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University of Wisconsin-Parkside
James Monroe: A president for his time, not ours
James Monroe: A president for his time, not ours

In his Oct. 15 Op-Ed article, "James Monroe, a president for our times?," Harlow Giles Unger offers an enthusiastic portrait of the fifth president's two terms in office from 1817-25, giving him much credit for the New Deal-like programs that helped end the economic panic of 1819. Unger seems to have confused Franklin D. Roosevelt with Monroe, painting Monroe's achievements in such broad strokes as to render him unrecognizable. Unger gives Monroe enormous credit for the various internal improvement projects, such as roads and canals, that were launched during his presidency. Monroe supported some infrastructure projects, such as the National Road, but only if he viewed...