James Monroe, John Marshall, and
1st Edition

James Monroe, John Marshall, and "The Excellence of Our Institutions", 1817–1825
How Monroe’s Presidency Became "An Important Epoch in the History of the Civilized World"

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 8, 2022
ISBN 9780367894733
April 8, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
216 Pages

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Book Description

When James Monroe became president in March 1817, the United States urgently needed a national transportation system to connect new states and territories in the west with older states facing the eastern seaboard. In 1824, the Supreme Court declared that Congress had the power to regulate traffic on all navigable rivers and lakes in the United States. Congress began clearing obstructions from rivers, and these projects enabled steamboats to transform cross-country travel in the United States. This book explains how building a nationwide economic market was essential to secure the loyalty of geographically remote regions to the new republic. Aschenbrenner defends the activist role of President James Monroe (1817-1825) and Chief Justice John Marshall (1801-1835), and shows how under their leadership, the federal government made national prosperity its "Job One". The market revolution transformed the daily lives of households and businesses in the United States and proved to Americans that they shared a common social and economic destiny. As Monroe declared at the conclusion of his Presidency: "We find abundant cause to felicitate ourselves in the excellence of our institutions".

Table of Contents


John Lauritz Larson

Introduction: ‘Destinies Beyond the Reach of Mortal Eye’

1. ‘Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way’

2. ‘To Adopt a System of Internal Improvement’

3. ‘Powers to Create and to Preserve’

4. ‘Captivating Improvements to Seduce Their Constituents’

5. ‘There Is More Than One Mode of Accomplishing the End’

6. ‘To Protect the Public Industry from Parasite Institutions’

7. ‘An Important Epoch in the History of the Civilized World’

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Peter J. Aschenbrenner is the National Convenor (US) for the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.