Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The James Monroe Dollar

Just got my James Monroe Dollar. This one was a long time comin. Not sure what’s goin’ on at the mint, there, but it looks like they’ve gotten things on a more regular schedule, now.

Madison’s presidency is interesting. There are a lot of presidents that I don’t know that much about, but as I read up on them as each coin comes out, I’m discovering that none of them are insignificant. You can’t lead a country like America and not have an impact on history. Well, unless you’re only in for a month, like Harrison.

Anyway, here are some of the interesting things about Monroe:

  1. The Dwindling Power of Political Parties

During his time, both of the current parties, the dominant Democratic-Republicans and the Federalists, found their influence diminishing. Monroe himself acted in non-partisan ways, and was more practical in his dealings.

  1. The Era of Good Feelings

Partly because of his approach to politics, and partly due to good economic times, the first part of his administration was referred to as “The Era of Good Feelings”. There were some things later, in 1825 that brought back some of the political contention that he’d managed to avoid for so long.

  1. Ceding of Florida

Early on in his administration, Florida was ceded to the United States from Spain. I found this interesting once I’d noted that he’d traveled to France under Jefferson to help negotiate the Louisiana Purchase. He’d also been a diplomat to Britain.

  1. Monroe Doctrine

I think that all of that foreign contact led him ultimately to the bit that is probably his biggest legacy, that being what later became known as the “Monroe Doctrine”. This was a speech to Congress that basically told Europe and Asian nations to stay away from further colonization in America. In some ways, in my eyes, that’s kinda arrogant of us in the US to say what can and can’t happen in other countries. But then, in a lot of ways, that’s set the tone of our foreign policies for centuries to come. We’ve always felt like we were the ones to keep order in the world.

  1. Missouri Compromise

During his administration, the question of slavery was getting some hot debate. Missouri wanted to become a state, and there were many debates as to whether or not it should be admitted as a slave state or free. Finally, a compromise was reached. Missouri could decide for itself what it wanted to be (probably allowing slavery), and Maine would be admitted as a free state. That solved the issue at the moment, but continued the process of setting us all up for the civil war.

  1. Church History

It was during the Monroe administration, of course, in 1820, that Joseph Smith, in a forest in Palmyra, New York, knelt to pray and saw God, the Father, and His Son. This began the process of the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and all the challenges and blessings that followed.

Mark Hansen

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Mark!

    I'm a closeted history buff without a lot of free reading time. I enjotyed reading about James Monroe. Good stuff!



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