Purchase.
John Quincy Adams -  Adams, the son of former President John Adams, served as Monroe's secretary of state and later succeeded Monroe in the presidency in 1825.

Events

Gabriel's Rebellion  -  In the summer of 1800, Monroe (then governor of Virginia) received word of a pending slave rebellion outside the capital led by a slave named Gabriel. Quick action by Monroe, including sending out militia patrols and posting guards at all major public buildings, along with a surprise summer thunderstorm that flooded several of the main approaches to the city, averted the rebellion.
Panic of 1819 -  The Panic of 1819 was the result of a myriad of financial setbacks, including a collapse of the price of cotton and a contraction by the controversial Bank of the United States. It resulted in massive unemployment and homelessness and decimated real estate prices around the country. The Panic is usually seen as the end of the "Era of Good Feelings."

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