Posts Tagged ‘James Monroe
Term of Office: April 2nd, 1811 – September 30th, 1814 and February 28th, 1815 – March 4th, 1817
Monroe was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1782 and served in the Continental Congress from 1783 to 1786. He ran for a seat on the 1st Congress but was defeated by future President James Madison. As a youthful politician, he joined the anti-Federalists in the Virginia Convention which ratified the Constitution, and in 1790, was elected United States Senator.
After his term in the Senate, Monroe was appointed Minister to France from 1794 to 1796. His appointment there was made difficult as he had strong sympathies for the French Revolution, but dutifully maintained President Washington’s strict policy of neutrality between Britain and France.
Governor of Virginia and Diplomat
Under the first Jefferson administration, Monroe was dispatched to France to assist Robert R. Livingston to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase. Monroe was then appointed Minister to the Court of St. James (Britain) from 1803 to 1807. In 1806 he negotiated a treaty with Britain to replace the Jay Treaty of 1794, but Jefferson rejected it as unsatisfactory, as the treaty contained no ban on the British practice of impressment of American sailors. As a result, the two nations moved closer toward the War of 1812.
Monroe returned to the Virginia House of Delegates and was elected to another term as governor of Virginia in 1811, but he resigned a few months into the term. He then served as Secretary of State from 1811 to 1814. When he was appointed to the post of Secretary of War in 1814, he stayed on as the Secretary of State ad interim. At the war’s end in 1815, he was again commissioned as the permanent Secretary of State, and left his position as Secretary of War. Thus from October 1, 1814, to February 28, 1815, Monroe effectively held both cabinet posts. Monroe stayed on as Secretary of State until the end of the James Madison Presidency, and the following day Monroe began his term as the new President of the United States.
Successor: John Quincy Adams
Just something to think about on this the Eleventh Day, Year One, of The Golden Age of Obama. It’s actually very rare for a President to win a second term, no matter how well things go in that first term. Because of Reagan, Clinton, and George W. Bush, we assume a second term’s a given for presidents because the majority of those in our lifetimes have been two-termers (especially for those of us in our early 30s, who’ve mainly known two-termers). But, historically, that’s not the case.
Here are the men (and, unfortunately all men so far, despite all the talk of change still in the air) who’ve held the office two terms (or more, in one case):
(1) Franklin Delano Roosevelt (served 3 full terms, but elected to 4)
(2) Thomas Jefferson (2 terms)
(3) James Madison (2 terms)
(4) James Monroe (2 terms)
(5) Andrew Jackson (2 terms)
(6) Ulysses S. Grant (2 terms)
(7) Grover Cleveland (2 nonconsecutive terms)
(8) Woodrow Wilson (2 terms)
(9) Dwight Eisenhower (2 terms)
(10) Ronald Reagan (2 terms)
(11) Bill Clinton (2 terms)
(12) George W. Bush (2 terms)
(13) George Washington (2 terms)
(14) Richard Nixon (2 terms)
(15) William McKinley (2 terms)
(16) Abraham Lincoln (2 terms)
Those who wanted second terms but lost their elections:
(a) John Quincy Adams
(b) Martin van Buren
(c) Franklin Pierce
(d) Benjamin Harrison
(e) William Howard Taft
(f) Herbert Hoover
(g) Jimmy Carter
(h) George H.W. Bush
(i) John Adams
So, 16 wanted a Part Deux and got one. 9 wanted re-election but were denied. Almost 2/3 of our presidents were thus one-termers (or less).
And another interesting thing to note is that the last time THREE two-term presidents happened in a row was all the way back in the early 1800s, with Jefferson/Madison/Monroe (the 3rd, 4th, and 5th presidents). That hasn’t been repeated for 200 years now.
Not saying it won’t ever again, because it’s much too early to tell, but just noting it’s not an automatic, considering past as probability if not predictor.
Clinton/Bush/Obama as three two-termers in a row would be anomalous but certainly not impossible.