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December 02, 2011
James Monroe, our fifth president and last of the Founding Fathers to serve in The White House, was the author of the Monroe Doctrine, which went into effect on this date in 1823.
It basically told the European powers of England, France Spain, the Holy Alliance and Russia to stop trying to colonize the Americas.
In exchange, the United States said it would not influence or interfere with countries in the Eastern Hemisphere.
One of Monroe's lesser-known accomplishments was his ability to reduce the national debt.
No mean feat since the War of 1812 had plunged the country deep in debt.
He wasted no time in cutting expenses in all of the federal departments.
By the end of his eight years in office, the debt had been substantially reduced.
(Although he was not so skillful with his own finances.)
But it's his forward thinking to secure a lasting peace that garners Munroe the most praise.
In “James Munroe,” Gary Hart, who you may remember, makes the case that Munroe was our first national security president who set in motion a Doctrine, treaties and annexations that would secure America's homeland against foreign attack for nearly 200 years.
I wonder how James Munroe would have handled these times.
Was it right to deny qualified women pilots in World War 2 a chance to fight in combat?