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Monroe. “ It’s a good thing!”. Biography of James Monroe. In 1817, became the fifth president of the U.S. This heralded the beginning of what became known as the “Era of Good Feelings” and a temporary end to the two-party system with the death of the Federalist Party.

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“It’s a good thing!”

biography of james monroe
Biography of James Monroe

In 1817, became the fifth president of the U.S. This heralded the beginning of what became known as the “Era of Good Feelings” and a temporary end to the two-party system with the death of the Federalist Party.

Monroe was the last of the Revolutionary generation to hold the presidency.

Noteworthy achievements as president were in foreign affairs.

On December 2, 1823 he declared that European interference on the American continent would be regarded as an unfriendly act and that the Americas were closed to further colonization. Later known as the Monroe Doctrine, his declaration received little notice at the time but became key in future American foreign policy.

Secured Florida for the U.S. with the Adams-Onis Treaty with Spain

Attempted to solve conflict over free and slave states with the Missouri Compromise.

His second term as president ended in 1825 and in 1827 he retired to his estate. After his wife’s death in 1830, Monroe moved to New York City, where he died on July 4, 1831.

the era of good feelings
The Era of Good Feelings

Election of 1816-Panic of 1819

Federalists are dying out, Republicans are dominating North, South, and West. There is little to no opposition

Increase in nationalism, American identity, optimism, and goodwill.

Still many debates over tariffs, national bank, internal improvements

Sectionalist tensions over slavery grow

Cultural nationalism-paintings, books, school primers/spellers etc.

economic nationalism
Economic Nationalism


Tariff of 1816, a “protective tariff” (intended to protect Amer. Businesses)

Tariffs are a tax on imports

Specifically, tax on imports to keep Great Britain goods out of Amer. market.

American System:

Henry Clay’s financial plan for America

Protective tariffs

National bank

Internal improvements

(this part was vetoed, infrastructure should be a state task)

The 2nd Bank of US:

The first bank had expired in 1811

Provide a national currency and keep the system running

the first depression
The First Depression

In 1819, the impressive post-War of 1812 economic expansion ended. Banks throughout the country failed; mortgages were foreclosed, forcing people out of their homes and off their farms. Falling prices impaired agriculture and manufacturing, triggering widespread unemployment. All regions of the country were impacted and prosperity did not return until 1824.

panic of 1819
Panic of 1819

2nd Bank tightened credit to help

inflation…it was late!

State banks closed


Increase in unemployment


Imprisonment for debt

Depression was most severe in the west

decline of the federalists
Decline of the Federalists

Failed to adapt to the changing needs of a growing nation

War of 1812 sectionalist Hartford Convention

They were totally out of sync with nationalistic mood


1816 defeated

1820 no candidate

movin west
Movin’ West


Acquisition of Native American land

Economic pressure

Improved transportation


In other words…

1. We took their land

2.We want opportunity

3. We have better ways to get there

4.More people

foreign affairs nationalism advance american interest and maintain peace
Foreign AffairsNationalism: Advance American Interest and maintain peace

What else is Spain dealing with at this time that might act as motivator to make a little money off of Florida?


1817 Disarmament Pact

US Canada border becomes the larges unfortified border in the world

Treaty of 1818:

Shared fishing rights

Joint Occupation of Oregon Territory for 10 years

Settled northern border, 49th // becomes the western U.S. Canada border line


  • 1817 Jackson’s military campaign to stop raiders led him to cross the border into Spanish Florida territory
  • Led a militia to destroy Seminole villages, hanged two Seminole chiefs, captured Pensacola, drove out the Spanish governor and even hanged 2 British traders accused of aiding Seminoles
  • Spain feared we would take Florida by force
  • Adams-OnisTreaty with Spain
    • U.S. agrees to assume $5 M. in claims against Spain and give up any U.S. territorial claims to the Spanish province of Texas
    • Spain gives up all of Florida to the U.S.
    • Spain gives up its claims in Oregon Terr.
marshall court
Marshall Court

Strict V. Loose Construction of the Constitution?

john marshall chief justice of the supreme court
John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

A federalist official that continued to have major influence throughout years of Republican ascendance

Appointed to the Sup. C. in 1800 by Fed. John Adams continued to lead the Court as its chief justice.

His decisions in many landmark cases consistently favored the central government and the rights of property against the advocates of states’ rights.

Even Republican justices in the majority sided with Marshall because they too were persuaded that the U.S. Constitution had created a Union of states, whose government had strong and flexible powers.

marshall court mcculloch v maryland 1819
Marshall CourtMcCulloch v. Maryland (1819)


    • 1st National Bank expired in 1811
    • 2nd National Bank-1816


  • 1.     Does Congress have the power under the Constitution to incorporate a bank, even though that power is not specifically delegated within the Constitution?
  • 2.     Does the State of Maryland have the power to tax an institution created by Congress?

Ruling (Written by John Marshall)

1. Yes.

Congress has power under the Constitution to incorporate a bank pursuant to the Necessary and Proper clause (“Elastic Clause”).

2. No.

The State of Maryland does not have the power to tax an institution created by Congress pursuant to its powers under the Constitution.  The “Supremacy Clause” of the Constitution means that federal laws will win out over state laws when dealing with legitimate federal powers.

marshall court gibbons v odgen
Marshall CourtGibbons v Odgen


New York State granted Ogden an exclusive license to operate a steamship line on the Hudson River. Gibbons, who had received a license from the federal government, also operated a steamship line in the Hudson River. Ogden sued Gibbons claiming that his NY charter gave him a monopoly over steamship sailing on the Hudson.


Does a state have the power to make laws governing bodies of water that serve as state boundaries?


No. Only the federal government has the power to regulate interstate commerce. Since the Hudson River is the border between New York and New Jersey, trade on the river is interstate commerce.

marshall court dartmouth college v woodward
Marshall CourtDartmouth College v Woodward:

Dartmouth College was a private institution that was originally founded with a royal charter from the King of England. The state of New Hampshire wanted to revoke that charter and convert the college into a public university.


Is a corporate charter considered a legal contract between two individuals in the eyes of the law?


Yes. Even though the charter was issued during the colonial period, it constituted a legal contract. Corporate entities are individuals in the eyes of the law.

marshall court fletcher v peck
Marshall CourtFletcher v Peck


The Georgia state legislature sold large amounts of land to speculators including John Peck who, in turn, subdivided the land and sold the smaller plots to settlers (one of which was Robert Fletcher). When it came to light that the speculators had bribed several members of the legislature in order to get the grant, the state legislature tried to undo the original land grant.


Can the Georgia Legislature void the original land sale (i.e. a legal contract)?


No. Contracts are sacred. No government, state or national, can undo a legal contract once it has been established. This helps provide the legal foundation for capitalist exchanges.