American Minute with Bill Federer 'When the people become ignorant and corrupt...they degenerate... Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found.'-Monroe
American Minute with Bill Federer
'When the people become ignorant and corrupt...they
degenerate... Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper
Leading the charge at the Battle of Trenton, a musket ball struck his shoulder, hitting an artery.
He recovered and continued to fight for General Washington, becoming friends with French officer Lafayette.
His name was James Monroe, born APRIL 28, 1758.
Home-schooled as a child by Reverend William Douglas, James Monroe
was fellow-students with John Marshall, who became Chief Justice of the
Monroe graduated from the College of William and Mary, studied law
under Thomas Jefferson, and was a delegate to the Continental Congress.
He served as U.S. Senator, Governor of Virginia, Secretary of War,
and Secretary of State, where he negotiated the Louisiana Purchase
which doubled the size of the United States.
Elected the 5th U.S. President, James Monroe acquired Florida from Spain, 1819;
added Maine, Illinois, Missouri, Alabama and Mississippi to the Union; and
proclaimed the Monroe Doctrine, 1823, which forbade European powers
from interfering with the independent nations of the Western
In his First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1817, President James Monroe warned:
"What raised us to the present happy state?...
The Government has been in the hands of the people. To the people, therefore...is the credit due...
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 an usurper soon found.
The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin..."
James Monroe continued:
"If we persevere...we can not fail, under the favor of a gracious Providence...
My fervent prayers to the Almighty that He will be graciously
pleased to continue to us that protection which He has already so
conspicuously displayed in our favor."
When Muslim Barbary Pirates committed terrorist attacks, President
James Monroe refused appeasement and instead deployed the U.S. Navy, as
he stated, March 5, 1821:
"Our relations with the Barbary Powers are preserved...by the same
means that were employed when I came into this office. As early as 1801
it was found necessary to send a squadron into the Mediterranean for
the protection of our commerce."
In his 5th Annual Message, December 3, 1821, President James Monroe reiterated:
"A squadron has been maintained in the Mediterranean, by means whereof peace has been preserved with the Barbary Powers...
From past experience...it is distinctly understood that should our
squadron be withdrawn they would soon recommence their hostilities and
depredations upon our commerce."
In 1823, President James Monroe, with the U.S. Congress, ordered
Decatur, Alabama, to be founded in honor of Commodore Stephen Decatur,
the renowned U.S. Naval officer who forced the Muslim pirates to
surrender, ending the Barbary Wars.
In his First Annual Message, December 2 1817, President James Monroe stated:
"In grateful acknowledgments to that Omnipotent Being...in unceasing prayer that He will endow us with virtue and strength."
On November 16, 1818, in his 2nd Annual Message, President Monroe stated:
"For these inestimable blessings we can not but be grateful to that Providence which watches over the destiny of nations...
When we view the blessings with which our country has been favored...
Let us then, unite in offering our most grateful acknowledgments for these blessings to the Divine Author of All Good."
On November 14, 1820, in his 4th Annual Message, President James Monroe stated:
"When...we take into view the prosperous and happy condition of our
country...it is impossible to behold...without being penetrated with
the most profound and grateful acknowledgments to the Supreme Author of
All Good for such manifold and inestimable blessings...
especially...our most excellent system of government, the powerful
instrument in the hands of our All-merciful Creator in securing to us
On March 5, 1821, in his 2nd Inaugural Address, President Monroe stated:
"The liberty, prosperity, and happiness of our country will always
be the object of my most fervent prayers to the Supreme Author of All
With a firm reliance on the protection of Almighty God."
On December 3, 1821, in his 5th Annual Message, President Monroe stated:
"Deeply impressed with the blessings which we enjoy...my mind is
irresistibly drawn to that Almighty Being, the great source from whence
they proceed and to whom our most grateful acknowledgments are due."
On December 7, 1824, in his 8th Annual Message, President James Monroe stated:
"For these blessings we owe to Almighty God, from whom we derive
them, and with profound reverence, our most grateful and unceasing
Having commenced my service in early youth, and continued it since
with few and short intervals, I have witnessed the great difficulties
to which our Union has been exposed, and admired the virtue and
intelligence with which they have been surmounted...
That these blessings may be preserved and perpetuated will be the
object of my fervent and unceasing prayers to the Supreme Ruler of the
President James Monroe, who was a member of the Episcopalian Church, admonished:
"The establishment of our institutions forms the most important epoch that history hath recorded...
To preserve and hand them down in their utmost purity to the
remotest ages will require the existence and practice of the virtues
and talents equal to those which were displayed in acquiring them."
James Monroe wrote (James Monroe Papers, New York Public Library, Miscellaneous Papers and Undated Letters):
"Of the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of
speech and of the press; of the trial by jury;...of the benefit of the
writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms...
If these rights are...secured against encroachments, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny."