Research effects of father absence



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This child was born in 1758, the eldest son of five children of a wealthy Virginia tobacco planter and slave owner. He was raised in luxury and attended the finest schools where he studied Latin, math, science, literature, and the Romance languages. He and his school chum were the top students -- his friend later became one of the most famous Chief Justices of the U.S.Supreme Court.

When he was 16, his father died, and he and his brother inherited the plantation and the rest of their father's estate. His mother's brother, acting as his guardian, encouraged him to start college, but he became distracted by the politics and war fever that was sweeping the county. He quit school after one year to join the Continental Army and fight in the Revolutionary War, where he crossed the Delaware with Washington, and also made the acquaintance of Thomas Jefferson. He never returned to college.

Instead, after the war, he studied law for two years under Jefferson, and then was appointed as a member of the Continental Congress, where he and his friend Patrick Henry argued vehemently against a strong federal government in favor of States' Rights.

At age 29, he married, and had three children. His two daughters survived, but his only son died in infancy. He ran for and became a U.S. Senator from Virgina. Afterward, he was appointed Minister to France. He also served as the Governor of Virginia, and helped Robert Livingston negotiate Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase. Later he served as Minister to Great Britain, and was appointed Secretary of State under President James Madison.

His final achievement was being elected President himself for two terms, which later came to be called "the Era of Good Feeling". Upon his reelection, he won every Electoral College vote except for one. This sweep effectively terminated the Federalist Party in America.

This political statesman, founding father, and champion of States' Rights, who is sometimes known as the "The Last Cocked Hat", meaning the last Revolutionary War president, was

James Monroe, a boy from a "fatherless home."

This fatherless child story was researched and co-written by Sarah L.

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* The term "fatherless" is used in this series as it is in current research and policy rhetoric by the U.S. federal government, DHHS and the National Fatherhood Initiative, most U.S. states in connection with child custody law and policy, and various family values and fatherhood interest policy and lobbying groups.

"...Just add Dad, the magic ingredient. It's hard to know where wishful thinking becomes deliberate deception. But this argument, advanced by the fathers' rights movement, is like saying that, since Mercedes Benz owners make more money than people who drive Hyundais, you will become wealthy if you buy a Mercedes..." Mike Peterson



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