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tv   The Presidency James Monroe George Washington  CSPAN  April 5, 2021 12:01pm-12:28pm EDT

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american history tv on c-span3, every weekend documenting america's story, funding for american history tv comes from these companies who support c-span tv as a public service. james monroe and george washington shared a bond forged in the revolutionary war. each man would serve his country as president but the politics of the young nation drove a wedge between them. next on the presidency, in this lecture from the university of mary washington's great live series, scott harris explains where things went wrong. he's the executive director of university's museums. the university of mary washington provided this video.
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scott harris received his ba from university of mary washington in 1983 and an m.a. in history and museum add 34rgs 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 for which he currently holds. this followed six years as director of the james monroe museum, which is administered by the university. and prior to that, he was director of a new market battlefield historical park and director of historical resources for the city of manassas, virginia. scott is a peer-reviewer for accreditation and assessment programs of the american alliance of museums and editorial adviser 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
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traveler, dictionary of virginia biography, white house history quarterly and numerous other history and travel publications. on a personal note, i think there are a few things more gratifying to teachers than to witness the success. so, i am particularly proud of tonight's speaker. as i can claim him as one of the very best i have ever taught during a long career at mary washington. so, it is a very personal pleasure, then, to welcome to great lives my former student and good friend, scott harris. >> thank you. good evening. on december 13, 1799, george washington was dying. a throat infection that set in after a long right around mt. vernon the previous day in sleet and snow made conversation with
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his secretary tobias lear made it difficult. lear said his mood was cheerful as they sat in the parlor reading newspapers a loud. he requested me to read him the debate on the assembly of a governor. and hearing mr. madison's observations, respecting mr. monroe, he appeared much affected and spoke with some degree of disparity on the subject. what prompt add washington's aspirty regarding james monroe? standing behind the general in 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
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cause to bitter political foes? george washington and james monroe were each born to families that inhabted westmoreland county, virginia, since the 17th century. evidence of includes a notice from 1661 describing investigation 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 great, great grandfather of james. as shown on the map by peter frye and robert jefferson, 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 stafford county, at the time it was still part of king george county. the washington family's
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westmoreland's lands were extensive with several distinct farms. it was thus of a life of privilege and prosperity that george washington was born on february 22, 1732 to augustine and mary washington. george washington's youth is the stuff of legend, most notably in the folk tale popularized about george washington's chopping down of a cherry tree and his subsequent statement, i cannot tell a lie, when confronted by his father. george's head matured it before the rest of his body. s as a yourt he worked as surveyor and later the official surveyor for culpeper county. washington completed close to 200 surveys on numerous properties totaling more than 60,000 acres. during the french and indian war he served as emissary and in
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combat during general braddic's ill-fated expedition. washington also ran afoul of the fortunes of war when he was forced to surrender the desperately named ft. necessity to the french. the only military surrender that washington encountered 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 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 15, 1765. 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 28, 1758, to spence and
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elizabeth monroe. although holdings originally secured by andrew monroe were not as large or prosperous of those their neighbors, the washingtons and some other neighbors as well, the family lived 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 at 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 students who sees arms from the governor's palace on june 24, 1775. and in february of 1776, monroe was commissioned to lieutenant in the 3rd 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 battle of harlem hearts, brandywine,
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germantown and monmouth, rising to rank of major before his 20th birthday. monroe was also at trenton, where washington's gamble in attacking an isolated outpost paid off in an inspiring victory 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 biography written late in his life in the third person. command much the vanguard consisting of 50 men was given to captain william washington of the 3rd regiment. lieutenant monroe offered his services to act under him. on the 25th of december, 1776, they passed the delaware in front of the army in the dusk of the evening. 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
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monroe's autobiography. captain washington then moved forward with the vanguard in front, attack the enemy picket, 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 in like manner and was shot down by a musket ball. he was also carried from the field. they were brought to a makeshift hospital -- would he paired an artery in his shoulder, damaged by the musket ball. this painting is the capture of the herbens of trenton in 1776. you see in the inset this, james
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monroe clutching his shoulder and chest with where the musket ball entered his body. that bullet stayed in his body for the rest of his life. in 1779 washington noted monroe's, quote, zeal by entering the service in the early period. the character he supported in iz had regiment and the manner in which he distinguished himself at trenton where he received a wound. the general concluded that james monroe had, quote, in every instance maintained the republic reputation of a brave and sensitive officer. despite this endorsement and others, monroe was unable to recruit enough kruts to form a regiment command. he ended his couldn't nenlts army service and embarked on a political career. after studying law with thomas jefferson and serving in the house of delegation and on the governor's council of state, monroe was elected as a delegate
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to congress. monroe was present on september 3 when george washington resigned his commission, as commander in chief of the continental army. he is shown here in yellow knee britches with a matching wescott, 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 the country evolved, its domestic and foreign policies particularly against the back drop of worldwide struggle between great britain and france, two principle political movements ee merved. 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
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republicans or simply republicans favored the states as the principle power base and fostered closer ties to france. the french connection based on the alliance that 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 and the washington administration was the acknowledged leader of the republicans. he counted upon steadfast support in the house of representatives from james madison and in the senate from james monroe. early in 1794, washington sent chief justice jon jay to england to negotiate a treaty that would result in british withdrawal from for thes in the northwest territory in the united states, improve the balance of trade between the two countries and quur tail impressment or the forcible removal of sailors by
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american ships from the royal navy. alexander hamilton drew up the instructions and even confided much of the american position to france to facilitate an agreement. republicans bitterly opposed the diplomatic overture, fearing both british intimidation and french anger at the perceived break-in of the old alliance. washington appointed james monroe american minister to france in may of 1794. the selection of a prominent republican legislature who was declared admirer of france was intended to apiece erstwhile ally. the new minister appeared to present his credentials. he delivered an effusive address claiming the united states support for the french revolution and commitment to the
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alliance. meanwhile in england, jon jay negotiated a treaty that secured some of the american objectives but did little to address the imbalance of trade with great britain. 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. damn jon jay, dann who won't damn jon jay. 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
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actions and statements instructed secretary of state timothy pickering to recall the minister. monroe received word of his dismissal in september 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 it 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 executive prompted an extraordinary reaction from george washington. his copy of the book reserved as the horton library at harvard university contains what
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national archives calls the most pointed views of scathing criticism in all of his writings. monroe explains his concern for maintaining the french alliance. it being known with other members of the senate, i aopposed many instances the measures of the administration, particularly in that of the mission of mr. morris of france and mr. jay to london from the apprehension those missions would produce, in our foreign relations, precisely the ill-effect they did produce. to which washington replies, unpardonable to appoint these men to office, although with acknowledged first rate of ability when they were of different political sentiments of mr. monroe. whose judgment, one most presume, is infallible. he must wonder why his pro-french statements. i ko not conceive why such dissatisfaction should be shown on account of my presenting to the convention publicly those
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documents, which tended to prove how strong the feelings of the administration were in favor of the french nation. andle 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 neutrals. it was not essential then, knowing beforehand with what the reception was to be received, 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 wish to remain so. and when monroe reflects on why he delayed his departure from france, upon reflection, therefore, it appeared i had one alternative, which is to remain where i was and proceed in the functioning of my office, notwithstanding the embarrassments to which i might be personally subjected or to retire. and in retiring to do it
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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 disdain, 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, though perhaps each desired reconciliation. washington was annoyed when monroe visited alexandria in 1798 and did not pay a call on him at mt. vernon as their mutual friend lafayette had done years before. when washington died the following year, the first president was vet rated throughout the country. monroe, by now governor of virginia, the cause of washington's asparety in his final days, instructed members of his executive council to join him and wearing mourning ribbons for his former commander. during three successive one-year
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terms as governor, monroe busied himself overseeing construction of the state's first penitentiary and arsenal. he took assertive action to led by gabriel prosser. monroe was elected to the office once more in 1811 and signed legislation to build the governor's mansion shown here, still in use today, though he never resided there. monroe went on to other roles in government and diplomacy. thomas jefferson sent him back to france in 1803 to join robert livingston to negotiate purchase of 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
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1811 and briefly served simultaneously as secretary of war during the war of 1812. he was present with madison at the battle of bladesens burg where the british quickly routed an emergency force of regulars and poorly organized militia. monroe deployed one in the american line with little apparent effect on the outcome. while this cartoon implies that madison fled in panic from the field of battle, he and most of the cabinet, including monroe, stayed on the field until the end and narrowly avoided capture. le british moved on to washington, d.c. where they burned many public buildings, including, of course, the white house. monroe 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 experience as
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first lady was characterized as by a fondness for european style salons that were not always well received by washington society. she also endured a range of physical ailments that prevented her from being white house hostess. in both their social circles and in the refurnishing they did at the white house, the monroes set a standard for white house style we still appreciate today. during his presidency, monroe undertook two initiatives that consciously or unconsciously echoed those of george washington. in 1789 washington conducted a four-week tour of new england, a claim 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
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presidential excursions, particularly the first one, produced what one newspaper called an era of good feelings in the country. the term endures as a catchphrase of monroe's administration. in foreign policy monroe revealed a philosophical closeness to washington whose farewell address cautioned his country to avoid becoming entangled in european power struggles through political and military alliances. of all the advice 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 2, 1823, the doctrine that bears his name.
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while the warning to europe against interfering in the affairs of the western hem sphere is the best known passage. monroe's statement later in the document is essentially a restatement of what could be called the washington doctrine. this term actually exists. i have to admit, i did not know this before doing research for this talk. the washington doctrine of unstable alliances, though it derives, ironically, from thomas jefferson's first inaugural in which he articulated a very similar viewpoint, having picked up on the wisdom of that from the washington example. it is noteworthy the washington and monroe regarding permanent foreign alliance were largely followed until 1949 when they 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. in those heavy days washington's
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encouragement aided monroe as he began 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 washington spoke in regards to monroe, as we have seen, were in anger. or, perhaps, they were in frustration tinged with regret. 23 years have passed from the start of their war service together to washington's death. in an erie cemetery 23 years after washington's demise and six years before his own, monroe eloquently described the indelible 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
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for this presentation. i saw him in my earliest youth in the retreat through 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 ee face. a deportment so firm, to dignified, so exalted but so modest and composed, i have never seen in any other person. thank you. we can nights this month, we're featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what's available every weekend on c-span3. tonight hampton sidney college professor matthew hall brook looks at depictions of slavery in hollywood films ranging from birth of a nation and gone with the wind to django and change and free state of jones. he talked about how early films glorified it the lost cause and he argues while recent films show the horrors of slave trade
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and resistance by enslaved people, the idea of the white savior is often still central to the narrative. watch tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern and enjoy american history tv every weekend on c-span3. next on american history tv, historian scott harris talks about james monroe's life. we hear about the fifth president's revolutionary war service, his path to the presidency and the monroe doctrine that carries his name. mr. harris is director of the james monroe museum and memorial library. the mosby heritage association hosted this 45-minute event in leesburg, virginia, which was part of a symposium called james monroe presidential inauguration, a bicentennial commemoration and reflection. >> our first speaker we're honored and privileged to have is scott harris, who is director


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