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James Monroe's Letters to Timothy Pickering

About the Letter

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In Monroe’s November 5, 1795 letter to Timothy Pickering after being informed that Mr. Pickering had taken over Edmund Randolph’s post as the Secretary of State, Monroe reports on his pleasure over the progress that has been made towards restructuring France’s government. This letter contains Monroe’s support for the French government’s adoption of a new constitution. He states that the new constitution is one which emphasizes human rights. Monroe details the political procedure utilized to establish the new government. First, members of the legislative branch were chosen through elections. Next, new members were chosen for positions within the judicial and executive branches. Lastly, new members of the Directoire were elected. The domestic tranquility that Monroe witnesses leads him to believe that conditions in France will vastly improve. On the other hand, he recognizes that improvements may be compromised. The Revolutionary Wars have put France at war with many other countries who wish to see the new government overthrown. Furthermore, Monroe requests not to be accused of having a biased view of political changes in France.