Skip to main content

tv   The Presidency James Monroe George Washington  CSPAN  April 4, 2021 3:30pm-4:01pm EDT

3:30 pm
james monroe and george washington shared a bond forged in the revolutionary war. each man would serve his country as president. the politics of the young nation would drive a wedge between them. in the university of mary washington's great lives series, scott harris explains where things went wrong. he is the executive director of the university's museums. the university of mary washington provided this video. >> 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 from the college of william and 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 followed six years as director of the james monroe museum, which is administered by the university. prior to that, he was director
3:31 pm
of the new market battlefield in manassas, virginia. scott is a peer for the -- what if you are for the accreditation and assessment program for the american alliance of museums and an editorial advisor for "white house history quarterly," the journal of the white house historical association. his published articles have appeared in the "augusta historical bulletin," "civil war traveler," and "the dictionary of virginia biography," "white house history quarterly," and numerous other publications. on a personal note, there are a few things more gratifying for teachers than to witness the success of their students. i am particularly proud of tonight's speaker because i can claim him as one of the very best i have ever taught at a long career at mary washington. it is a personal pleasure to welcome to great lives my former
3:32 pm
student and good friend, scott harris. scott: thank you and good evening. on december 13, 1799, george washington was dying. a throat infection that had set in after a long ride around mount vernon the previous day in sleet and snow made conversation with his secretary, tobias lear, increasingly difficult. lear noted in his journal that washington's mood, despite the hoarseness, was very cheerful as they sat in the parlor reading newspapers alloud. but washington's demeanor changed when the subject turned to virginia politics. he requested -- "he requested me to read him the debates of the virginia assembly on the election of a senator and a governor.
3:33 pm
and hearing mr. madison's observations, respecting mr. munro, he appeared much affected and spoke with some degree of asperity on the subject." what prompted washington's asperity regarding james monroe? shown here standing behind the general in emanuel leutze's glorious but 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 were each born to families that had inhabited west moreland county virginia since the mid-17th century. evidence of their antecedents'association includes a notice from 1661 describing the investigation of a suicide in the county. john washington, the coroner, was george's great-grandfather. the first member of the jury listed was the great rate -- great great grandfather of james. as shown on a map made by
3:34 pm
jonathan fry and peter just got -- joshua fry and peter jefferson made in 1775 -- the birthplaces of washington and munro were separated by only a few miles. the washington family's west moreland lands were extensive with several distinct farms and a mill on pope's creek. it was us into a life of -- thus into a life of privilege and prosperity that george washington was born on february 22, 732 to augustin and mary washington. george washington's use is the stuff of legends, most notably in the folktale about young george chopping down a cherry tree and his subsequent statement "i cannot tell a lie"
3:35 pm
when confronted by his father. george's head apparently matured before the rest of his body. as a youth he worked as a surveyor for the fairfax family and later was an official surveyor for culpeper county. from 1749 to 1752 washington completed close to 200 surveys on numerous properties totaling 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 braddock's ill-fated expedition. washington also ran afoul of the fortunes of war when he was forced to surrender at the desperately named fort necessity to the french. the only military surrender that washington encountered in his entire career under arms. washington took an active leadership role in the growing conflict between the american colonies and great britain. a member of the virginia house of delegates, he was part of the commonwealth delegation to the first continental congress. when the second congress determined to name a commander
3:36 pm
to lead the continental army, washington nominated by john adams, was called to serve on june 15, 1755. while the general gets to know his army, let's take a step act and consider james monroe. james monroe's road to revolution began with his birth on april 28, 1758, to spence 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 washington's, 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, campbell town academy. and then to the college of william and mary. monroe enrolled in william and mary in june of 1774. like many of his classmates, he was soon caught up in revolutionary fervor. he was part of a group of
3:37 pm
students who seized arms from the governor's palace on june 24, 1775. 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, writing to the rank of -- are rising to the rank of major before his 20th birthday. monroe was also at trenton, where washington's gamble in attacking an isolated hessian outpost paid off in an inspiring victory on the day after christmas, 1776. the battle produced monroe's greatest moments of both peril and fame during the revolutionary war, as he described in his unfinished autobiography written late in his life in the third person. " command of the vanguard consisting of 50 men was given
3:38 pm
to captain william washington of the third virginia regiment. lieutenant monroe properly -- 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 desk of the evening. he was not on the boat with washington, he was already on the other side of the break. the next morning, the battle was joined. again, i read from monroe's autobiography. "captain washington moved forward with the vanguard in front, attacked the enemy's picket, shot down the commanding officer, and drove it before him. the drums were beat and to two cannons were placed in the main street, the bear on the head of our column, as it entered. captain washington rushed forward, attacked, took possession of them. he received a severe wound taken -- wound and was taken from the field. the command then devolved upon
3:39 pm
lieutenant monroe who attacked in like manner with the head of the corps 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 riker, who monroe had met just hours before, were paired -- repaired an artery in his shoulder damaged by the the musket ball. this painting is a capturing of the hessians at trenton on december 26, 1776. you see on the nsaid to their james monroe touching his shoulder -- used -- you see on 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. in 1779 washington noted monroe's 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 at trenton where he received a wound." the general concluded that james monroe had "in every instance maintained the
3:40 pm
reputation of a brave, active, and sensible officer." despite this endorsement and others, monroe was unable to form enough troops for regiment and command. he ended his continental army service and embarked on a political career. after studying law with thomas jefferson, who became his mentor, and serving in the house of delegates and on the governor's council of state, james monroe was elected a virginia delegate to congress in 1783. monroe was present on december 23, 17 83, when george washington resigned his commission as commander and chief of the continental army. he is shown here attired in yellow knee britches and a matching waistcoat, similar 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 manner that would minimize faction, and promote the welfare of all americans. however, as a country evolved its domestic and foreign
3:41 pm
policies, particularly against the backdrop of worldwide struggle between britain and france, two principal clinical movements emerged. federalists, committed to a strong central government and economic policies that emphasized ties with britain were led by washington's treasury secretary alexander hamilton. the anti-federalist faction who styled themselves democratic republicans were simply or simply rep. pocan: -- or simply republicans favored the states as the political power base and foster closer ties to france. the french connection that had helped the united states achieved independence in the revolutionary war was reinforced for republicans by the advent of the french revolution in editing 89. thomas jefferson dutch in 1789 -- in 1789.
3:42 pm
thomas jefferson, secretary of state under the washington administration, was the acknowledged leader of the republicans. he counted upon the 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 negotiate a treaty that would result in british withdrawal from forts in the northwest territory in the united states, improve 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 dropped jay's instructions and confided much of the american negotiating position to the british to facilitate an agreement. republicans bitterly opposed the diplomatic overture fearing both british intimidation and french anger at the perceived breaking of the alliance. to mollify the republicans, washington appointed james
3:43 pm
monroe american minister to france in may of 1794. a selection of a prominent republican legislator, who was a declared admirer of france, was intended to appease america's erstwhile ally, while removing monroe from the domestic political scene. soon after monroe arrived in france, the new minister appeared before the national assembly to present his credentials. he delivered an effusive address proclaiming 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 royal navy. nevertheless, the treaty was ratified on february 29, 1796. republicans were incensed. that is evident by a bit of graffiti that appeared around this time on a wall in boston. "damn john jay,damn everyone who won't damn john jay, damn everyone who won't put lights in his windows and sit up all night damning john jay."
3:44 pm
jay wryly observed that he could make his way through pennsylvania at night by the light of his burning effigies all the way through the state. news of the jay 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 call the -- to recall the minister. minister. monroe received word of his dismissal in december, 1776 -- excuse me, 1796. monroe delayed his return home until august of 1797 partly to avoid harsh atlantic weather, and partly to avoid the appearance of meekly acquiescing to his recall. he published a lengthy pamphlet upon his return, really a book, telling his side of the story, aiming harsh criticism of the
3:45 pm
washington administration and predicting the dire concert the -- 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 in the library of harvard university, contains what the national archives calls "the most extended, un-remitted, and pointed use of taunts and jabs, sarcasm and scathing criticism in all of his writings." monroe explains his concerns for maintaining french alliance. "it be known that, with other -- being known that, with other members of the senate, i had opposed in many instances, the measures of the administration, particularly in that mission of mr. morris to france and mr.jay to london, from the apprehension those missions would produce in our foreign relations, precisely the effect they did produce." to which washington replies "unpardonable, to appointed
3:46 pm
that appoint -- to appoint these men to office, although of 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 the convention , publicly, those documents which tended to prove how strong the feelings of the administration were in favor of the french nation." and the president gives the answer, "the great and primary object of the administration was to preserve the u.s in peace, by pursuing a conduct strictly neutral, it was not essential then, knowing beforehand what the reception was to be, to make a parade of sentiments, however strong they might be felt, and however pleasing to one nation, which might create unpleasant feelings in other nations with whom we were also in peace, and
3:47 pm
wished to remain so." when monroe reflects on why he delays his departure from france, "upon mature reflection, therefore, it appeared that i had but one alternative, which was to remain where i was, nad proceed in the functions of my office, notwithstanding the embarrassments to which i might be personally subjected, or to retire, and in retiring, to do it tranquilly, 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 this day "furious and laughable to hear a man under his circumstances talking seriously under his -- under this style or code -- style." the two men never spoke again.
3:48 pm
when washington died the following year, the first president was venerated throughout the country. munro, -- monroe, now governor of virginia, instructed members of his counsel to join him in wearing morning ribbons for his former commander. james monroe busied himself overseeing construction over the state's first penitentiary. james monroe was elected to the office once more in 1811 and signed legislation to build the governor's mansion, still in use today, though he never resided there. james monroe went on to other roles in government and
3:49 pm
diplomacy. toppers -- thomas jefferson said in back to france in 1803 to negotiate purchase of the port of new orleans in france. instead james monroe accepted a surprise offer to buy the entire louisiana territory. james monroe became secretary of state in the administration of james madison in april 1811 and briefly served simultaneously as secretary of war during the war of 1812. he was present with madison at the battle of bladensburg where the british routed at american force of regulars and a poorly organized militia. james monroe redeployed with little apparent effect on the outcome. this cartoon implies that madison fled in panic from the field of battle, but he had most of the cabinet, including james
3:50 pm
monroe, stayed on field until the end and nearly avoided capture. the british moved on to washington dc where they burned many public buildings, including, of course, the white house. james monroe was elected president in 1860 -- 1860 -- 1816. he and his wife elizabeth took control of refurbishing the white house. elizabeth endured a range of physical elements that prevented her from being a white house hostess, her daughter taking over many times. in both their social circles and the refurbishing they did, they set a standard for white house style that we still appreciate today. james monroe undertook two initiatives that echoed those of washington.
3:51 pm
in 1789 washington had conducted a full two week tour of new england. in 1817 james monroe also went on tour, visiting not just new england, but all of the northern states and territories over a time of 15 weeks. he cruised the chesapeake region in 1818. and in eight 19 he spent time visiting state that in the south and west -- in 1819 he spent time visiting states in the south and west. an air of good feelings indoors as a catchphrase of james monroe's administration. james monroe revealed a fellow -- philosophical closeness to washington. "of all the advice washington
3:52 pm
loved, this is the one that endured the longest. -- his commitments to keeping the united states out of 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, james monroe cleared, on december 2, 1823, the doctor that bears his name. the warning to europe against a fury in the affairs of the western hemisphere is the best-known passage -- interfering in the affairs of the western hemisphere is the best-known passage. the washington doctrine of unstable alliances, though it derives, ironically, from thomas jefferson's first inaugural in which he articulated a similar viewpoint, having picked up that
3:53 pm
from the washington example. it is noteworthy that the maxims of washington and munro regarding permanent foreign alliances were followed until 1949 when the united states joined nato. as an impressionable young man for whom the revolutionary experience was life-changing, james monroe developed a deep respect for george washington. in those days, washington's approbation and encouragement aided munro as he began his public service career. over time, as domestic politics and international relationships involved, their differences on policy became a personal estrangement, never to be overcome while both lived. the last words that washington spoke in regards to james monroe, as we have seen, were in anger, or perhaps, they were in frustration, tinged with regret.
3:54 pm
23 years had passed from the start of their war service together to washington's death. in a sea -- cemetery, munro -- james monroe eloquently describes the impact 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 at the head of a small band, or rather, in its rear, for he was always near the enemy. 's countenance and manner made an impression on me -- his countenance and manner made an impression on me that time can never face i have never seen in any other person. thank you. >> this is american history tv
3:55 pm
on c-span3, where each weekend, we feature 48 hours of programs exploring our nation's past. sunday, former staffers and secret service agents present for the attempted assassination of ronald reagan on march 30, 1980 one talk with dale quentin wilber author of "rawhide down, the near assassination of ronald reagan." here's a preview. >> the average person today, looking back with hindsight, would be shocked that there was a rope line with people behind into it not been screened by the secret service, a mix of press, and just spectators. the reason it was there was
3:56 pm
because that was always where it went. it became so routine that people were not thinking about, we need to reevaluate this in the climate today that we cannot have people near the president without going through magnetometers. obama approached rope lines, but to get into that area took me a good hour. when i was approved, i had a badge and all that stuff. do you think that played a role in why that rope line was there? >> let me start out that the protocols that were in place 40 years ago, of course, are not in place now. i recall, prior to that taking place, that the prior administrations had been lobbying to allow us to love -- use metal detectors. it was not new technology.
3:57 pm
metal detectors are very effective. as i recall, we had been asked to use them. i heard that we did not -- wanted to look like a siege atmosphere around the president. but it was a bit of a siege atmosphere. bill did pull the plan off-the-shelf, but it always starts of -- with three rings of security to begin with. the second drink now is metal detectors -- ring now is metal detectors. it was not before. but if they fail, you will have to rely on reactions. if they -- the attacker is in arms reach, you go for the attacker. those theories did work correctly.
3:58 pm
ray, jerry, evacuated the president, cover the president and others close by. they quickly took john hinckley into custody. he got six rounds off in 1.7 seconds. that is a quick reaction time. some things worked. some did not. we would never say it was a success, because if it was a success, the president would not have been shot. but things have changed dramatically since then. security is not 360 in all directions now. >> learn more about the attempted assassination of ronald reagan, sunday at 6:30 p.m. eastern, 4:30 p.m. pacific. the u.s. information agency was tasked with promoting american values around the globe. at the time it was founded, usia had 217 posts abroad in 77 countries. next, on real america -- reel
3:59 pm
america, three usia films from the 1950's. and 1954 film describes these efforts in detail. it shows how the u.s. used radio, print, motion pictures, and humanitarian aid as weapons of foreign policy. this film is from the national archives. in about a half an hour, philippine progress on 1954 u.s. information agency film distributed to foreign audiences in the wake of the korean war, at a time of the united states wask in a fierce battle of ideas with the soviet union and china. in about an hour, minute of the forest from 1952. at u.s. information service film profiling and african-american family of logging workers in rural georgia as they transition from using a horse and hand
4:00 pm
tools to a time-saving power saw. the u.s. i.s. was established during world war ii as the overseas components of the office of war information, then became part of the information agency in august 1953. [video clip] >> throughout the world, there is widespread misunderstanding of the united states. the communists are quick to take advantage of this in the lies they are spreading. today, the united states is the leading power of peace. we bear tremendous responsibilities in the world.

29 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on