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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 13, 2009 10:00pm-11:00pm EST

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thoughts come entitle. justice breyer says, that's hole wash. your subjective thoughts are coming in name. don't fool yourself, he says to justice schoola, and to originalists in a large way. it's -- your judgments are always going to influence your decisions here, and we're just a little more honest about it. >> host: the debate is fast night, and justice -- that's a good example because justice briar and justice scalia like to good out on their rulings and debate with one another, and if you can get a ticket to one of the debates, it's one of the in best things to watch. insure... ...
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his wife came downstairs whistling the grand old flag. >> host: he's also been on the side of people accused of crime when it comes to the right to confront witnesses and the sentence in cases, so it's not just flag-burning -- >> guest: there's a slice of criminal law per to clearly the seventh amendment he's been quite active and has been able to pull together an unusual
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coalition of liberal and conservative justices. justice john paul stevens is with him on these things and people just mention that one, the right to be confronted by the witnesses against you, and he has had quite an influence in making sure statements that were made out of court in the key cases, domestic violence cases and child abuse cases are not admitted unless the person who said then is there to be cross-examined. >> host: he's taking the words of the constitution saying that is the right of the defendant and by gosh i going to take my our regionalism where it takes me. well now, tell me in a sentence, somewhat in a sentence or two would you feel about justice antonin scalia american original. >> guest: a lot of different things. obviously someone who has had quite an influence on the law that probably never would have been predicted in 1986. but, you know, through the chain of political events ronald reagan, george w. bush's
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appointments of samuel roberts and alito has gone from this long active to center speaking only to his acolytes beyond the marble walls to someone who's now in the majority and is likely to stay in the majority for a while, since as you know the justices most likely to retire in upcoming years are the liberals. >> host: i congratulate you for a wonderful book and i encourage everybody to read it. i have i told you for copies of it. i hope to have a lot more. >> guest: thank you very much. biographer harlow unger recounts the life of james monroe the fifth president of the united states. president monroe served two terms, was a decorative in the world war and held more public positions than anyone in history. harlow unger reclaimed says james mur's political career at marlowe's books in new york
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city. this is 50 minutes. [applause] >> thank you very much. i'm honored to be here tonight and one to thank my publisher and person is books. my thanks to c-span television and borders bookstore, a landmark here at 57th street and park avenue in new york city. i am particularly honored by the presence of several renown authors, the wonderful alex fleming, whose latest book is a biography of martin luther king, jr. a dream of hope. the naval historian paul silverstone is here tonight, and one of america's great historians is here, thomas fleming. his new book out is the intimate lives of the founding fathers. i wonder what that's about. [laughter]
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i am particularly honored by having you all here because i know that some of you sacrificed the $15,000 a plate fund-raiser for president obama to might. i can only offer you food for thought the price is right. i'm sure you've all seen the famous painting of george washington crossing the delaware, and you probably remember there's a soldier standing behind him with the american flag in his arms. well, that soldier, that officer is james monroe, and there were two symbolic reasons the artist, john trumbull, placed monroe with washington as one of the only to important figures in the painting. one of the only two figures standing in the boat. now monroe didn't actually crossed the delaware in the same boat but he put him there to show as the greek hero of the
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battle of trenton under washington's leadership. he also put monroe next to washington to recognize him as the second greatest and most beloved president after washington in the early years of the republic. indeed, monroe was the only president other than washington to be elected without opposition. as with washington, americans trusted and loved him so completely that political parties disappeared, finished, everyone voted for monroe. and yet if you ask the average american today to identify him, he or she probably wouldn't know who monroe was. one person suggested he was a point guard on the new york basketball team. and another was certain he was marilyn monroe's father. and that's just tragic. it's tragic because monroe was the last of our founding
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fathers, and next to washington the greatest. he was the last president to have fought and lived through the american revolution, and as president he transformed a tiny nation that washington had created into an entire that stretched from sea to shining sea. it was he, not jefferson, who bought louisiana. it was he who ripped florida from spain and he, james monroe, who stretched america's frontiers to the pacific ocean. now back to the battle of trenton for a moment. as i said, monroe didn't cross the delaware in the same boat. he crossed earlier with a small squad that landed on the jersey shore to the north of trenton and circled behind the town washington landed with his troops on the riverside below the town. now what makes trenton so important is that the british
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had almost won the war by christmas of 1776. their troops had overarm long island, new york, westchester and most of new jersey. thousands of american troops had deserted and the british chased the remnants of washington's army across new jersey over the delaware and into pennsylvania. redcoats were in sight of the american capital philadelphia. congress fled to baltimore and began debating terms of capitulation to the british. the war was over. unless washington could come up with a miracle, and he chose a young college student, lieutenant general james monroe, to help make a miracle happened. they all crossed the delaware during a blinding snowstorm on christmas night only six months after we had declared independence. in trenton 3,000 haitian mercenaries had spent the evening celebrating, and because the snow storm they went to
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sleep without posting centuries. at dawn the next morning monroe and his squad sneak up to the cannon emplacements at king street in trenton, the main street washington would have to come up with his troops to capture the town. a haitian soldier happened to step outside to do you know what and spotted them. he shouted. the enemy. the haitians poured out into the snow storm in their fought in -- my clothes. monroe felt wounded by the cannons. he and his men fought them off until washington and his troops could fight their way up king street and forced the haitians to surrender. it was sheeran look that surgeon happened to wander by, tide of an artery, stopped the bleeding in monroe's arm and saved his life. thanks to monroe command
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washington gave him offical, asian and promotion to captain. thanks to monroe washington won the battle of trenton. the victory revived the morale of the troops and the american public and saved the revolution for the first time our citizen soldiers with little or no training defeated a professional army from europe. congress returned to philadelphia abandoned thoughts of surrendering. and when monroe was well enough he rejoined washington's army, fought heroically at brandy where lafayette was wounded and monroe helped save the french man's life. monroe went on to survive the bitter winter at valley forge and then served heroically at the battle of monmouth. like george washington, monroe craughwell in a modest virginia farm. after the war he decided against
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full-time farming. he went back to finish his education at the college of william and mary and studied law we under thomas jefferson. monroe then chose public service as a full-time career. the first american leader ever to do so. by the time he died, he had held more offices than any public figure in history. state legislator, congressman, ambassador to france, to britain, minister to spain, fourth term governor of his home state of virginia, u.s. secretary of state, secretary of war, and finally to term president of the united states, the fifth president. as governor of virginia he became the second most powerful figure in america. virginia than was america's largest, wealthiest and most heavily populated state with 20% of the american population. it stretched all the way to the
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mississippi river and all the way up north to the great lakes. it was enormous. and the prestige and importance of its governor was akin to the governors of california, illinois, new york and texas put together today. and monroe was not only the governor of america's most important state, he was a national hero in the revolutionary war. in other words, he was a giant in his day. and i don't understand why historians ignore him, which is why i wrote this book, to restore him to his rightful place in american history as the most important president in the early days of our nation. now some historians elevate john adams to historical prominence, and most historians all but deify thomas jefferson and james madison and these were three great founding fathers and great political philosophers.
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but they were disastrous presidents. those three men left the nation worse off than it had been when washington seated them in the presidency 20 years earlier. john adams went to war, declared naval war, french. he stripped americans of their first amendment rights to free speech and freedom of the press. thomas jefferson imposed a trade embargo that bankrupted the nation and james madison declared war unnecessarily on britain, which just signed a peace treaty. those three presidents left the nation still threatened on the north by british troops, threatened on the south by spanish troops and threatened in the west has indian tribes slaughtered farmers. it took monroe to end those threats and lead the still
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small, still poor, still undeveloped nation to greatness. it took monroe to transform that little nation into an empire. now along the way to greatness, monroe fell in love with and married the beautiful elizabeth kortright, new york heiress who unlike most women of her day had received a magnificent education in the arts, history and literature. she could hold her own with the best educative men of her era. theirs was perhaps the greatest love affair in white house history. i mean, you talk about passion. let me put it this way. the history book club put the monroe story on the front cover and first two pages of its christmas catalog. it buried bill clinton and monica lewinsky on the inside. [laughter] de monroe's aboard each other.
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they were inseparable throughout their lives together. everywhere he went she was by his side, elegant in dress and bearing in manners. when you see her portraits in my book you will see that she was the most beautiful, most elegant first lady in american history. also the most courageous. monroe was still the center when president washington sent him to france to negotiate with revolutionary government and elizabeth and their daughter went with him. once in paris the learned that the jack fincen and present lafayette's wife and sentenced her to death on the guillotine. monroe couldn't do anything about it without risking his diplomatic status, so e. elizabeth took matters into her own hands. she got into their carriage and in an adventure out of the movies drove through the mob by herself to the prison gates. she had a driver of course but
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she was alone in the carriage and when she got to the prison she demanded to see lafayette and eventually she won her release. elizabeth monroe was only about 5 feet tall, tiny little leedy but the courage and heart of the joan of arc, and she won the hearts of the french people. they called her the beautiful american leedy. monroe then helped lafayette and her three children and flee france to safety. together, elizabeth and james monroe saved the lives of lafayette's wife and family. it's truly a thrilling story that i hope he will read. on his next mission to france a decade later, this time for president jefferson, monroe went with $9 million from congress to negotiate the purchase of the island of new orleans.
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that's all he was supposed to do. so the farmers west of the appalachians could float their grain doubt the mississippi to new orleans for shipment overseas markets. instead of buying an island, monroe borrowed 6 million more dollars from an english bank on his own signature and doubled the size of the nation, by an almost 1 million acres, the largest territory ever acquired by any nation in history from another peacefully without war. 1 million acres, and at a bargain price of 2 cents an acre. even in those days the average price for wilderness, land was $2 an acre. the louisiana purchase stretched the nation's boundaries to the rocky mountains and gave ownership of the great mississippi river valley. it was monroe, not jefferson, who engineered the louisiana
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purchase, and as president, jefferson took credit for the deal of course, but he in fact almost canceled it as you will see in my book. he had to be talked out of canceling the deal. she thought it was unconstitutional, and it was, for the u.s. government to buy foreign territory. now, while james monroe was in paris by louisianan at a bargain, elizabeth monroe was doing bargain shopping of her own, stepping up french furniture and furnishings. the french revolutionaries had thousands of beautiful homes and château was and used furniture shops in paris had piles of magnificent louis xiv, xv, xvi furniture at bargain prices. she bought dozens of beautiful pieces and later as first lady filled the white house with those priceless european treasures. they transformed it into the
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glittering palace it is today. you can see those pieces if you tour the white house today. a long stunning silver tray with magnificent silver candelabra still sits on the long dining table that is still used often for formal state dinners. and her portrait by the way hangs in the east room on the wall opposite of the podium the president use is at his press conferences. as he answered reporters' questions he can stare over their ugly faces and be inspired by her beauty on the opposite wall. if you ever see him sure when you will know why. [laughter] one other great thing they did on their second trip to paris was to save the lafayette family from destitution. the french revolution had left him bankrupt. james monroe convinced the british bank to accept some land in the american wilderness as
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collateral and advance lafayette enough cash to recover financially. james monroe became america's fifth president to years after the end of the war of 1812 in which the british invasion left the public buildings of our capital gutted by fire. americans called the war of 1812 madison's war because james madison and his incompetent cabinet urged him to declare war, but in and invade canada instead of waiting for a peace treaty to arrive from england. and doing so madison and his war secretary left the city of washington undefended. when he realized his mistakes madison pleaded with monroe to become secretary of state and then to become the secretary of war, tool to secretary ships simultaneously. monroe gallant into battle to
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prevent the british from attacking washington that it was too late. so he threw all the men he could muster into fort mchenry to protect baltimore the next target city of the british invasion. as you know, that battle ranged through the night but at the bonds early light our flag was still there and the british retreated thanks largely to the brilliance of james monroe. but the capitol building and the presidential mansion as it was called had been gutted by fire. the slathered on thick coats of white paint to cover the black and exterior of the president's house, and that is when the house got its name, the white house for the first time. and it was elizabeth monroe, the first first lady to live in it after the war who redecorated and we furnished the interior and turned it into america's most beautiful home. while elizabeth was refurbishing
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the white house, her husband was refurbishing a nation ravaged by war. he determined to make the nation impregnable to future attacks by foreign enemies. he not only ran for its defenses, he expanded our boundaries to the natural defenses of the oceans, lakes, rivers and mountains that surround the continent. he sent andrew jackson and a small army to seize florida from spain, then spain to redraw the western boundaries of the louisiana territory to extend into the rocky mountains and northward to the pacific ocean. for the first time since they declared independence americans were secure from attack by foreign troops and they streamed westward over the appalachian mountains into the wilderness to
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claim their share of america buying wilderness land from the government and carving out forms, harvesting fer, timber, ore, in an era when the plan, not money, land was wealth. the land rush added six states to the union and produced the largest redistribution of wealth in the annals of man. never before in history had a sovereign state transferred ownership of so much land and so much political power to so many people not of noble rank. and with land ownership americans gained the right to vote, to stand for office, to govern themselves, their communities, their states and nation. you couldn't vote and you couldn't stand for office if you didn't own land. if you own land, you own the nation. to ensure success for the land
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rush and perpetuate economic growth, monroe promoted construction of roads, turnpikes, bridges and tunnels that linked every region of the nation without lights to the sea and shipping routes to the world. the massive building programs transformed the american wilderness into the most prosperous, productive nation on earth. the economic recovery converted u.s. government deficits in to such large surpluses at monroe abolished all personal federal taxes in america. monroe's presidency made poor man rich. it encouraged the arts, literature, music and fine art. he turned political allies and friends and united divided people as no president had done since washington and never but again perhaps until the second world war. political party is dissolved, disappeared. americans of all political persuasions rallied under a single star spangled banner and
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every elected him to the presidency without opposition. the only president other than washington to win the presidency without opposition. he created an iraq never seen before or since in american history, and the era of good feelings they called it then that propelled the nation and its people to greatness. after he built american military and naval power to the levels that made our shores impregnable, monroe climaxed his presidency and startled the world with the most important political manifesto after the declaration of independence, the monroe doctrine. monroe warned flem world that the united states would no longer permit foreign incursions' in the americas. and in fact he used a diplomatic language to reiterate the warning of the coiled rattlesnake on the flag of his
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virginia regiment in the revolutionary war, don't tread on me. it was unprecedented in world history the monroe doctrine more accurately manifesto unilaterally extended america's fear of influence over one-third of the globe, the entire western hemisphere, and in effect he told the world we would not meddle in their affairs, but don't they dare try meddling in hours. he told the world they would profit far more by trading with less trading with the americas than trying to conquer us. although monroe infuriated some foreign heads of state he left americans wild with joy, giving universal acclamation. henry clay, a kentucky senator and sometimes opponent of monroe told him you have made me power of my country than i ever was before.
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now, some of you i know are wondering about the slavery issue. and monroe, like washington and other virginia planters owned slaves. but considered slavery in laurel. but saw no way to end the practice without a blood bath, a lot of putts, but, i will use one myself, the first thing to remember slavery was not an american institution. it was british, french and spanish. americans inherited it after it was 200-years-old. virginians have actually voted to ban slavery in the early 1700's. but the british government of good queen and overruled the act largely because the royal treasury depended on revenue from british slave traders. in the decades that followed under the three king george's virginians petitioned time after
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time to end slavery importation. the georgians all refused, and during their brains more africans crossed the atlantic to america than europeans involuntarily of course. ironically, the increase in the number of slaves was more of a burden than a benefit to most virginia planters. sleeves were usually unskilled and unable to speak english. and they had fewer incentives to work in peace workers in the north, and as they age and fathered children they added enormous numbers of nonproductive to infants and elderly to the population the planters had to support. in only 50 years from 17221770 just before the american revolution, in those 50 years
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virginia slave population grew almost eightfold from 25,000 when the problem was still controllable to nearly 200,000 or more than 90% of the white population. virginians owned 40% of all this leaves and america and with slave traders streaming up the james river that virginians feared that blacks would soon outnumber whites and staged an uprising that would end in a bloodbath. so, most virginia planters wanted to end importation of slaves and get rid of the ones they had. where would they go? 200,000 people. in the north there were plenty of cities with craftsmen shops and factories with the princess ships to teach friedman new skills. the south was strictly agrarian with few towns and almost no cities. at the end of the road out of
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one plantation lead only to the beginning of the road into the next. so where exactly were the sleeps' to go? how would the feed and clothe themselves? where would they live? the only jobs in the south were for field workers. it was the widespread fear of slave rebellions that sparked the idea of resettling blacks in africa and in 1817 the year after monroe's election of the presidency a group of southern plantation owners joined with number abolitionists to form an alliance called american colonization society to purchase and emancipate sleeves and transport them to africa. president monroe's urging the attack,, chris appropriated 100 balls of dollars, a lot of money then, to return africans captured from slave traders, to return them to their native land. in 1821 the colonization society
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bought a large tract of land at the mouth of the st. paul river in present-day liberia as a temporary haven for returning sleeves expecting them to set off for their native villages in the interior. after three or four generations in america they didn't know where the native villages were so few moved into the interior and the settlement of entry grew into a city that they named monroe to honor the american president. unfortunately the work of the colonization society started about 40 years too late. the economy of the south converted from tobacco to coffin. tobacco plantations had depended on skilled hands to grow, harvest and treat the tender crops which force planters to foster worker continent by providing adequate care for the worker families including nonproductive children and the elderly and crippled.
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coffin changed all that, it changed the economy and sleet existence dramatically. cotton fields require no skills. no skills to planned or harvest. they observe women, children, the elderly as long as they can stand, walk or crawl. coffin opened also eckert culture to a new class of growers. almost every white man could join. all he needed was a patch of land, a whip and enough money to buy a slave. white laborers and craftsmen who have traditionally opposed slavery as free labor that deprived them of jobs suddenly became its champions. bodying their own small pieces of land and sleeve to work it free of any cost of the than subsistence nourishments and living quarters. cruelty replaced paternalism across the south. the crack of the whip could be
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heard across the fields, and violent revolt against the crackers became as inevitable as violent cracker opposition to abolition. the slavery issue had become insoluble. the efforts of well-meaning men like washington and monroe had come on hundred 20 years too late. james monroe died almost penniless. even as a youngster he always considered a service to his country as his sacred obligation. so, like washington, he refused pay for serving in the revolutionary war as lieutenant and a captain and finally colonel all without pay. later as america's ambassador to france he bought a fine house in paris to serve as both u.s. embassy and living quarters for the family. assuming the congress would reimburse him. he was wrong. throughout his career in public service he covered the cost of
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his office always assuming he would be reimbursed, and he never was. when lafayette came to visit the united states in 1824 and heard of the outgoing president monroe's financial plight, he responded immediately my dear monroe, please let your best and most grateful for and land use of resources to put your affairs in order. remember when i was in similar circumstances i accepted your help negative give me director reciprocity. monroe was deeply moved but far too proud, and my dear friend, he told lafayette i can never take anything from you or your family. i have known and seen too much of yours to commit such of rage. but if i ever visit to france i shall make your house my home for a good long time.
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lonrho sold his beautiful virginia plantation to pay his debt and then move into the house of his daughter and son-in-law in new york city where he awaited def penniless but free of debt. as he laid donner and he found enough strength to write to his old friend in virginia the former president, james madison, for whom monroe served as both secretary of state and secretary of war. they had known each other since they were young men in their 20s. my condition renders the restoration of my health very on certain to read it is very distressing to me to sell my property for besides parting with all i have i deeply regret that there is no prospect of our ever meeting again. we have for so long been connected in public and private life in the most friendly way that a final subornation is among the most distressing incidents which could occur to
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me. harlow monroe so upset at this and he replied by courier the pain of love the idea of our never meeting again afflicts me deeply associated as it is with a recollection of the long, close and uninterrupted friendship which unite us. the pain makes me hope you may be brought back to us. this is a happiness my feelings covet. i will not despair were being able to keep up your connection with virginia. monroe died a few weeks later july 4th, 1841 at the age of 73. the third american president to die on the july 4th and the last of the revolutionary war presidents. in his eulogy to monroe, john quincy adams, ann adams served monroe eight years as his secretary of state and had grown very close to him.
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in his eulogy to monroe, quincy adams told americans to compare the map of north america and 1783 with the map of that empire as it is now. the change more than that of any other man living or dead was the work of james monroe. behold him, strengthening his country for defense, sustaining her rights, dignity and honor abroad, smoothing her dissensions and consolidating her acerbities at home, strengthening and consolidating the federal edifice of his country's union until he was entitled to say like augustus caesar of his imperial city he had found her, build a brick and left her clavet and gleaming marble. such, my fellow citizens, was james monroe. and the last of our founding
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fathers. thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. [applause] thank you very much. [applause] thank you. i will be happy to take any questions. yes, sir. >> i think you answered your own question. let me see it back to you and see if you agree why he didn't gain notoriety. notoriety is my experience comes from several things, scandal, military victories or controversy. well, he seems to have avoided all three of those things by very good, skillful, diplomatic, getting people to cooperate, wonderful ways of getting things done without getting himself that kind of notoriety -- >> that may be one answer. i think another is that he's very difficult to write about. he just did his job and didn't
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seek a tremendous amount of publicity as did some of the authors that people have written about. yes, sir. >> in your book you describe the end of the party system and the consequences i think are fairly calamitous, and it's kind of an instructive lesson in our times. but could you speak a little bit louder about the causes, was the british invasion of washington or the antifederalists' taking over the federal list positions? >> the two arana related. the first question is the end of parties, was the result of monroe bring everyone together and uniting everyone in the spirit of building a country, building the nation. there were unfortunate consequences of that with the disappearance of political
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parties. the members of his cabinet unfortunately he was too honest of a man and after two years in the second term he said he wasn't going to run a third term. he had a perfect right to do so at that time that said he wouldn't. the members of his cabinet all started eyeballing his seat, and they became political ambitions came to the floor, and with no political party system left, he had no way of disciplining of a van toss them out of the cabinet or the office. but there was no party structure left to discipline any of these potential candidates. and i was one of the unfortunate fallouts of course with the election all of them but one died before the election, but all four of them ran, and no one got a majority in the electoral college, so it went into
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congress and congress gave the election -- vote for john quincy adams over andrew jackson, even though jackson had had plurality of votes. but he didn't have the necessary majority. so, adams was elected and jackson had to hold off for four more years. the other question was the war of 1812, and that had to do with madison's incompetence as a president. he had been the secretary of state for eight years under jefferson. so he had no real experience running the nation. he hadn't had to make the major decisions jefferson made and he was simply incompetent. so he took on -- he left jefferson's cabinet in place and took on some political acts. especially the secretary of state, the new secretary of
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state. he placed himself with one of the republican leaders of congress, and that secretary of state today disastrous job. the british had signed a peace treaty with the americans in london, and it takes a month -- it took a month or more for ships to cross the milan took. before the ship could bring copies of the treaty here madison was talked into invading canada to show off how strong we were coming and of course it was a disaster. yes, sir. >> you elude at the beginning of the fact that they don't recognize him as one of the great presidents. like they don't recognize him at all. what do you think is the reason for that? >> well, i think the other gentleman asked that question,
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and i think the reason simply is historians like to cover exciting battles. a lot of blood, a lot of action and tend to ignore the solid work of hard-working political leaders. i think that is probably still true. people get elected a lot on gwader rather incompetence. and here clearly was a man elected for his competence. yes, sir. >> he lived for several years after he left the presidency. do we have any idea how he felt about his successor's? >> well, deep in sight he favored john quincy adams. he worked with adams for eight years, and in those days the
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secretary of state was the most important figure in government after the president because we were surrounded by foreign powers and the secretary of state had a very important role in dealing with the rest of the world, and john quincy adams had been working in or with the diplomatic service since he was 17-years-old and when his father was in france, so clearly adams was the most competent man on the field of foreign affairs and monroe was quite pleased that adams one. he favored adams but stayed out of the election. he did not feel it was the role as did washington, that a sitting president has any right to get involved in an election campaign for successor. yes, sir. >> you mentioned -- [inaudible]
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after his election monroe sort of made a tour of the united states. i suppose to help unify the factions and so forth. but that put him out of washington and in a sense out of touch with what is going on for months at a time and jerry difficult for communications back and forth. is that just a sign of the times or is it the fact that maybe those decisions were being made by other people in washington -- >> that's a wonderful question because in those days, people in washington were not the ones doing things. they were there for a very short time. they did not feel that their role was to keep passing laws after laws. they went their -- they did their business and got home to their farms. most of them were planters and farmers. they were doctors, lawyers, bankers, the full-time jobs. this is a part-time job. so, not much was going on in
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washington. what was coming on was in the rest of the country, and monroe, like washington remember there was no television, no e-mail camano communications. the only means of communications with these newspapers, weekly newspapers that would come out weeks, often months late with the news. like washington, monroe did not won the presidency to become a markey with a monarch's sitting in his castle in a cocoon away from the people. he went out to meet the people and that's why he was so loved because he became a people president. he went out there into farmland, shook their hands, walked with them over their fields and became one of them as washington had done. these other presidents had sat in philadelphia and then later
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in washington as they do today, as to the congress men and women today. they sit in washington. they are isolated from people, they are not in touch with the people. monroe wanted to be in touch with the people, and as a result he found out what they wanted and provided for them. well -- yes, sir. >> one other question, monroe is obviously a man of great accomplishment. did he ever express what he considered to be his finest accomplishment? >> no, he never talked about his accomplishments or himself. he was a very -- everyone who knew him all say he was a very modest man, a gentleman. yes, sir in the back. >> the louisiana purchase, other
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than for money or their multiple reasons france was willing to part with the territory and additionally to that, the population of the territory to what extent was it colonial frenchman and as distinct from others? >> very few colonial french men, and although there were some. but this was the difference between the english, french and spanish. most came to settle. most of the spanish -- most of the spanish immigrants think kitfield to the americas and the french came to find treasure in one form or another. in the case of this negative they wanted precious ore and found in mexico, south america. in the case of the french they wanted fer and pelts and found that. but they weren't -- they had no tendency to settle. british were content to settle
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here perhaps because they came from across the island. i don't know the reason that they were truly settlers. and the reason the french were willing to give it up for such a small price and get rid napoleon had it up to here his army led by his brother-in-law was slaughtered by an uprising of haitians, and jefferson was threatening and madison was secretary of state so he actually made the threat there were rumors the spanish were going to retroceded the territory to the french. they actually had done in but we didn't know about it. those rumors set off other rumors that napoleon was going to send tens of thousands of troops over here to put up a barrier on the appalachians to keep americans from moving west
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and then settle louisiana. madison said he could announce that he would have 200,000 citizens soldiers on the mississippi before napoleon could get his troops over here. so combined with the french -- with the haitian of pricing and now he was getting his -- he was getting defeated in spain. the british had intervened in spain and were pushing the french out of spain and he realized he had to much. he had extended his forces to far and wide and he said literally the hell with the colonies, the hell with coffee, the hell with all the products and sugar of haiti and he decided to look territory go. >> who made the offer first, the
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americans or the [inaudible] >> it went both ways. there were hints. the problem is the foreign minister was getting involved in the negotiations, and napoleon didn't trust him, and the americans didn't trust him so this thing went around in circles and was finally negotiations between the police and's representatives and monroe that settled the deal. yes, sir? >> you mentioned on his way to france to purchase the island of new orleans he also signed -- he took out a 6 million-dollar loan. what did he used for collateral to make that purchase? >> just his signature. he could talk people into anything. he was a mild, gentle fellow. one can only guess what the
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accent's were like in those days with a part of british, were they the soft virginia accent that still lexus did when i was a boy and has disappeared now, but he could talk -- you just trusted the man. [laughter] and he just talked them into lending $6 million. >> [inaudible] [laughter] >> he certainly tried to be. yes, sir. >> monroe start out being against the constitution because it gave too much power to the federal government. and he winds up buying in louisiana and florida and going beyond the power granted by the constitution. did he ever addressed the subject or explain himself? >> no, nor did his predecessors. they all violated the constitution and continue to
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violate the constitution. every branch of government has violated the constitution since day one. washington had no authority to send troops to crush the whiskey rebellion. he had no authority to demand that congress give him control over the executive departments. john marshall, when he became chief justice, have no constitutional authority for declaring half of the state laws on constitutional. nothing in the constitution gives the supreme court the right to declare laws on constitutional. it does give converse the right to pass the laws that negative state law we put it doesn't get supreme court that right. and every supreme court, every president and africom chris, every senate and house of representatives has usurped
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power is not granted by the constitution. sadly most of them do indeed think as our former vice president said the constitution's are a current document but it is impractical at times of emergency and in practical in day-to-day politics. thank you very much for coming. [applause] and i will be happy to sign books for you. [inaudible conversations] >> harlow unger is the author of biographies of john hancock and noah webster. he served as a for an editor at the new york herald tribune
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overseas service and as a foreign correspondent for the times and sunday times of london. get more at i am here with professor of international studies. author of the new book forces of the fortune, the rise of the new muslim middle class and what it will mean for the world. who are the new muslim middle class? >> why if the kids are connected to private sector, integrated into the world economy, they're businessmen, finance years, also professionals but they are people who are like middle class is in asia, latin america, people we identify as part of the new globalization forces, new economic forces, and we often don't see them in the middle class. we often think about extremists or authoritarian government of fundamentalists. we don't think about social class is in the mostly -- the way they connect to economics and why do they matter in terms of all the things we think about
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the muslim world. >> to focus on iran in this book. helpless first or the social class is of iran? >> again when we think about iran we don't realize they have a very vibrant middle class. it's been significant amount of economic privatization in iran in the 1980's and 1990's. it produced the middle class tied to economic activity in the private-sector. even the most of iran's economies dominated by the government still there is a large part of the middle class that depends on private sector activity. it is that private sector and middle class and iran that is responsible for the cultural activity and demand for political freedoms and reform. when we see a iranian stick to the streets demanding better results for e elections and demanding political freedoms these are people who also want integration into the world economy, better relations with the west, they want economic advancement and even the
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backbone of political change in iran is the middle class. >> how large is this middle class? >> will win some countries they are large and some they are smaller but say countries like turkey they are maybe 20 to 30% of the population. in pakistan or parts of the arab world, and about ten to 15% of the population. typically they are not the largest force. but the ones that account for the economic dynamism and the sector of the economy that they are the most active which is private sector activity is the one that is ultimately going to pull the middle east and the muslim world by the bootstraps and integrate into the global economies of it isn't an issue of size, it is the pivotal role they will play. >> the west we look at the middle east and think of religion, but in your book you talk a lot about capitalism and business. can you discuss the dichotomy between religion and capitalism in the middle east? >> well, religion it capitalism
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coexist the way they do in america. you have businessmen in america who are evangelical or fundamentalist or church going. it's the same in the muslim world as well. what makes the difference is capitalist muslims who are integrated into global economy tend to favor interpretations of religion that support their economic activities and serbs their interest. in other words they don't favor extremism because extremism is not good for business because extremism does not interfere with their integration into global economic trends so when we look at countries like turkey, dubai, malaysia and india we see class is getting enriched by the global economy that see the future and interesting global economy are religious, with the kind of religion they follow is in some ways globalization friendly, so it's conservative, it is pious, but it's supports capitalist activity and living harmoniously with others in a global economy.
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>> what ramifications to the business class have in american foreign policy? >> well, we don't pay as much attention to them as we ought to. we don't think of the fact what transformed china transformed india, transform latin america, eastern europe and asia that created a stable prosperous democracies was the middle class in those countries that were dependent on private sectors that were integrated into the global economy. and we don't think that in the muslim world are not going to get them to where brazil, argentina, tie one worker leah ar unless the same class that got the countries where they are also becomes in power in the muslim world. so we are looking for the solution in the muslim world without looking at what is the force supposed to produce the solution. and i think the change agent in the muslim world ultimately will have to come from the middle class from the


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