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   Chapter 124 1825).

Formation of the Union By Albert Bushnell Hart Characters: 2293

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02


[Sidenote: Monroe's election.]

[Sidenote: The cabinet.]

The election of 1816 proved that the Federalists could no longer keep up a national organization. They were successful only in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Delaware. On March 4, 1817, therefore, James Monroe took his seat as the President of a well-united people. Although he had been the friend and candidate of Randolph, he represented substantially the same principles as Jefferson and Madison. His cabinet was the ablest since Washington's; he gathered about him four of the most distinguished public men in the country. His Secretary of State was John Quincy Adams, one of the negotiators of the treaty of Ghent. His Secretary of the Treasury was William H. Crawford of Georgia, who had shown financial ability in Congress and in Madison's cabinet. For Secretary of War he chose John C. Calhoun, who had in the six years of his national public service become renowned as an active and almost a passionate advocate of the use of large national powers. His Attorney-General was William Wirt of Virginia.

[Sidenote: Party strength.]

These young men represented an eager pol

icy, and in their national principles had advanced far beyond the old Federalists; but the people had been somewhat startled by the boldness of the preceding Congress, and many of the members who would have agreed with the President had lost their seats. Throughout the whole administration Jefferson at Monticello, and Madison at Montpelier, remained in dignified retirement; from time to time Monroe asked their advice on great public questions.

[Sidenote: Commercial treaties.]

One of the first tasks of the administration was to restore the commercial relations which had been so disturbed by the Napoleonic wars. Algiers had taken advantage of the War of 1812 to capture American vessels. In 1815 the Dey was compelled on the quarter-deck of Decatur's ship to sign a treaty of peace and amity. All our commercial treaties had disappeared in the war, and had to be painfully renewed. In 1815 a commercial convention was made with Great Britain, and in 1818 the fishery privileges of the United States were reaffirmed. The West India trade was still denied, but a retaliatory act brought Great Britain to terms, and it was opened in 1822.

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