John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams was an American statesman, diplomat and diarist who served as the sixth president of the United States from 1825 to 1829. He served as the eighth United States Secretary of State from 1817 to 1825. During his long diplomatic and political career, Adams served as an ambassador, represented Massachusetts as a United States Senator and as a member of the United States House of Representatives, he was the eldest son of John Adams, who served as the second US president from 1797 to 1801. A Federalist like his father, he won election to the presidency as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party, in the mid-1830s became affiliated with the Whig Party. Born in Braintree, Adams spent much of his youth in Europe, where his father served as a diplomat. After returning to the United States, Adams established a successful legal practice in Boston. In 1794, President George Washington appointed Adams as the U. S. ambassador to the Netherlands, Adams would serve in high-ranking diplomatic posts until 1801, when Thomas Jefferson took office as president.
Federalist leaders in Massachusetts arranged for Adams's election to the United States Senate in 1802, but Adams broke with the Federalist Party over foreign policy and was denied re-election. In 1809, Adams was appointed as the U. S. ambassador to Russia by a member of the Democratic-Republican Party. Adams held diplomatic posts for the duration of Madison's presidency, he served as part of the American delegation that negotiated an end to the War of 1812. In 1817, newly-elected President James Monroe selected Adams as his Secretary of State. In that role, Adams negotiated the Adams–Onís Treaty, which provided for the American acquisition of Florida, he helped formulate the Monroe Doctrine, which became a key tenet of U. S. foreign policy. The 1824 presidential election was contested by Adams, Andrew Jackson, William H. Crawford, Henry Clay, all of whom were members of the Democratic-Republican Party; as no candidate won a majority of the electoral vote, the House of Representatives held a contingent election to determine the president, Adams won that contingent election with the support of Clay.
As president, Adams called for an ambitious agenda that included federally-funded infrastructure projects, the establishment of a national university, engagement with the countries of Latin America, but many of his initiatives were defeated in Congress. During Adams's presidency, the Democratic-Republican Party polarized into two major camps: one group, known as the National Republican Party, supported President Adams, while the other group, known as the Democratic Party, was led by Andrew Jackson; the Democrats proved to be more effective political organizers than Adams and his National Republican supporters, Jackson decisively defeated Adams in the 1828 presidential election. Rather than retiring from public service, Adams won election to the House of Representatives, where he would serve from 1831 to his death in 1848, he joined the Anti-Masonic Party in the early 1830s before becoming a member of the Whig Party, which united those opposed to President Jackson. During his time in Congress, Adams became critical of slavery and of the Southern leaders whom he believed controlled the Democratic Party.
He was opposed to the annexation of Texas and the Mexican–American War, which he saw as a war to extend slavery. He led the repeal of the "gag rule," which had prevented the House of Representatives from debating petitions to abolish slavery. Historians concur that Adams was one of the greatest diplomats and secretaries of state in American history, but they tend to rank him as an average president. John Quincy Adams was born on July 11, 1767, to John and Abigail Adams in a part of Braintree, Massachusetts, now Quincy, he was named for his mother's maternal grandfather, Colonel John Quincy, after whom Quincy, Massachusetts, is named. Young Adams was educated by private tutors – his cousin James Thaxter and his father's law clerk, Nathan Rice, he soon began to exhibit his literary skills, in 1779 he initiated a diary which he kept until just before he died in 1848. Until the age of ten, Adams grew up on the family farm in Braintree in the care of his mother. Though absent due to his participation in the American Revolution, John Adams maintained a correspondence with his son, encouraging him to read works by authors like Thucydides and Hugo Grotius.
With his father's encouragement, Adams would translate classical authors like Virgil, Horace and Aristotle. In 1778, Adams and his father departed for Europe, where John Adams would serve as part of American diplomatic missions in France and the Netherlands. During this period, Adams studied French and Latin, attended several schools, including Leiden University. In 1781, Adams traveled to Saint Petersburg, where he served as the secretary of American diplomat Francis Dana, he returned to the Netherlands in 1783, accompanied his father to Great Britain in 1784. Though Adams enjoyed Europe, he and his family decided he needed to return to the United States to complete his education and launch a political career. Adams returned to the United States in 1785 and earned admission as a member of the junior class of Harvard College the following year, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and excelled academically, graduating second in his class in 1787. After graduating from Harvard, he studied law with Theophilus Parsons in Newburyport, Massachusetts from 1787 to 1789.
Adams opposed the ratification of the United States Constitution, but he came to accept the document, in 1789 his father was elected
Abigail Adams was the wife and closest advisor of John Adams, as well as the mother of John Quincy Adams. She is sometimes considered to have been a Founder of the United States, is now designated as the first Second Lady and second First Lady of the United States, although these titles were not used at the time. Adams's life is one of the most documented of the First Ladies: she is remembered for the many letters she wrote to her husband while he stayed in Philadelphia, during the Continental Congresses. John sought the advice of Abigail on many matters, their letters are filled with intellectual discussions on government and politics, her letters serve as eyewitness accounts of the American Revolutionary War home front. Abigail Adams was born at the North Parish Congregational Church in Weymouth, Massachusetts, to William Smith and Elizabeth Smith. On her mother's side, she was descended from the Quincy family, a well-known political family in the Massachusetts colony. Through her mother she was a cousin of wife of John Hancock.
Adams was the great-granddaughter of John Norton, founding pastor of Old Ship Church in Hingham, the only remaining 17th-century Puritan meetinghouse in Massachusetts. Smith married Elizabeth Quincy in 1742, together they had four children, including three daughters: one born in 1743, Abigail born in 1744 and another born in 1745, their only son, born in 1746, died of alcoholism in 1787. As with several of her ancestors, Adams's father was a liberal Congregational minister: a leader in a Yankee society that held its clergy in high esteem. Smith did not focus his preaching on original sin. In July 1775 his wife Elizabeth, with whom he had been married for 33 years, died of smallpox. In 1784, at age 77, Smith died. Abigail did not receive formal schooling. In life, Adams would consider that she was deprived an education because females were given such an opportunity. Although she did not receive a formal education, her mother taught her and her sisters Mary and Elizabeth to read and cipher, her grandmother, Elizabeth Quincy contributed to Adams' education.
As she grew up, Adams read with friends in an effort to further her learning. As an intellectually open-minded woman for her day, Adams' ideas on women's rights and government would play a major role, albeit indirectly, in the founding of the United States, she became one of the most erudite women to serve as First Lady. Abigail Smith first met John Adams when she was 15 years old in 1759. John accompanied his friend Richard Cranch to the Smith household. Cranch was engaged to Adams' older sister and they would be the parents of federal judge William Cranch. Adams reported finding the Smith sisters neither "fond, nor frank, nor candid."Although Adams' father approved of the match, her mother was appalled that her daughter would marry a country lawyer whose manner still reeked of the farm, but she gave in. The couple married on October 1764, in the Smiths' home in Weymouth. Smith, Abigail's father, presided over the marriage of his daughter. After the reception, the couple mounted a single horse and rode off to their new home, the small cottage and farm John had inherited from his father in Braintree, Massachusetts.
They moved to Boston, where his law practice expanded. The couple welcomed their first child nine months into their marriage. In 12 years, she gave birth to six children: Abigail John Quincy Adams Grace Susanna Charles Thomas Boylston Adams Elizabeth Her childrearing style included relentless and continual reminders of what the children owed to virtue and the Adams tradition. Adams was responsible for farm when her husband was on his long trips. "Alas!", she wrote in December 1773, "How many snow banks divide thee and me." Abigail and John's marriage is well documented through other writings. Letters exchanged throughout John's political obligations indicate his trust in Abigail's knowledge was sincere. Like her husband, Abigail quoted literature in her letters. Historian David McCullough claims, their correspondence illuminated their intellectual respect. John excused himself to Abigail for his "vanity", exposing his need for her approval, he moved the family to Boston in April 1768, renting a clapboard house on Brattle Street, known locally as the "White House."
He and Abigail and the children lived there for a year moved to Cold Lane. John's growing law practice required changes for the family. In 1771, he moved Abigail and the children to Braintree, but he kept his office in Boston, hoping the time away from his family would allow him to focus on his work. After some time in the capital, he became disenchanted with the rural and "vulgar" Braintree as a home for his family. In August 1772, Adams moved his family back to Boston, he purchased a large brick house on Queen Street, not far from his office. In 1774, Abigail and John returned the family to the farm due to the unstable situation in Boston, Braintree remained the
President of the United States
The president of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. In contemporary times, the president is looked upon as one of the world's most powerful political figures as the leader of the only remaining global superpower; the role includes responsibility for the world's most expensive military, which has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP; the president possesses international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, it vests the executive power of the United States in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic and judicial officers, concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. The president directs the foreign and domestic policies of the United States, takes an active role in promoting his policy priorities to members of Congress. In addition, as part of the system of checks and balances, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation; the power of the presidency has grown since its formation, as has the power of the federal government as a whole. Through the Electoral College, registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term; this is the only federal election in the United States, not decided by popular vote. Nine vice presidents became president by virtue of a president's intra-term resignation. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 sets three qualifications for holding the presidency: natural-born U. S. citizenship.
The Twenty-second Amendment precludes any person from being elected president to a third term. In all, 44 individuals have served 45 presidencies spanning 57 full four-year terms. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, so he is counted twice, as both the 22nd and 24th president. Donald Trump of New York is the current president of the United States, he assumed office on January 20, 2017. In July 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, the Thirteen Colonies, acting jointly through the Second Continental Congress, declared themselves to be 13 independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. Recognizing the necessity of coordinating their efforts against the British, the Continental Congress began the process of drafting a constitution that would bind the states together. There were long debates on a number of issues, including representation and voting, the exact powers to be given the central government. Congress finished work on the Articles of Confederation to establish a perpetual union between the states in November 1777 and sent it to the states for ratification.
Under the Articles, which took effect on March 1, 1781, the Congress of the Confederation was a central political authority without any legislative power. It could make its own resolutions and regulations, but not any laws, could not impose any taxes or enforce local commercial regulations upon its citizens; this institutional design reflected how Americans believed the deposed British system of Crown and Parliament ought to have functioned with respect to the royal dominion: a superintending body for matters that concerned the entire empire. The states were out from under any monarchy and assigned some royal prerogatives to Congress; the members of Congress elected a President of the United States in Congress Assembled to preside over its deliberation as a neutral discussion moderator. Unrelated to and quite dissimilar from the office of President of the United States, it was a ceremonial position without much influence. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris secured independence for each of the former colonies.
With peace at hand, the states each turned toward their own internal affairs. By 1786, Americans found their continental borders besieged and weak and their respective economies in crises as neighboring states agitated trade rivalries with one another, they witnessed their hard currency pouring into foreign markets to pay for imports, their Mediterranean commerce preyed upon by North African pirates, their foreign-financed Revolutionary War debts unpaid and accruing interest. Civil and political unrest loomed. Following the successful resolution of commercial and fishing disputes between Virginia and Maryland at the Mount Vernon Conference in 1785, Virginia called for a trade conference between all the states, set for September 1786 in Annapolis, with an aim toward resolving further-reaching interstate commercial antagonisms; when the convention failed for lack of attendance due to suspicions among most of the other states, Alexander Hamilton led the Annapolis delegates in a call for a convention to offer revisions to the Articles, to be held the next spring in Philadelphia.
Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until James Madison and Edmund Randolph succeeded in securing George Washington's attendance to Philadelphia as a delegate for Virginia. When the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1787, the 12 state delegations in attendance (Rh
John Calvin Coolidge Jr. was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 30th president of the United States from 1923 to 1929. A Republican lawyer from New England, born in Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics becoming governor, his response to the Boston Police Strike of 1919 thrust him into the national spotlight and gave him a reputation as a man of decisive action. The next year, he was elected vice president of the United States, he succeeded to the presidency upon the sudden death of Warren G. Harding in 1923. Elected in his own right in 1924, he gained a reputation as a small government conservative and as a man who said little and had a rather dry sense of humor. Coolidge restored public confidence in the White House after the scandals of his predecessor's administration, left office with considerable popularity; as a Coolidge biographer wrote: "He embodied the spirit and hopes of the middle class, could interpret their longings and express their opinions.
That he did represent the genius of the average is the most convincing proof of his strength". Scholars have ranked Coolidge in the lower half of those presidents, he is praised by advocates of smaller government and laissez-faire economics, while supporters of an active central government view him less favorably, though most praise his stalwart support of racial equality. John Calvin Coolidge Jr. was born in Plymouth Notch, Windsor County, Vermont, on July 4, 1872, the only US president to be born on Independence Day. He was the elder of the two children of John Calvin Coolidge Sr. and Victoria Josephine Moor. Coolidge Junior was called by his middle name, Calvin. Coolidge Senior engaged in many occupations and developed a statewide reputation as a prosperous farmer and public servant, he held various local offices, including justice of the peace and tax collector and served in the Vermont House of Representatives as well as the Vermont Senate. Coolidge's mother was the daughter of a Plymouth Notch farmer.
She was chronically ill and died from tuberculosis, when Coolidge was twelve years old. His younger sister, Abigail Grace Coolidge, died at the age of 15 of appendicitis, when Coolidge was 18. Coolidge's father married a Plymouth schoolteacher in 1891, lived to the age of 80. Coolidge's family had deep roots in New England. Another ancestor, Edmund Rice, arrived at Watertown in 1638. Coolidge's great-great-grandfather named John Coolidge, was an American military officer in the Revolutionary War and one of the first selectmen of the town of Plymouth, his grandfather Calvin Galusha Coolidge served in the Vermont House of Representatives. Coolidge was a descendant of Samuel Appleton, who settled in Ipswich and led the Massachusetts Bay Colony during King Philip's War. Coolidge attended Black River Academy and St. Johnsbury Academy, before enrolling at Amherst College, where he distinguished himself in the debating class; as a senior, he graduated cum laude. While at Amherst, Coolidge was profoundly influenced by philosophy professor Charles Edward Garman, a Congregational mystic, with a neo-Hegelian philosophy.
Coolidge explained Garman's ethics forty years later: here is a standard of righteousness that might does not make right, that the end does not justify the means, that expediency as a working principle is bound to fail. The only hope of perfecting human relationships is in accordance with the law of service under which men are not so solicitous about what they shall get as they are about what they shall give, yet people are entitled to the rewards of their industry. What they earn is theirs, no matter how small or how great, but the possession of property carries the obligation to use it in a larger service... At his father's urging after graduation, Coolidge moved to Northampton, Massachusetts to become a lawyer. To avoid the cost of law school, Coolidge followed the common practice of apprenticing with a local law firm, Hammond & Field, reading law with them. John C. Hammond and Henry P. Field, both Amherst graduates, introduced Coolidge to law practice in the county seat of Hampshire County.
In 1897, Coolidge was admitted to the Massachusetts bar. With his savings and a small inheritance from his grandfather, Coolidge opened his own law office in Northampton in 1898, he practiced commercial law. As his reputation as a hard-working and diligent attorney grew, local banks and other businesses began to retain his services. In 1903, Coolidge met Grace Anna Goodhue, a University of Vermont graduate and teacher at Northampton's Clarke School for the Deaf, they married on October 4, 1905 at 2:30 p.m. in a small ceremony which took place in the parlor of Grace's family's house, following a vain effort at postponement by Grace's mother. The newlyweds went on a honeymoon trip to Montreal planned for two weeks but cut short by a week at Coolidge's request. After 25 years he wrote of Grace, "for a quarter of a century she has borne with my infirmities and I have rejoiced in her graces"; the Coolidges had two sons: John and Calvin Jr.. Calvin Jr. died at age 16 from blood poisoning. On June 30, 1924 Calvin Jr had played tennis with his brother on the White House tennis courts without putting on socks and developed a blister on one of his toes.
The blister subsequently
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was an American army general and statesman who served as the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. During World War II, he was a five-star general in the United States Army and served as supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe, he was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45 from the Western Front. Born David Dwight Eisenhower in Denison, Texas, he was raised in Kansas in a large family of Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry, his family had a strong religious background. His mother was born a Lutheran, married as a River Brethren, became a Jehovah's Witness. So, Eisenhower did not belong to any organized church until 1952, he cited constant relocation during his military career as one reason. He graduated from West Point in 1915 and married Mamie Doud, with whom he had two sons. During World War I, he was denied a request to serve in Europe and instead commanded a unit that trained tank crews.
Following the war, he served under various generals and was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in 1941. After the U. S. entered World War II, Eisenhower oversaw the invasions of North Africa and Sicily before supervising the invasions of France and Germany. After the war, Eisenhower served as Army Chief of Staff and took on the role as president of Columbia University. In 1951–52, he served as the first Supreme Commander of NATO. In 1952, Eisenhower entered the presidential race as a Republican to block the isolationist foreign policies of Senator Robert A. Taft, who opposed NATO and wanted no foreign entanglements, he won that election and the 1956 election in landslides, both times defeating Adlai Stevenson II. He became the first Republican to win since Herbert Hoover in 1928. Eisenhower's main goals in office were to contain the expansion of the Soviet Union and reduce federal deficits. In 1953, he threatened the use of nuclear weapons until China agreed to peace terms in the Korean War.
China did agree and an armistice resulted that remains in effect. His New Look policy of nuclear deterrence prioritized inexpensive nuclear weapons while reducing funding for expensive Army divisions, he continued Harry S. Truman's policy of recognizing the Republic of China as the legitimate government of China, he won congressional approval of the Formosa Resolution, his administration provided major aid to help the French fight off Vietnamese Communists in the First Indochina War. After the French left he gave strong financial support to the new state of South Vietnam, he supported local military coups against democratically-elected governments in Guatemala. During the Suez Crisis of 1956, Eisenhower condemned the Israeli and French invasion of Egypt, he forced them to withdraw, he condemned the Soviet invasion during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 but took no action. During the Syrian Crisis of 1957 he approved a CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents as an excuse for an invasion by Syria's pro-Western neighbours.
After the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957, Eisenhower authorized the establishment of NASA, which led to the Space Race. He deployed 15,000 soldiers during the 1958 Lebanon crisis. Near the end of his term, his efforts to set up a summit meeting with the Soviets collapsed when a U. S. spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union. He approved the Bay of Pigs invasion, left to his successor, John F. Kennedy, to carry out. On the domestic front, Eisenhower was a moderate conservative who continued New Deal agencies and expanded Social Security, he covertly opposed Joseph McCarthy and contributed to the end of McCarthyism by invoking executive privilege. Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and sent Army troops to enforce federal court orders that integrated schools in Little Rock, Arkansas, his largest program was the Interstate Highway System. He promoted the establishment of strong science education via the National Defense Education Act. Eisenhower's two terms saw widespread economic prosperity except for a minor recession in 1958.
In his farewell address to the nation, Eisenhower expressed his concerns about the dangers of massive military spending deficit spending and government contracts to private military manufacturers. Historical evaluations of his presidency place him among the upper tier of U. S. presidents. The Eisenhauer family migrated from Karlsbrunn in Nassau-Saarbrücken, to North America, first settling in York, Pennsylvania, in 1741, in the 1880s moving to Kansas. Accounts vary as to when the German name Eisenhauer was anglicized to Eisenhower. Eisenhower's Pennsylvania Dutch ancestors, who were farmers, included Hans Nikolaus Eisenhauer of Karlsbrunn, who migrated to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1741. Hans's great-great-grandson, David Jacob Eisenhower, was Eisenhower's father and was a college-educated engineer, despite his own father Jacob's urging to stay on the family farm. Eisenhower's mother, Ida Elizabeth Eisenhower, born in Virginia, of German Protestant ancestry, moved to Kansas from Virginia, she married David on September 23, 1885, in Lecompton, Kansas, on the campus of their alma mater, Lane University.
David owned a general store in Hope, but the business failed due to economic conditions and the family became impoverished. The Eisenhowers lived in Texas from 1889 until 1892, returned to Kansas, with $24 to their name at the time. David worked as a railroad mechanic and at a creamery. By 1898, the parents provided a suitable home for their large family; the future pr
James Monroe was an American statesman, lawyer and Founding Father who served as the fifth president of the United States from 1817 to 1825. A member of the Democratic-Republican Party, Monroe was the last president of the Virginia dynasty, his presidency coincided with the Era of Good Feelings, he is best known for issuing the Monroe Doctrine, a policy of opposing European colonialism in the Americas. He served as the governor of Virginia, a member of the United States Senate, the U. S. ambassador to France and Britain, the seventh Secretary of State, the eighth Secretary of War. Born into a planter family in Westmoreland County, Monroe served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. After studying law under Thomas Jefferson from 1780 to 1783, he served as a delegate in the Continental Congress; as a delegate to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, Monroe opposed the ratification of the United States Constitution. In 1790, he won election to the Senate, he left the Senate in 1794 to serve as President George Washington's ambassador to France, but was recalled by Washington in 1796.
Monroe won election as Governor of Virginia in 1799 and supported Jefferson's candidacy in the 1800 presidential election. As President Jefferson's special envoy, Monroe helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase, through which the United States nearly doubled in size. Monroe fell out with his long-time friend, James Madison, after the latter rejected the Monroe–Pinkney Treaty that Monroe negotiated with Britain, he unsuccessfully challenged Madison in the 1808 presidential election, but in April 1811 he joined Madison's administration as Secretary of State. During the stages of the War of 1812, Monroe served as Madison's Secretary of State and Secretary of War, his war-time leadership established him as Madison's heir apparent, he defeated Federalist Party candidate Rufus King in the 1816 presidential election. Monroe's presidency was coterminous with the Era of Good Feelings, as the Federalist Party collapsed as a national political force; as president, Monroe signed the Missouri Compromise, which admitted Missouri as a slave state and banned slavery from territories north of the parallel 36°30′ north.
In foreign affairs and Secretary of State John Quincy Adams favored a policy of conciliation with Britain and a policy of expansionism against the Spanish Empire. In the 1819 Adams–Onís Treaty with Spain, the United States secured Florida and established its western border with New Spain. In 1823, Monroe announced the United States' opposition to any European intervention in the independent countries of the Americas with the Monroe Doctrine, which became a landmark in American foreign policy. Monroe was a member of the American Colonization Society, which supported the colonization of Africa by freed slaves, Liberia's capital of Monrovia is named in his honor. Following his retirement in 1825, Monroe was plagued by financial difficulties, he died in New York City on July 4, 1831. He has been ranked as an above-average president. James Monroe was born on April 28, 1758, in his parents' house located in a wooded area of Westmoreland County, Virginia; the marked site is one mile from the unincorporated community known today as Virginia.
The James Monroe Family Home Site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. His father Spence Monroe was a moderately prosperous planter who practiced carpentry, his mother Elizabeth Jones married Spence Monroe in 1752 and they had five children: Elizabeth, Spence and Joseph Jones. His paternal 2nd great grandfather Patrick Andrew Monroe emigrated to America from Scotland in the mid-17th century, was part of an ancient Scottish clan known as Clan Munro. In 1650 he patented a large tract of land in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Monroe's mother was the daughter of a wealthy immigrant by the name of James Jones, who immigrated from Wales and had settled in nearby King George County, Virginia. Jones was an architect. Among James Monroe's ancestors were French Huguenot immigrants, who came to Virginia in 1700. At age eleven, Monroe was enrolled in the lone school in the county. Monroe attended this school for only eleven weeks a year. During this time, Monroe formed a lifelong friendship with John Marshall.
Monroe's mother died in 1772, his father died two years later. Though he inherited property from both of his parents, the sixteen-year-old Monroe was forced to withdraw from school to support his younger brothers, his childless maternal uncle, Joseph Jones, became a surrogate father to his siblings. A member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, Jones took Monroe to the capital of Williamsburg and enrolled him in the College of William and Mary. Jones introduced Monroe to important Virginians such as Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, George Washington. In 1774, opposition to the British government grew in the Thirteen Colonies in reaction to the "Intolerable Acts," and Virginia sent a delegation to the First Continental Congress. Monroe became involved in the opposition to Lord Dunmore, the colonial governor of Virginia, he took part in the storming of the Governor's Palace. In early 1776, about a year and a half after his enrollment, Monroe dropped out of college and joined the 3rd Virginia Regiment in the Continental Army.
As the fledgling army valued literacy in its officers, Monroe was commissioned with the rank of lieutenant, serving under Captain William Washington. After months of training and seven hundred Virginia infantrymen were called north to
James K. Polk
James Knox Polk was the 11th president of the United States from 1845 to 1849. He was speaker of the House of Representatives and governor of Tennessee. A protégé of Andrew Jackson, he was a member of the Democratic Party and an advocate of Jacksonian democracy. Polk is chiefly known for extending the territory of the United States during the Mexican–American War. After building a successful law practice in Tennessee, Polk was elected to the state legislature and to the United States House of Representatives in 1825, becoming a strong supporter of Andrew Jackson. After serving as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, he became Speaker in 1835, the only president to have been Speaker. Polk left Congress to run for governor, he was a dark horse candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 1844. In the general election, Polk defeated Henry Clay of the rival Whig Party. Polk is considered by many the most effective president of the pre–Civil War era, having met during his four-year term every major domestic and foreign policy goal he had set.
After a negotiation fraught with risk of war, he reached a settlement with the United Kingdom over the disputed Oregon Country, the territory for the most part being divided along the 49th parallel. Polk achieved a sweeping victory in the Mexican–American War, which resulted in the cession by Mexico of nearly all the American Southwest, he secured a substantial reduction of tariff rates with the Walker tariff of 1846. The same year, he achieved his other major goal, re-establishment of the Independent Treasury system. True to his campaign pledge to serve only one term, Polk left office in 1849 and returned to Tennessee. Scholars have ranked Polk favorably for his ability to promote and achieve the major items on his presidential agenda, but he has been criticized for leading the country into war against Mexico and for exacerbating sectional divides. A slaveholder for most of his adult life, he owned a plantation in Mississippi and bought slaves while President. A major legacy of Polk's presidency is territorial expansion, as the United States reached the Pacific coast and became poised to be a world power.
James Knox Polk was born on November 1795 in a log cabin in Pineville, North Carolina. He was the first of 10 children born into a family of farmers, his mother Jane named him after James Knox. His father Samuel Polk was a farmer and surveyor of Scots-Irish descent; the Polks had immigrated to America in the late 1600s, settling on the Eastern Shore of Maryland but moving to south-central Pennsylvania and to the Carolina hill country. The Knox and Polk families were Presbyterian. While Polk's mother remained a devout Presbyterian, his father, whose own father Ezekiel Polk was a deist, rejected dogmatic Presbyterianism, he refused to declare his belief in Christianity at his son's baptism, the minister refused to baptize young James. James' mother "stamped her rigid orthodoxy on James, instilling lifelong Calvinistic traits of self-discipline, hard work, individualism, a belief in the imperfection of human nature," according to James A. Rawley's American National Biography article. In 1803, Ezekiel Polk led four of his adult children and their families to the Duck River area in what is now Maury County, Tennessee.
The Polk clan dominated politics in the new town of Columbia. Samuel became a county judge, the guests at his home included Andrew Jackson, who had served as a judge and in Congress. James learned from the political talk around the dinner table. Polk suffered from frail health as a particular disadvantage in a frontier society, his father took him to see prominent Philadelphia physician Dr. Philip Syng Physick for urinary stones; the journey was broken off by James's severe pain, Dr. Ephraim McDowell of Danville, operated to remove them. No anesthetic was available except brandy; the operation was successful, but it might have left James impotent or sterile, as he had no children. He recovered and became more robust, his father offered to bring him into one of his businesses, but he wanted an education and enrolled at a Presbyterian academy in 1813. He became a member of the Zion Church near his home in 1813, enrolled in the Zion Church Academy, he entered Bradley Academy in Murfreesboro, where he proved a promising student.
In January 1816, Polk was admitted into the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a second-semester sophomore. The Polk family had connections with the university a small school of about 80 students. Polk's roommate was William Dunn Moseley. Polk joined the Dialectic Society where he took part in debates, became its president, learned the art of oratory. In one address, he warned that some American leaders were flirting with monarchical ideals, singling out Alexander Hamilton, a foe of Jefferson. Polk graduated with honors in