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Quotes from James Monroe

Monroe's Words

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James Monroe was a fascinating character. He was studied law with Thomas Jefferson. He served under George Washington during the American Revolution. He was also the only person to serve as both Secretary of War and Secretary of State at the same time during the War of 1812. Learn more about James Monroe.

"The American continents ... are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers." (From the Monroe Doctrine)

"If America wants concessions, she must fight for them. We must purchase our power with our blood."

"It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising their 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."

"The best form of government is that which is most likely to prevent the greatest sum of evil."

"Never did a government commence under auspices so favorable, nor ever was success so complete. If we look to the history of other nations, ancient or modern, we find no example of a growth so rapid, so gigantic, of a people so prosperous and happy."

"In this great nation there is but one order, that of the people, whose power, by a peculiarly happy improvement of the representative principle, is transferred from them, without impairing in the slightest degree their sovereignty, to bodies of their own creation, and to persons elected by themselves, in the full extent necessary for the purposes of free, enlightened, and efficient government."

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