The Presidency of James Monroe
This book centers mainly on the Presidency of James Monroe rather than a complete biography. The early years are summarized to give the reader an understanding of his qualifications and where he was coming from. From the information in the book it appears that James Monroe was probably the first president to realize that the good will of the people could keep him in office. During his administrations, he undertook several long trips to see how the nation and its people faired. The first trip was to what was then called the East - what we now call the north - New England, New York, and Pennsylvania. By making this his first priority in his travels he was able to consolidate his position by befriending the Federalists even though he was a southern Republican. His second trip was to the South and western reaches of the Ohio Valley.Conditions were not financial good during the first administration due to recovery from the war. Congressman Richard Johnson of Kentucky is quoted "the times for money are alarming and frightful. I have never seen a time before but when I could raise $1000 with less difficulty than I can now raise $100" "It is impossible to describe to you the distress in this country on account of circulating medium. Loans cannot be obtained from banks or individuals - both are calling in their debts by wholesale, and nothing can be purchased on credit." The National intelligencer published "our markets are deluged with merchandise from foreign nations, while thousands of our citizens, able and willing to work, and capable of furnishing similar articles, are unable to procure employment." (Does any of this sound familiar?)Besides the domestic issues of the day, Monroe also had to keep a wary eye open at the revolutions that were in progress in the areas to the south of the USA. These were what led to the Monroe Doctrine. I don't feel that 1 chapter is sufficient to cover that, so I will be reading a book dedicated to this aspect of his presidency.Overall, a good basic book for a President that I don't think received enough credit for what he had to handle.