Quotes from James Monroe

Monroe's Words

James Monroe, Fifth President of the United States
James Monroe, Fifth President of the United States. Painted by C.B. King ; engraved by Goodman & Piggot. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-16956

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." Stated in The Monroe Doctrine on December 2, 1823.


"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." Stated during the First Inaugural Address of James Monroe on Tuesday, March 4, 1817. 

"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." Stated during the First Inaugural Address of James Monroe on Tuesday, March 4, 1817.


"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." Stated during the Second Inaugural Address of the president on Tuesday March 6, 1821.


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Kelly, Martin. "Quotes from James Monroe." ThoughtCo, Sep. 30, 2016, thoughtco.com/quotes-from-james-monroe-103937. Kelly, Martin. (2016, September 30). Quotes from James Monroe. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/quotes-from-james-monroe-103937 Kelly, Martin. "Quotes from James Monroe." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/quotes-from-james-monroe-103937 (accessed March 18, 2018).