Cover image for Presidents from Washington through Monroe, 1789-1825 : debating the issues in pro and con primary documents
Presidents from Washington through Monroe, 1789-1825 : debating the issues in pro and con primary documents
Sturgis, Amy H., 1971-
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xix, 198 pages ; 25 cm.
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Electronic Access:
Table of contents
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E176.1 .S927 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This work offers the best of both worlds: broad analysis of the first five presidential administrations and specific excerpts from original documents supporting and opposing the presidents' positions. George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe speak for themselves as they argue for their positions on the key political, social, and economic issues of their time in excerpts from primary sources. Excerpts from opposing positions on each issue give the presidents' critics a voice. An explanatory overview of each issue will help students to understand the argument and the context of the issue and to apply critical thinking skills to their understanding. The section on each president includes entries on 4-5 key issues of his administration, from the president's title at the beginning of Washington's administration to American Indian removal at the close of Monroe's term.

Primary documents include presidential memoirs, speeches, and letters, congressional speeches, Supreme Court decisions, newspaper editorials, and comments from prominent private citizens. An introductory overview of each president's administration provides a useful window through which to assess the specific debates and documents addressed. A timeline provides a chronological backdrop for the subject, and recommended readings following each section offer helpful direction for further study. Though the founding presidents remain revered today for their pioneering accomplishments in the early nation, this work reminds readers that the first executives faced ongoing opposition from members of the legislature, judiciary, and general public. Readers will gain a grounded understanding of the contested issues of the young nation and the way early decisions impacted our political system across time.

Author Notes

AMY H. STURGIS teaches at Belmont University. She is the author of two books in the President's Position: Debating the Issues series.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Part of the projected nine-volume series "The President's Position: Debating the Issues," these volumes reveal how presidential policy decisions have influenced the lives of American citizens. Each featured issue was selected for its political, social, economic, or historical importance to the period and its significance in understanding presidential character. Each volume includes a series introduction, an overview of the individual presidencies covered, an introduction to prevailing issues and selected primary source documents in support of or opposition to the president's position, resolution of the issues, and long-term effects. A time line is included. The series makes clear that emphasis on and engagement with public policy have grown with successive presidencies although certain issues (e.g., taxes) have beleaguered George Washington, Bill Clinton, and every chief executive in between. Issues of global importance have become pervasive in presidential administrations as the US has assumed a world leadership role. Policy decisions are not formulated in a vacuum but in concert among Congress, political figures, and public opinion. This engaging series will be immensely useful for students embarking on historical research or preparing for debates or public policy analysis. K. M. Conley Illinois State University

Table of Contents

Series Forewordp. ix
Prefacep. xiii
Timelinep. xv
Introductionp. 1
1 George Washington 1789-1797p. 11
The President's Titlep. 17
Public Creditp. 23
The National Bankp. 28
Neutralityp. 34
The Whiskey Insurrectionp. 41
Recommended Readingsp. 47
2 John Adams 1797-1801p. 49
International Neutralityp. 54
The Nation's Armyp. 61
Alien and Sedition Actsp. 67
Santo Domingop. 72
Recommended Readingsp. 78
3 Thomas Jefferson 1801-1809p. 81
Defensep. 87
New Orleansp. 92
Louisiana Purchasep. 98
Judicial Reviewp. 103
American Indian Policyp. 107
Embargop. 113
Recommended Readingsp. 119
4 James Madison 1809-1817p. 121
State/National Government Relationsp. 126
Executive Powerp. 132
War of 1812p. 137
The National Bankp. 143
The National Government's Role in Internal Improvementsp. 149
Recommended Readingsp. 154
5 James Monroe 1817-1825p. 155
Pensacola Seizurep. 160
Missouri Compromisep. 166
Internal Improvementsp. 172
Monroe Doctrinep. 177
American Indian Removalp. 182
Recommended Readingsp. 188
Bibliographyp. 189
Indexp. 193