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Meet Amazing Americans U.S. Presidents James Monroe
 
Beginning of James Monroe's first inaugural speech
Beginning of James Monroe's first inaugural speech

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Monroe's Popular Presidency

In James Monroe's first inaugural speech, delivered March 4, 1817, he referred to the "present happy condition of the United States" and "the happy government under which we live." (Although elections were held in November, presidential terms originally began in March. Why? In those days it took longer to count votes because results could only be delivered by horse and messenger.)

Monroe viewed the United States as a self-sufficient, independent country when he said, "We ought not depend . . . on supplies from other countries." His 1817 inauguration was the first to be held outdoors.

What two things happened in 1819 that both tainted the "era of good feelings" but also helped Monroe maintain his popularity and win reelection?


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