So on the stack of books (both physical and electronic) that comprise my reading list for 2012 is a book on Monroe and Madison (Founding Rivals: Madison vs. Monroe, The Bill of Rights and the Election That Saved a Nation - Chris DeRose); it was an advanced reader's copy, and I'm not sure of the publication date. When I read non-fiction I prefer if I learn something new (or get reminded of something I used to know, but had forgotten.) So here's a list of things I learned from reading this book:
- The main "selling point" of this book is that Monroe and Madison (two future Presidents of the U.S. of A.) ran against one another for the right/privilege of representing Virginia's 5th District in the first Congressional session after the US Constitution was ratified. (Okay, didn't know that.) This is the only time that two future presidents have run against one another for Congress in the history of the US.
- I learned that the Continental Congress had extended invitations to *all* the British colonies in North America.
- In addition to that fact, I discovered that in addition to the colonies that formed Canada of the time and the colonies that became the original 13 American colonies, invitations were extended to the colonies of East Florida and West Florida. Color me surprised, I'd always thought that Florida belonged to the Spanish... Turns out it did until 1763, but the British only had "ownership" for approximately 20 years.
- finally from this lesson in American history, I learned that it is not a requirement that members of Congress (at least the House of Representatives) live in the districts that they represent. The author also states that this is true of current congressional representatives, although he* didn't name names which I actually would have appreciated as it would have made it easier to fact check--which I still need to do.
- Religion indeed seems to have played a large part in the Founding Fathers' lives, judging by the letters and other writings that are quoted. (Which puzzles me a little about the emphasis that was placed on religion as a part of Samuel Adams life in a bio I read in Dec. about him--which has a DWP connection. LOL)