(…who seems to have been one of the wisest of them all…)

Most of us have heard of the Monroe Doctrine and its author, James Monroe; and, some of us may even have a clue about what it stands for. Beyond that…not much else…other than he was a Founder, and the fifth President of these United States.

Essentially the Monroe Doctrine simply states that the entire Western Hemisphere is America’s backyard, so to speak, so anyone else not from that neighborhood has no business trespassing on it…or else…or something to that effect. All of which sounded very impressive at the time as a key pillar of the new American republic’s foreign policy.

Of course, even during his tenure as President, it never was very effective because few other world powers paid much attention to it. The British still held on to Canada, Newfoundland, Labrador, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Jamaica, Virgin Islands, British Honduras (now Belize), plus the Falkland Islands. The Spanish continued holding on to most of Central and South America, Dominica, Cuba and Puerto Rico. The French still remained in Martinique, Haiti, and Guiana (Devil’s Island), and even invaded and occupied Mexico for a few years. The Dutch retained Curacao and other parts of the Antilles (even the Danes held some of those), while the Portugese ruled in Brazil. In more recent times the Soviets even tried to muscle in on Cuba, nearly setting off a nuclear version of WWIII. So, as a doctrine, it didn’t accomplish a hell of a lot for us, but that’s what James Monroe is best known for in the history books, which just goes to show that too many writers of history often overlook or ignore guys who produce much more important and worthwhile things for us. A good example of that is James Madison, another Founder, a contemporary and friend of Monroe’s, and one who preceded him as the fourth President of these United States.

Madison, of course, was the author of our Bill of Rights. If it hadn’t been for him…we wouldn’t have any…or very few…but he barely gets any credit for it. He was also married to what we today call…a hot babe…named Dolly Madison, who had a very firm mind of her own, and could be considered as the first of those “Women’s Lib” types. She was a pistol, as they say, and generally kept Washington, DC’s society stirred up about her behavior. But old Madison adored her, and she thought he was the best thing since sliced pudding, so they had a long and happy marital life together.

Unfortunately, the only thing James Madison is best known for in the history books is that…he let the British torch the White House and most of Washington, D.C. in 1812…so he’s largely overlooked by historians for his other great accomplishment…the Madison Doctrine…which did a hell of a lot more to help promote “domestic tranquility”, as provided for in the preamble of our Constitution, than James Monroe ever did for us with his doctrine. We really should remember it as a forgotten gift from one of the Founders of our republic… who seems to have been one of the wisest of them all because his doctrine was simplicity itself. The essence of the Madison Doctrine is this: “Always let your spouse do as she pleases.”

James Madison was a true genius indeed.