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The “Virginia Dynasty” was called such because Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe all came from the same state, Virginia. They all belonged to the Democratic-Republican Party.

Title: [Thomas Jefferson, bust portrait, facing left]   Date Created/Published: c1907.  Medium: 1 print.  Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-53985 (b&w film copy neg.)  Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Title: [Thomas Jefferson, bust portrait, facing left]
Date Created/Published: c1907.
Medium: 1 print.
Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-53985 (b&w film copy neg.)
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Thomas Jefferson

3rd President 1801-1809

Fast Facts:

  • Born: April 13, 1743 in Goochland (Now Albemarle), Virginia
  • Died: July 4, 1826 in Monticello, Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Home: Monticello, Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Parents: Peter (1708-1757) and Jane Randolph (1720-1776) Jefferson
  • Wife: Martha Wayles Skelton (1748-1782)
  • Marriage: January 1, 1772
  • Children: Martha (1772-1836) and Maria (1778-1804)
  • Occupations: Planter, Lawyer, Writer, Philosopher, Scientist, and Architect
  • Religion: None (Christian)
  • Political Party: Democratic-Republican
  • Political Offices Before Presidency: Member of Virginia House of Burgesses, Member of Continental Congress 1775-1776, Member of Virginia House of Delegates, Governor of Virginia, Member of Continental Congress 1783-1784, Minister to France, Secretary of State, Vice-President
  • Military Service: None
  • Election Results: 1800: 73 electoral votes to 65 for John Adams
  • Election Results: 1804: 162 electoral votes to 14 for Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
  • Vice President: Aaron Burr 1801-1805 and George Clinton 1805-1809
  • States Admitted to the Union: Ohio
  • Amendments to the Constitution: Twelfth

More Facts:

  • Jefferson was the first widower to become president. His wife had died in 1782
  • Jefferson’s birth place burned down in 1770
  • Jefferson wrote and signed the Declaration of Independence, being the only president other than John Adams to sign it
  • Jefferson was the Governor of Virginia from 1779-1781, being the first former governor elected President
  • Jefferson also was the first former Secretary of State elected President
  • Jefferson also was defeated in the election of 1796 but won in 1800
  • The election of 1800 was called the “Revolution of 1800” because Jefferson’s supporters won many offices that year. This was later called the “Spoils System”
  • He as also made Vice-President, even though he was from a different political party than John Adams
  • Jefferson’s daughter, Maria died while Jefferson was president
  • Jefferson died on the 4th of July, just like John Adams, on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence
  • Jefferson never mentioned the presidency on his grave, instead noting his greatest achievement as founding the University of Virginia

Grading: A

Thomas Jefferson is considered one of the greatest U.S. Presidents

  • Jefferson repealed the Alien, Sedition, and Naturalization acts passed by Adams
  • Jefferson also authorized the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition
  • Jefferson completed the Louisiana Purchase, buying 828,000 square miles of territory from France for only $15 million dollars. He was criticized by the Federalists for going against his own beliefs that more territory would mean stronger government, which was what Jefferson hated most. However, he received support from his own party for doubling the size of America
  • Jefferson abolished the Slave Trade, but illegal trade went on until the Civil War
  • Jefferson also made the Embargo Act, which banned trade with foreign countries in response to the Impressment of American sailors. This was a mistake. New England Merchants nearly starved to death and American product rotted in storage. However, this taught Americans how to be self-sufficient

Jefferson was succeeded his Secretary of State and the man who wrote the Constitution.

James Madison

Title: James Madison - 4th President of the United States / on stone by A. Newsam ; P.S. Duval, lith., Philada.   Creator(s): Duval, Peter S., 1804 or 1805-1886, lithographer   Related Names:     Newsam, Albert, 1809-1864 , artist   Date Created/Published: Philadelphia : Published by C.S. Williams, N.E. corner of Market & 7th St., c1846.

Title: James Madison – 4th President of the United States / on stone by A. Newsam ; P.S. Duval, lith., Philada.
Creator(s): Duval, Peter S., 1804 or 1805-1886, lithographer
Related Names:
Newsam, Albert, 1809-1864 , artist
Date Created/Published: Philadelphia : Published by C.S. Williams, N.E. corner of Market & 7th St., c1846.

4th President 1809-1817

Fast Facts:

  • Born: March 16, 1751 in Port Conway, Virginia
  • Died: June 28, 1836 in Montpelier, Virginia
  • Home: Montpelier, Virginia
  • Parents: James (1723-1801) and Eleanor Conway (1732-1829) Madison
  • Wife: Dorothy (Dolly) Payne Todd (1768-1849)
    • Marriage: September 15, 1794
    • Children: None
    • Occupations: Politician
    • Religion: Episcopalian
    • Political Party: Democratic-Republican
    • Political Offices before Presidency: Delegate to Virginia Convention, Member of Virginia House of Delegates, Member of Council of State, Member of Continental Congress, Delegate to Constitutional Convention, U.S. Representative from Virginia to the House, Secretary of State
    • Military Service: Colonel in the Militia
    • Election Results: 1808: 122 electoral votes to 47 for Charles C. Pinckney and 6 for George Clinton
    • Election Results: 1812: 128 Electoral Votes to 89 for DeWitt Clinton
    • Vice President: George Clinton 1809-1812 (Died in Office), Elbridge Gerry 1813-1814 (Died in Office)
    • Sates Added to the Union: Louisiana and Indiana
    • Amendments to the Constitution: None

More Facts:

  • James Madison wrote and signed the U.S. Constitution, becoming the only president to do so
  • Madison also wrote the Virginia Resolutions, establishing State’s Rights
  • Madison was Secretary of State when elected president
  • Madison’s mother lived to see him become president
  • The White House was burned during the War of 1812, and wasn’t reconstructed until 1820
  • Madison came out of retirement to preside over the Virginia Constitutional Convention and to condemn the Nullifiers of South Carolina, saying that he had never meant to use State’s Rights to secede from the Union
  • Madison declined to be given medicine which would have kept him alive until the 4th of July
  • Madison was the last surviving signer of the Constitution when he died

Grading: C

  • Madison was more successful as a Founding Father than a president, but he did his best, resisting public outcry for war until the military was prepared
  • Madison  repealed the Embargo and reopened trade with all of Europe, excluding Great Britain
  • The War of 1812 had its victories and defeats, and many War Secretaries were replaced, but eventually, in the Treaty of Ghent, Britain promised to end Impressment and to disarm the navy in the Great Lakes. However, Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans, fought after the treaty but before the ratification of the treaty In the U.S. Senate. He quickly became a national hero
  • Every wartime president since Madison has been Re-elected president
  • Madison also signed the Bank Agreement after vetoing it twice. This established the Second Bank of America, and some party members criticized Madison for going against his party’s beliefs and making a central bank governed by the President. Madison reasoned that it was to protect American Business and money.

Madison was succeeded by his current Secretary of State and former Secretary of War, the last of the Founding Fathers.

James Monroe

Title: James Monroe Creator(s): Stuart, Gilbert, 1755-1828, artist Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/det1994022245/pp/

James Monroe

5th President 1817-1825

Fast Facts:

  • Born: April 28, 1758 in Westmoreland, Virginia
  • Died: July 4, 1831 in New York City, New York
  • Parents: Spence (?-1774) and Elizabeth Jones (Unknown Lifespan) Monroe
  • Wife: Elizabeth Kortright (1768-1830)
  • Marriage: February 16 1786
  • Children: Eliza Kortright (1786-1835) and Maria Hester (1803-1850)
  • Occupations: Lawyer
  • Religion: Episcopalian
  • Political Party: Democratic-Republican
  • Political Offices Before Presidency: Member of Continental Congress, U.S. Senator, Minister to France, Governor of Virginia 1799-1802, Minister to Great Britain, Governor of Virginia 1811, Secretary of State, Secretary of War
  • Military service: Lieutenant Colonel in Continental Army
  • Election Results: 1816: 183 electoral votes to 34 for Rufus King
  • Election Results: 1820: 231 electoral votes to 1 for John Quincy Adams
  • Vice President: Daniel D. Tompkins 1817-1825
  • States Admitted To The Union: Mississippi, Illinois, Alabama, Maine, and Missouri
  • Amendments to the Constitution: None

More Facts:

  • Monroe was the “Last of the Cocked Hats”, or Founding Fathers, to become President
  • Not much is know about Monroe’s family, the least we know of for any president
  • Monroe was wounded several times during the Revolutionary War
  • Monroe, like all of the Founding Fathers, owned slaves, even though he did not believe in slavery
  • Monroe was the third Secretary of State in a row to become president
  • Monroe also was one of three presidents to die on the 4th of July, in 1831

Grading: B

  • When Monroe became president, he went on a tour of the United States, and the term “Era of Good Feelings” was coined
  • Monroe singed the Compromise of 1820, admitting Maine as a free state, and Missouri as a slave state, and also set a line dividing North and South, Free and Slave, into areas to keep the balance of the Union. Slavery was a big issue at the time, and most presidents were cautious to address it
  • While Monroe was president, Andrew Jackson conquered part of Florida, forcing Spain to cede all of Florida to the U.S in exchange for the U.S ceding Texas to Spain
  • Monroe also vetoed the Cumberland Road Act, stating that the Federal Government had no right to take control of internal improvements
  • Monroe issued the Monroe Doctrine, warning other nations to leave America to its own business, and to stop colonization of the Americas. It also set a period of Isolationism in which the U.S. focused on internal affairs instead of world events.

Monroe was succeeded by his Secretary of State and the son of John Adams.

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