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tv   The Presidency James Monroe George Washington  CSPAN  April 3, 2021 1:30pm-2:01pm EDT

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scott harris received his ba with honors in history and historic preservation from the university of mary, washington in 1983 and an ma in history and museum administration for the college of women mary in 1988. in january 2018. he was named executive director of the university of mary washington museums a position, which he currently holds. this follet six years is director of the james monroe
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museum, which is administered by the university. prior to that. he was direct of the new market battlefield state historical park and director of his talkal resources for the the city of manassas, virginia. scott is a peer reviewer for the accreditation and assessment programs of the american lives of museums and an editorial advise up for white house history quarterly the journal of the white house is talking association. his published articles have appeared in the augusta historical bulletin. civil war traveler dictionary of virginia biography white house history quarterly and numerous other history and travel publications but a personal note i think there are few things will gratifying to teachers than to witness the success of their students. so i am particularly proud tonight's speak up as i can claim him as one of the very best i've ever taught during a long career at mary, washington. so it's a very personal pleasure
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then to welcome to great lives. my former student and good friend, scott harris. thank you and good evening. on december 13 1799 george washington was dying. throat infection that is set in after a long ride around mount vernon the previous day and sleet and snow made conversation with his secretary tobias lear increasingly difficult. lear noted is in his journal that washington's mood despite. the hoarseness was very cheerful as they sat in parlor reading newspapers aloud. but washington's demeanor changed when the subject turned to virginia politics. he requested me to read him the debate. so the virginia assembly on the election of a senator and a governor. and hearing mr. madison's
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observations respecting mr. munro. he appeared much effective and spoke with some degree of disparity on the subject. what prompted washington's disparity regarding james monroe? shown here standing behind the general in a manual lloydsy's glorious though profoundly inaccurate painting washington crossing the delaware. how did these two virginians who hailed from the same region and whose families were acquainted over generations go from being soldiers in a common cause to bitter political foes. george washington and james monroe reached bourne to families that have inhabited westmoreland county virginia since the mid-17th century. evidence of their antecedents association includes a notice from 1661 describing investigation of of a suicide in the county. john washington, the coroner was george's great-grandfather. the first member of the jury listed andrew monroe was the
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great great grandfather of james. as shown on a map made by joshua fry and peter jefferson in 1755 the birthplaces of washington and monroe were separated by only a few miles. yet they had no apparent contact in their native community. by the time of monroe's birth washington's family had moved to ferry farm in. what is today stafford county though at the time? it was still part of king george county. the washington family's westmoreland lands were extensive distinct farms and a mill on pope's creek. it was using to a life a life of privilege and prosperity. that george washington was born on february 22nd 1732 to augustine and mary, washington. george washington's youth is the stuff of legends. most notably in the folktale popularized by parson mason weems about young george's chopping down of a cherry tree
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and his subsequent statement. i cannot tell a lie when confronted by his father. george's head apparently matured well before the rest of his body. as a youth he worked as a surveyor for the fairfax family and later was the official surveyor for culpeper county. from 1749 to 1752 washington completed close to 200 surveys on numerous properties totally more than 60,000 acres. during the french and indian war he served as an emissary for the governor of virginia and later in combat during british general edward braddocks ill-fated expedition. washington also ran afoul of the fortunes of war when he was forced to surrender the desperately named fort necessity to the french the only military surrender that washington encountered it is entire career underarms. washington took an active leadership role in the growing conflict between the american colonies and great britain. a member of the virginia house
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of delegates. he was part of the commonwealth's delegation to the first continental congress when the second congress determined to name a commander. to lead the continental army, washington nominated by john adams was called to serve on june 15th 1755. now while the general gets to know his army, let's take a step back for a moment and consider james monroe. james monroe's road to revolution began with his birth on april 28th 1758 dispense and elizabeth monroe. while the holdings that were originally secured by andrew monroe were not as large or as prosperous as those of their neighbors the washingtons and some of their other neighbors as well the family live comfortably and were able to send their eldest son to one of the best local schools campbelltown academy and then to the college of william and mary monroe in world enrolled at william and mary in june of 1774 like many
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of his classmates he was soon caught up in revolutionary fervor. he was part of a group of students who sees arms from the governor's palace on june 24th. 1775. and in february 1776 monroe was commissioned to lieutenant in the third, virginia infantry regiment. for the next two years as george washington led the continental army in victory and defeat often more the latter james monroe took part in the battles of harlem heights brandywine, germantown and monmouth rising to the rank of major before his 20th birthday. monroe was also at trenton where washington's gamble and attacking an isolated hessian outpost paid off. in an inspiring victory on the day after christmas 1776 the battle produce monroe's greatest moments of both peril and fame during the revolutionary war as he described in his unfinished
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autobiography written late in his life in the third person. command of the vanguard consisting of 50 men was given to captain william washington of the third virginia regiment. lieutenant monroe promptly offered his services to act as a subaltern under him. on the 25th of december 1776. they passed the delaware in front of the army in the dusk of the evening. so understand, he was not in the boat with washington. he was already on the other side of the river. the next morning the battle was joined and again, i read from monroe's auto biography. captain washington then moved forward with the vanguard in front attack the enemy's pickett shot down the commanding officer and drove it before him. the drums were beat to arms and two cannon were placed in the main street to bear on the head of our column as it entered. captain washington rushed forward attacked and took possession of them. he received a severe wound and was taken from the field. the command then devolved upon lieutenant monroe who attacked
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in like manner at the head of the court and was shot down by a musket ball, which passed through his breast and shoulder. he was also carried from the field. monroe and william washington were brought to a makeshift hospital there dr. john reicher who monroe had met just hours before repaired an artery in his shoulder damaged by the musketball. this painting is the capture of the hessians of trenton on december 26 1776, and you see in the inset there james monroe clutching his shoulder and chest with a musket ball under his body that bullet stayed in his body for the rest of his life. and 1779 washington noted monroe's quote zeal. he discovered by entering the service in the early period the character he supported in his regiment and the manner in which he distinguished himself a trenton where he received a wound. the general concluded that james monroe had quote in every
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instance maintained the reputation of a brave active and sensible officer. despite this endorsement and others monroe was unable to recruit enough troops to form a regiment command. he ended his continental army service and embarked on a political career. after studying law with thomas jefferson who became his political mentor and serving in the house of delegates and on the governor's council of state james monroe was elected of virginia delegate to congress in 1783. monroe was present on december 23rd, 1783 when george washington resigned his commission his commander in chief of the continental army and he's shown here. very natalie attired in a yellow knee britches with matching westgate similar really to washington in a way looking right at him. when washington was chosen unanimously as the first president of the united states under the constitution. he was determined to govern in a
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manner that would minimize faction and promote the welfare of all americans. however, as the country evolved is domestic and foreign policies particularly against the backdrop of worldwide struggle between great britain and france. two principal political movements emerged federalists committed to a strong central government and economic policies that emphasize ties with britain were led by washington's treasury secretary alexander, hamilton. the anti-federalist faction who styled themselves democratic republicans or simply republicans favored the states as the principal political power base and fostered closer ties to france. the french connection based on the alliance that had helped the united states achieve independence in the revolutionary war was reinforced for republicans by the advent of the french revolution in 1789. thomas jefferson secretary of state in the washington administration was the acknowledged leader of the
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republicans. he counted upon the steadfast steadfast support in the house of representatives from james madison and in the senate from james monroe. early in 1794 washington sent chief justice john jay to england to go to negotiate a treaty that would result in british withdrawal from forts in the northwest territory in the united states improved the balance of trade between the two countries and curtail impressment or the forcible removal of sailors from american ships by the royal navy. alexander hamilton, drew up jason's instructions and even confided confided much of the american negotiating position to the british in advance to facilitate an agreement. republicans bitterly opposed the diplomatic overture fearing both british intimidation and french anger at the perceived breaking of the old alliance. to mollify the republicans washington appointed james
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monroe american minister to france in may of 1794. the selection of a prominent republican legislator who was a declared admirer of france was intended to appease america's earthwile ally while while so removing monroe monroe from the domestic political scene. soon after the monroe's arrived in france the new minister appeared before the national assembly to present his credentials. he delivered and effusive address proclaiming the united states support for the french revolution and commitment to the alliance. meanwhile in england john jay negotiated a treaty that secured some of the american objectives, but did little to address the imbalance of trade with great britain or impressment by the world navy. nevertheless the treaty was ratified on february 29 1796. republicans were incensed and that is evident by a bit of graffiti that appeared around this time on a wall in boston.
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--, john, jay. -- everyone who won't -- john jay. -- everyone who won't put lights in his windows and sit up all night damning john jay. jay riley observed that he could make it could make his way through, pennsylvania at night by the light of his burning effigies all the way through the state. news of the j treaty reached the french government even before it was officially revealed to james monroe washington irritated by monroe's evidently pro french actions and statements instructed secretary of state timothy pickering to recall the minister monroe received word of his dismissal in december 1776. excuse me. 1796 monroe delayed his return home until august the 1797 partly to avoid harsh atlantic weather and partly to avoid the appearance of acquiescing to his recall.
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he published a lengthy pamphlet upon his return really was a book telling his side of the story. aiming harsh criticism at the washington administration and predicting the dire consequences of repudiating the american alliance with france. publication of a view of the conduct of the executive prompted an extraordinary reaction from george, washington his copy of the book preserved at the houghton library of harvard university contains what the national archives calls quote the most extended unremitting and pointed use of taunts and jibes sarcasm and scathing criticism in all of his writings. monroe explains his concern for maintaining the french alliance. it being known that with other members of the senate i had opposed in many instances the measures of the administration particularly in that of the mission of mr. morris to france and mr. jay to london from the apprehension those missions would produce in our foreign
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relations precisely the ill effect. they did presumed produce. to which washington replies on pardonable to appoint these men to office, although we've acknowledged first rate abilities when they were of different political sentiments from mr. monroe whose judgment one would presume must be infallible. monroe wonders why his pro-french statements were inappropriate? i could not conceive why such dissatisfaction should be shown on account of my presenting to the convention publicly those documents which tended to prove how strong the feelings of the administration were in favor of the french nation. in the president gives the answer the great and primary object of the administration was to preserve the us in peace by pursuing a conduct strictly neutral. it was not a central then knowing beforehand with what they clapped. the reception was to be to make a parade of sentiments. however strong they might be
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felt and however pleasing to one nation which might create unpleasant feelings and other nations with whom we were also in peace and wished to remain so and when monroe reflects on why he delayed his departure from france. upon mature reflection therefore it appeared that i had been one alternative which was to remain where i was and proceed in the functioning of my office notwithstanding the embarrassments to which i might be personally subjected. order retired and retiring to do it tranquility without explaining my motives for it or by explaining them denounce the administration to the public. i resolve therefore to stand firm at my post. washington replies with the stain curious and laughable to hear a man under his circumstances talking seriously in this style when his recall was a second death to him. the two men never spoke again following this rupture in their relationship. so perhaps each desire to reconciliation.
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washington was annoyed when monroe visited alexandria in 1798 and did not pay a call on him and mount vernon as their mutual friend lafayette had done years before. when washington died the following year, the first president was venerated throughout the country. monroe by now governor of virginia the cause of washington's disparity in his final days instructed members of his executive council to join him in wearing morning ribbons for his former commander. during three successive one-year terms as governor monroe busied himself overseeing construction of the state's first penitentiary and arsenal. in august 1800 he took assertive executive action to suppress the abortive uprising of enslaved people in the richmond area led by gabriel prosser. monroe was elected to the office once more in 1811 and signed the legislation to build the governor's mansion shown here still in use today though. he never resided there.
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monroe went on to other roles in government and diplomacy thomas jefferson sent him back to france in 183 to join robert livingston in negotiating purchase of the port of new orleans from france instead monroe and livingston accepted the surprise offer to buy the entire, louisiana territory adding over 60,000 square miles to the united states. monroe became secretary of state in the administration of his friend james madison in april, 1811 and briefly served simultaneously as secretary of war during war of 1812. he was present with madison of the battle of bladensburg on august 24th, 1814. where the british quickly routed an american force of regulars and poorly organized. militia monroe personally redeployed at least one unit in the american line with little apparent effect on the outcome. follow this cartoon implies that madison fled in panic from the
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field of battle he and most of the cabinet including monroe stayed on the field until the end and narrowly avoided capture. the british moved on to washington dc where they burned many public buildings including of course the white house on road was elected president in 1816. he and his wife elizabeth undertook the restoration and refurbishing of the white house a project that would continue throughout his two terms in office. elizabeth monroe's experiences first lady was characterized by a fondness for european-style salons that were not always always well received by washington's society. she also endured a range of physical ailments that prevented her from being the white house hostess her daughter taking over many times, but in both their social circles and in the refurnishing that they did of the white house the monroe's set a standard for white house style that we still appreciate today. during his presidency monroe and
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took two initiatives that consciously or unconsciously echo dose of george, washington. in 1789 washington had conducted a four week tour of new england acclaim by by the people wherever he went. in 1817 monroe also went on tour visiting not only new england, but all of the northern states and territories over a period of 15 weeks. he cruised the chesapeake region in 1818 and in 1819 spent five months visiting states of the south and west. the popularity of these presidential excursions particularly the first one produce what won newspaper called an era of good feelings in the country determined doors as catchphrase of monroe's administration. in foreign policy monroe revealed a philosophical closeness to washington who's farewell addressed in 1797 cautioned his country to avoid becoming entangled in european power struggles through political and military
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alliances. of all the advice that washington left. this is the one that endured the longest certainly the one about political parties did not but his commitment to keeping the united states out of permanent alliances in europe. he felt was the only way to secure the nation's security and independence. in the most famous policy statement of his presidency monroe declared in his annual message to congress on december 2nd 1823 the doctrine that bears his name. while the warning to europe against interfering in the affairs of the western hemisphere is the best known passage. monroe's complementary statement later in the document is essentially a restatement of what could be called the washington doctrine and this term actually exists. i have to admit i did not know this before doing some research for this talk. the washington doctrine of unstable alliances though it derives ironically from thomas jefferson's first inaugural in
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which he articulated the very similar viewpoint having picked up on the wisdom of that from the washington example. it is noteworthy, but the maxims of washington and monroe regarding permanent foreign alliances were largely followed until 1949. when the united states joined the north atlantic treaty organization as an impressionable young man for whom the revolutionary experience was life-changing james monroe developed a deep respect for george, washington. and those heavy days watching them's approbation and encouragement aid at monroe as he his public service career. over time as domestic politics and international relations evolved in the new republic that washington and monroe helped create their differences on policy became a personal estrangement never to be overcome while both lived. the last words that washington spoke in regard to monroe as we have seen we're in anger.
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or perhaps they were in frustration tinged with regret. 23 years had passed from the start of their war service together to washington's death. in an eerie symmetry 23 years after washington's demise and just six years before his own. monroe eloquently described the indelible impact that his former commander. had on him and possibly with sorrow himself for what had passed between them. let it be a benediction of sorts for this presentation. i saw him. i'm not in my earliest youth in the retreat to jersey at the head of a small band or rather in its rear for he was always near the enemy. and his countenance and manner made an impression on me which time can never efface a deportment so far so dignified so exalted but yet so modest and composed i have never seen in any other person. thank you.
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>> virginia lee dornheggen the
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counter time as an army nurse during the vietnam war. she describes injuries she treated, the night the hospital came under fire, and the impact the job had on her life. this interview is from the veterans history project and was conducted by the atlanta history center. virginia: i was born and raised in gettysburg, pennsylvania. very small town. my whole family was there. aunts, uncles, grandparents. it was easy to have a family relationship. it was my mom and dad and three girls, i was the middle of the three girls. my dad was in world war ii, the army corps of engineers, served in alaska. his brother john was a physician and he served in the european tour in belgian and in the korean conflict.

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