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James Monroe was the 5th American President. He was born on April 28th and passed away on July 4th, 1831. He was the last President of the United States founding fathers and the last President of the Republican Generation and the Virginian dynasty. James Monroe was born in Virginia in Westmoreland county and is famous because he fought during the American Revolutionary war.
He enrolled in law school to study law between 1780 to 1783 under Thomas Jefferson and later became a Continental Congress delegate. In addition, he was an anti-federalist representative to Virginia convection, which considered the United States Constitution ratification. James Monroe was against ratification since it generated a lot of power to the Central government. He actively participated in the modern government, which made him elected to the senate in 1790 under the United States Congress, where he joined Jeffersonians.
Also, he gained sufficient experience as an executive Governor of Virginia. This up-lifted him to national prominence, hence becoming a diplomat in France, and in 1803, he was a negotiator during the Louisiana purchase. During his leadership, he was a source of inspiration to the country.
These are the most inspiring quotes by James Monroe.
James Monroe Quotes
1. “It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt when they degenerate into a populace that they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and a usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin. Let us, then, look to the great cause, and endeavor to preserve it in full force. Let us by all wise and constitutional measures promote intelligence among the people as the best means of preserving our liberties.”- James Monroe.
2. “There is a price tag on human liberty. That price is the willingness to assume the responsibilities of being free men. Payment of this price is a personal matter with each of us.”-James Monroe.
3. “How prone all human institutions have been to decay; how subject the best-formed and most wisely organized governments have been to lose their check and totally dissolve; how difficult it has been for mankind, in all ages and countries, to preserve their dearest rights and best privileges, impelled as it were by an irresistible fate of despotism.”- James Monroe.
4. “The earth was given to mankind to support the greatest number of which it is capable, and no tribe or people have a right to withhold from the wants of others more than is necessary for their own support and comfort.”-James Monroe.
5. “It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising their sovereignty.”-James Monroe.
6. “The citizens of the United States cherish sentiments the friendliest in favor of liberty and happiness…beyond the Atlantic. In the wars of the European powers in matters relating to themselves we have never taken any part, nor does it comport with our policy to do so. It is only when our rights are invaded or seriously menaced that we resent injuries.”-James Monroe.
7. “National honor is national property of the highest value.”-James Monroe.
8. “Preparation for war is a constant stimulus to suspicion and ill will.”- James Monroe.
9. “If we look to the history of other nations, ancient or modern, we find no example of a growth so rapid, so gigantic, of a people so prosperous and happy.”- James Monroe.
10. “The mention of Greece fills the mind with the most exalted sentiments and arouses in our bosoms the best feelings of which our nature is capable.”-James Monroe.
11. “I enter on the trust to which I have been called by the suffrage of my fellow-citizens with my fervent prayers to the Almighty that He will be graciously pleased to continue to us that protect which He has already so conspicuously displayed in our favor.”-James Monroe.
12. “Our relations with the other powers of Europe have experienced no essential change since the last session.”-James Monroe.
13. “Let us by wise and constitutional measures promote intelligence among the people as the best means of preserving our liberties.”-James Monroe.
14. “The crime of ingratitude has not yet stained, and I trust never will stain, our national character. You are considered by them as not only having rendered important service in our own revolution, but as being, on a more extended scale, the friend of human rights, and able advocate of public liberty. To the welfare of Thomas Paine, the Americas are not, nor can they be, indifferent.”- James Monroe.
15. “By the last returns to the Department of War the militia force of the several States may be estimated at 800,000 men – infantry, artillery, and cavalry.”-James Monroe.
16. “Of the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press; of the trial by jury of the vicinage in civil and criminal cases; of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms… If these rights are well defined, and secured against encroachment, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny.”- James Monroe.
17. “How prone all human institutions have been to decay; how subject the best-formed and most wisely organized governments have been to lose their check and totally dissolve; how difficult it has been for mankind, in all ages and countries, to preserve their dearest rights and best privileges, impelled as it were by an irresistible fate of despotism.”- James Monroe.
18. “Republics demanded virtue. Monarchies could rely on coercion and “dazzling splendor” to suppress self-interest or factions; republics relied on the goodness of the people to put aside private interest for public good. The imperatives of virtue attached all sorts of desiderata to the republican citizen: simplicity, frugality, sobriety, simple manners, Christian benevolence, duty to the polity. Republics called on other virtues–spiritedness, courage–to protect the polity from external threats. Tyrants kept standing armies; republics relied on free yeomen, defending their own land.”- James Monroe.
19. “Before any man can be considered as a member of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe. And to the same Divine Author of every good and perfect gift we are indebted for all those privileges and advantages, religious as well as civil, which are so richly enjoyed in this favored land.”-James Monroe.
20. “While we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess, and to observe, the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to them whose minds have not yielded to the evidence which has convinced us.”- James Monroe.
21. “If it was wise, manly, and patriotic for us to establish a free government, it is equally wise to attend to the necessary means of its preservation.”-James Monroe.
22. “The earth was given to mankind to support the greatest number of which it is capable, and no tribe or people have a right to withhold from the wants of others more than is necessary for their own support and comfort.”-James Monroe.
23. “Never did a government commence under auspices so favorable, nor ever was success so complete. If we look to the history of other nations, ancient or modern, we find no example of a growth so rapid, so gigantic, of a people so prosperous and happy.”- James Monroe.
24. “The American continents … are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.”-James Monroe.
25. “In this great nation there is but one order, that of the people, whose power, by a peculiarly happy improvement of the representative principle, is transferred from them, without impairing in the slightest degree their sovereignty, to bodies of their own creation, and to persons elected by themselves, in the full extent necessary for the purposes of free, enlightened, and efficient government.”-James Monroe.
26. “If there be a people on earth whose more especial duty, it is to be at all times prepared to defend the rights with which they are blessed, and to surpass all others in sustaining the necessary burthens, and in submitting to sacrifices to make such preparations, it is undoubtedly the people of these states.”-James Monroe.
27. “I regret that I should leave this world without again beholding him.”-James Monroe.
28. “ The movements of a great nation are connected in all their parts. If errors have been commited they ought to be corrected; if the polucy is sound it ought to be supported.”- James Monroe.
29. “The right of self-defense never ceases. It is among the most sacred, and alike necessary to nations and to individuals, and whether the attack be made by Spain herself or by those who abuse her power, its obligation is not the less strong.”-James Monroe.
30. “Our country may be likened to a new house. We lack many things, but we possess the most precious of all – liberty!”-James Monroe.
31. “From several of the Indian tribes inhabiting the country bordering on Lake Erie purchases have been made of lands on conditions very favorable to the United States, and, as it is presumed, not less so to the tribes themselves.”-James Monroe.
32. “By these purchases the Indian title, with moderate reservations, has been extinguished to the whole of the land within the limits of the State of Ohio and to a part of that in the Michigan Territory and of the State of Indiana.”-James Monroe.
Video: James Monroe 60 Second Presidents PBS
This is a great quick overview of James Monroes’ presidency. Its quick, educational and you will learn a few things!
The compilation of James Monroe quotes dives deep into his character trait. Inherently, he was a natural-born leader, which was evident with his endearing personality of being sensitive and charming.
Still hard to imagine he dropped out of college to fight in the American Revolution. And remember that he the one holding the flag in the famous painting Washington Crossing The Delaware.
See also Andrew Johnson Quotes
Image Credit: John Vanderlyn, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons