Section #5 - A new Whig Party favors industrialization over the Democrat’s agrarian economy
Chapter 46: James Monroe’s Second Term
Monroe Wins Re-Election Unopposed
The economic depression that continues to plague the country in 1820 would seem to offer the Federalists an opportunity to revive their political fortunes, but it is beyond saving, for multiple reasons.
Perhaps foremost is the absence of a strong and well known leader in the mold of Washington, Hamilton and John Adams. DeWitt Clinton, who ran well against Madison in 1812, has returned to his roots as a Democratic-Republican, and is serving as Governor of New York. Senator Rufus King, has lost the last two races by large margins, and is now 65 years old. Meanwhile, the most logical Federalist contender, 53 year old John Quincy Adams, has been drummed out of the party for his support of Jefferson’s 1807 Embargo, and is serving as Monroe’s Secretary of State.
In addition to lacking a credible presidential candidate, the Federalists are without a platform that resonates at the national level. Most people regard them as the party of wealthy New Englanders, touting the narrow wishes of the shipping and mercantile industries, out of touch with the rest of the country. Still, others have never forgiven them for their “treasonous threat,” at the 1814 Hartford Convention, to secede from the Union.
The result is that Monroe in 1820, like Washington in 1792, runs essentially unopposed in the election. The voter turn-out is only 107,000, about the same as in 1816. The President wins every state in the Union, and all but one electoral vote. The lone hold-out is an elector from New Hampshire who regards Monroe as a failure, and casts his vote for John Quincy Adams.
Results Of The 1820 Presidential Election
|Candidates||State||Party||Pop Vote||Tot EV||South||Border||North||West|
|John Quincy Adams||Dem-Rep||—||1||1|
|Needed To Win||116|
The Federalists do continue to slate candidates for Congress, but their influence outside of New England remains trivial.
Results Of Congressional Elections
March 5, 1821
Monroe’s Second Inaugural Address
Since March 4, 1821 falls on the Sabbath, Monroe delays his inauguration until Monday the fifth. His speech is lengthy and mixes praise for the nation’s progress since independence along with his priorities for his second term.
He begins with foreign policy, recalling the second war with Britain, and the nation’s need for a strong military to avoid similar costly conflicts in the future.
Relations with Spain seem to be progressing well. For the moment, the United States will remain neutral in regard to Spain’s ongoing wars with its South American colonies. The recent acquisition of Florida was important to America’s future, and signals the opportunity for ongoing friendly relations.
The outlook for commercial relations with Britain and France are also favorable.
On the budgetary front, the message is mixed. Some progress has been made on paying down the public debt, without overburdening taxes – but government revenues have fallen and more bonds have been issued to cover expenditures.
After turning once again to fair treatment of the Indian tribes, and expressing concerns about renewed conflicts in Europe, he zeroes in on his optimism around America’s future.
March 4, 1821 – March 4, 1825
Overview Of Monroe’s Second Term
All cabinet members in place at the end of Monroe’s first term remain in place through the second, except for one turn-over in the Navy post.
James Monroe Cabinet In 1821
|Vice-President||Daniel Tompkins||New York|
|Secretary of State||J Quincy Adams||Massachusetts|
|Secretary of Treasury||William Crawford||Georgia|
|Secretary of War||John C. Calhoun||South Carolina|
|Secretary of the Navy||Smith Thompson||New York|
|Attorney General||William Wirt||Virginia|
The focus of the second term turns out to be foreign policy.
The stage for this is set early in 1821 when Alexander I of Russia asserts a claim to vast acreage in the Pacific northwest, including what becomes the Oregon Territory.
Then comes pressure from King Ferdinand VII of Spain, demanding that the United States refrain from recognizing new governments in his break-away colonies across South America.
Monroe eventually sees both these acts as affronts to America’s growing power in the world, and in need of a firm response. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams promotes this stance, and completes careful diplomacy with Britain and France to head off any thoughts they might have of aligning with either Spain or Russia.
The final word on foreign intrusions comes in Monroe’s annual speech to Congress on December 2, 1823. As a lifelong military man, the President places national security ahead of all other duties, and decides that the time has come to end further attempts by foreigners to impose their wills within the hemisphere.
In years ahead, this “hands-off” policy becomes known as the “Monroe Doctrine,” and it set the stage for America to achieve hegemony over North America.
As the President’s second term plays out, intense jockeying is under way to find his successor in office. Three men in particular – John Quincy Adams, William Crawford and Andrew Jackson – will vie for the office, in an election that will, for the second time, end up decided in the House of Representatives.
James Monroe is 66 years old when he retires to his Highland plantation, which has expanded to some 3,500 acres and is worked by 30-40 slaves. But his final six years will not be happy ones. Like Jefferson and Madison, his personal finances are in a shambles, only he lacks their inherited wealth to fend off ruin. He repeatedly petitions government officials for “reimbursement” of expenses incurred during his public service, but to no avail.
He is forced to sell Highland Plantation in 1825 and move 125 miles north to Oak Hill plantation, inherited from his uncle, Judge Jones. His wife dies in September of 1830, another terrible blow.
After having lived with the partner of your youth, in so many vicissitudes of life, so long together, and afforded each other comforts which no other person on earth could do…to have her snatched from us, is an affliction which none but those who feel it, can justly estimate.
Monroe lives but ten months from his wife’s passing. He is forced to sell Oak Hill, and is taken in, virtually destitute, by his younger daughter in New York city. He dies there of heart failure on July 4, 1831.
Key Events: Monroe’s Second Term
|June 21||Waterford Academy For Young Ladies opens in Waterford, NY|
|Aug 10||Missouri admitted to the Union as 24th state|
|Sept 4||Czar Alexander I of Russia claims all of North America north of 51st parallel|
|Republic of Liberia opened by American Colonization Society|
|Mar 30||East and West Florida joined, with Andrew Jackson as territorial governor|
|May 30||Slave rebellion plot of Denmark Vessey foiled; 35 blacks hanged.|
|June 19||US recognizes Bolivar’s Republic of Gran Columbia|
|July 20||Tennessee state legislature declares support for Andrew Jackson for 1824 presidential race|
|July 24||US protests Russian claims to Oregon territory region|
|Oct 27||270 mile stretch of Erie Canal opened|
|Nov 18||Kentucky state legislature says it will support Henry Clay for the 1824 nomination|
|Dec 12||The US recognizes Mexican independence from Spain under emperor, Augustin de Iturbide|
|Jan 27||The US recognizes Chile and Argentina as independent nations|
|Feb 18||Iturbide confirms land grant from Mexico to Moses and Stephen Austin in Tejas province|
|July 17||JQ Adams informs Russia that it will resist any further foreign colonization in the Americas|
|Aug 20||Britain supports US resistance to Russian claims in the Oregon Territory region|
|Oct 9||France declares it will not support Spanish efforts to regain colonies in South America|
|Dec 2||The “Monroe Doctrine” announced in the President’s annual speech to Congress|
|Feb 14||66 House members nominate Treasury Secretary William Crawford for the 1824 nomination|
|Feb 15||Boston politicians advance the candidacy of JQ Adams for the nomination|
|Feb||Explorer Jed Smith opens “South Pass” (Wyoming) through Rocky Mountains|
|Mar 2||In Gibbons v Ogden, Supreme Court says Fed trumps states on interstate commerce issues|
|Mar 31||Speaker Henry Clay supports protectionist Tariff of 1824 and need for infrastructure upgrades|
|April 17||Russia signs treaty with US renouncing claims south of 54’40”, including the Oregon Territory|
|May 22||Congress supports Clay’s Tariff of 1824 bill|
|May 26||The US recognizes Brazil’s independence|
|Jun 17||The Bureau of Indian Affairs is established|
|Oct 5||The Renssalaer School Of Theoretical And Practical Science opens|
|Dec 1||The 1824 presidential election ends with no candidate getting an electoral college majority|
|—||Benjamin Lundy moves publishing of Genius of Universal Emancipation newspaper to Baltimore|
|Jan 3||The utopian New Harmony community opens in Indiana|
|Feb 9||JQ Adams is elected President when Clay supports him over Jackson in a House vote|