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Presidential Success in the Period 1800-1824


The United States of America attained its independence in the year 1776 from European colonist. This was immediately after the country had gone to war with the British who had began to worry about America’s self-ruled political and legal systems. After the declaration of independence, America acquired a federal government with George Washington as its first president. The nation being a new nation was struggling to effect the system of a centralized government and was largely influenced by the European’s system of governance.

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In the 1790s the first political parties were formed although the country went back to war fighting for independence which they won in 1812. In this research I will discuss the political activities under the three president’s administration to establish who amongst them was the most effective and popular.

Political activities under Jefferson’s administration

Thomas Jefferson is remembered for his enforcement of the embargo act on the 22nd of December 1807. This was a measure taken to cushion the downfall of the destabilized foreign trade in the United States of America (Onuf). The decision was reached after weighing the possible options with diplomacy having failed. This left the administration with only three options which were agreement in the commercial decrees, war against belligerents and lastly a restriction on foreign trade. The president chose the later which was a better option compared to war (Onuf).

This however presented the country’s most drastic decision since the president did not anticipate the long term implications of this act. This was taken as an alternative to war and the congress endorsed the act so fast without consider its impacts. However, his success was with the increased domestic manufacture which was to the advantage of the American economy.

Political activities under Madison’s administration

The Madison’s administration is one characterized by war and invasion to other countries (Rakove). Canada was the first victim of invasion by the United States under Madison’s administration. Nonetheless, his administration was faced by defeats and frustrations for two consecutive years which crumbled the American’s financial strength. The British army invaded the United States and humiliated the Madison’s administration (Rakove). However, Madison’s success was in standing up to Britain and reclaiming independence by winning its second war for independence.

Political activities under Monroe’s administration

Monroe’s administration unlike Madison’s was more concerned with foreign alignments and improving the relationship of the United States of America with the rest of the world (Preston). It was under his administration that the two accords that put the matter of boarder dispute between the two countries to rest were negotiated. Monroe’s policies were diplomatic and gained support from the British government (Preston). His statement concerning United States neutrality with European wars and restricting the west from recolonizing any of the Latin American countries was supported by the British government.

This is what was referred to as the “Monroe doctrine.” Monroe’s policy to protect the Latin America republics from European colonization was a fundamental drift in to a peaceful administration (Preston). His administration was one of the most successful as it upheld foreign relationships which was not the case with Madison’s embargo policy that the American people paid a very high price for.

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Under Monroe’s administration, the country was stronger and had control over its governance. He had his success through his calculated foreign policies that gave him an upper hand. Unlike the rest whose policies resulted to war and financial failure, President Monroe’s policies yielded peace and successful economic growth. Therefore in my opinion I see Monroe’s presidency to be the most successful and him as the most influential president compared to the other two presidents.

Works Cited

Coakley, Emily. “5 Most Controversial Presidential Elections in American History.” Fundingdulcinea. 2008. Web.

Onuf, Peter. American President: Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809).” Mill center. 1996. Web.

Preston, Daniel. “American president: James Monroe (1817-1825).” Mill center. 2006. Web.

Rakove, Jack. “James Madison.” Futurecast.Com. 2006. Web.

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