Skip to content

Tori Bruette

Paige Kyzer



Monroe’s Election of 1816 and Women’s PArticipation

James Monroe:          Hi, my name is James Monroe and I am a Democratic-Republican running to become President in 1816. I served as Secretary of State for the former President, James Madison. Madison and I have very similar views on women and politics.


James Madison:          Yes Monroe, our views towards women involved in politics are very identical. Former President, Thomas Jefferson also had a huge impact on my beliefs.


Thomas Jefferson:      While I was in France I feared greatly for their government. French women exerted too much influence on the politics for their nation. It was terrifying. (Zagarri 128)


Madison:         That does sound scary! Rather than convincing men through reason or logic, they could manipulate us with their power and beauty, the “magic” of their smiles, the “threats” of their tears, or their virtue of their moral example! (Zagarri 129)


Monroe:          I agree! I once heard Catharine Macaulay say that she feared elite women’s use of feminine influences in politics and how it could corrupt the government. (Zagarri 128)


Madison:         Yes, some observers did portray women’s influence in hostile light. With respect to women, however, the fear was not simply that they would exercise their power in secret but that they would use their distinctive feminine charms especially their sexual power to subvert the political process.   (Zagarri 127)


Jefferson:        Acknowledging the continuous existence of opposing political ideas, I must say that the disappearance of such diversity was unlikely to change anytime soon. (Zagarri 124)


Monroe:          Jefferson I agree one hundred percent with you and I know Americans know too much and are too independent to think exactly alike on politic manners. BUT… Vote for me James Monroe! (Zagarri 124)

James Monroe- “Good evening citizens of the great colonies of America. If you give me your vote, I plan to help keep our homes the way they should be and follow in the footsteps of our last President and my great friend, James Madison. I know I have his full support in this election, so I should have no problem having support from you, too. I plan to keep the polls the way they should be, casting votes from only landowning men who deserve the right to have a say in the future of our establishment. The women will be kept out of the polls and in the homes raising the children to become the citizens we need in this country. Women, despite your lack of the ability to vote, you still exert a significant influence on society and politics through your husbands and children. You have demonstrable impact on what people say, think, and do. You affect the spirit of public discourse and the tenor of social relations. You instill moral values and inspire virtuous behavior in your husbands and children. Your actions propel society from a state of rudeness to stability. In fact, your very lack of formal political power might make you the ideal purveyors of the new liberal ideal. Unlike men, you would not be as personally invested in the outcome of the political contest of the day (104). You should maintain peace in your households and keep political discussion outside of the home.”

Woman 1: “I support James because I do not want to bring any political conflict into my household, the possibility of me having my own vote could bring unnecessary arguments and disagreements amongst my family. Our husbands and sons deal with enough controversy of opinions in their daily lives, they should be able to come home and seek refuge from the dramatics that comes with political disagreement.”

Woman 2: “I agree, like James said, we already have so much influence over our husbands and sons in the home that it is simply not necessary for us to have our own vote. We should trust that our husbands have our families in mind when they cast their votes and continue to instill our beliefs so they will vote the way that we would.”

Woman 3: “I am completely satisfied with my life the way that it is, I despise the drama and hullabaloo that comes along with voting and whether or not women should have the right to participate. We don’t need to keep debating over something so unnecessary, we have enough influence and power in our homes that we simply do not need the right to vote to have an effect on society.”

Mary Hanna McDonald and Liza Rush


Person 1: Hello, How are you doing today?

Person 2: I am doing well! How are you?

Person 1: I’m fine but I just heard the worst news.

Person 2: Oh no, what is it?

Person 1: Myrtle supports the federalists! Can you believe this? I am just in shock, I cannot think of anything worse.

Person 2: Why is that so bad?

Person 1: Well those federalists support and help with the war efforts

Person 2: How? That is really impressive to me...

Person 1: well they help sew flags I cannot think of anything more awful for a woman to do

Person 2: how is this a bad thing?

Person 1: she should be supporting the Republican motherhood (Chapter 1 and 2)

Person 2: The what?

Person 1: Don’t you know anything the republican motherhood strives to teach our sons about how to be patriotic and support our freedoms.

Person 2: well why can’t our daughters participate just like our sons have the right to?

Person 1: you don’t want our daughters to be involved in politics. They will be like those manly women who neglect their children and families. It is a women’s duty to solely focus on our men and be subservient to them. (Chapter 2)

Person 2: These reasons sound ridiculous and out of date to me.

Person 2: I agree with more of the Federalist approach. By now woman can vote in New Jersey. Look at them, they haven't gone to ruins. Don't you want to be able to vote and have a say in your beloved country? (Chapter 2)

Person 1: well if you switch sides you won’t be able to eat, and shop were you could before. I want to be a proper and respectful women to men, and we are not wanted in politics, we are wanted at home, actually we are needed at home! (Chapter 5 )

Person 2: Wait wait why will I not be able to eat and shop wherever I please?

Person 1: Because many shops here in New England only cater to federalists or republicans (Chapter 5)

Person 1: women shouldn't even be allowed to discuss their views about politics because so many families are now being torn apart due to this political and national divide. Women just no not possess the capability to think about difficult subjects such as politics

Person 2: Why do you suggest these thoughts? We are smart. We are capable and needed. We have been credited with being a major part of winning the American Revolution. (Chapter 1)

Person 1: That is true, but women as a whole do not even know how to read, let alone write

Person 2: Well it is not our fault we are not allowed to go to school and obtain an education, but that can all change if we stand with the Federalists and earn the right to vote for our rights!

Person 1: I just do not think I am ready for that change and I do not want to offset the balance of our country, families, and men! The men are feeling very threatened by us, and I just do not feel comfortable standing up to this. (Chapter 3)

Person 2: Don’t you understand that times are changing and women’s involvement in politics is changing. We need to follow in the footsteps of Mary Wollstonecraft. She has opened up the debate on women’s rights and we owe not only her but ourselves the right to protect and help our country, if we so please. Whether my efforts help women in my lifetime or our daughters, I stand with the Federalists and their fight and support of women in politics. (Chapter 4)


  • James Monroe:   “Good evening my fellow American’s, I am James Monroe and I am your Democratic-Republican leader in the 1816 presidential election. I know with many of you, me being the fourth potential President being from Virginia is an issue. I plan to give the top 4 cabinet positions to a representative from the North East, South, West, and Mid-Atlantic Coast. Thus far, my political experience includes being Secretary of State and Secretary of War under President James Madison, as well as a diplomat under Thomas Jefferson. Holding such positions has led me to many important events such as helping to carry out the Louisiana Purchase, fighting in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. I plan on doing all I can to prevent any more invasions and to extend the countries natural defenses. Finally, I plan to explore more Westward and to attempt to stretch our country to the Pacific. Making our country reach from sea to shining sea.”


  • Alice Martin: “My name is Alice Martin and I support James Monroe. James is a true patriot, having fought in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. He is a leader who wants independence and change for our country and all people living here, women and slaves included. Monroe’s beliefs include religious reform and women's rights. Not only does Monroe want to try and abolish slavery, he is also encouraging women to step out of the domestic sphere of their homes and children. He supports rights for slaves and women and I believe that electing James Monroe as President will bring a second great awakening.”

Afnan Abu Qahouq
Dr. Kopelson/ Libby Taylor
Feb. 25, 2015
Election of 1816
Women’s Participation in Party Politics
Hillary Clinton: Hi, I’m Hillary Clinton
Sarah Palin: And I’m Sarah Palin
Hillary Clinton: We decided to make a campaign discussing the women’s participation in party politics during the election of 1816 in the Federalist Perspective. Sarah, Can you tell the audience who were the federalist and how they supported the women’s participation in politics?
Sarah Palin: Oh yes, you betcha Hillary! In the election of 1816, there were two political groups. The Federalist Party who favored the British and the supporters of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton. And then there were the Democratic Republican, who were also known as the Jeffersonian, who favored the French and supporters of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The Federalist were more in favor of women’s political participation. They “urged women to demonstrate their support publicly by attending partisan meetings, gatherings, and events” (p.84). For example, Federalists “welcomed women to commemorations of Washington’s birthday and later to ceremonies in honor of his death” (84). “By appearing at such activities, women both affirmed their partisan affiliations and expanded the basis of popular political participation” (p85). By the way Hillary, do you know what federalists used to call the Democratic Republicans?
Hillary Clinton: What Sarah?
Sarah Palin: They used to malign them as “Atheists”, “Jacobins”, or “Democrats” (p.84).
Hillary Clinton: Sarah, remember, let’s try to keep the dialogue PG-13. Back to discussion, women’s participation was seen as an “affirmative choice” (p.85). There were many ways women contributed in their presence to support the Federalists by “marrying men of the same party, wearing color and symbols of the party”, or even joining their husbands to sing in some political events (p.85). For example, the Federalists women “wore golden eagles or black cockades on their dresses or hats” (p.85-6). Participation in politics for women also led to “new opportunities to involve themselves in politics such as homespun, boycotting goods and attending public gatherings in support of their chosen political causes” (p.113). “As ‘female politicians’, they asserted their political opinions and made choices of everything from servants to spouses based on their party affiliations” (p.113).
Sarah Palin: Hey Hillary, I can see Russia from here!
Hillary Clinton: (A thought in her head) Why didn’t I get Michelle Obama to help me with the campaign ad?!



“Are you tired of women not having a say?”

“Are you fed up with men running the world?”

“Did you know that women do not have many of the same rights that men do?”

“For example, women do not have the right to vote across the country and cannot hold elected office.”

“Additionally, women do not have the same economic and educational opportunities as their male counterparts.”

“The Democratic Republicans maintain that a woman’s place is in the home and that we should be at men’s beck and call.”

“These are the same people that initiated the War of 1812, a war that could have been avoided with the pragmatic approach of women.”

“In fact, women displayed their patriotism during the war by banding together to sew clothing and flags for the service members to carry into battle.”

“The Federalists Party believes in the natural rights. That is the rights that all humans are born with. This shift in thinking will give women a larger role in politics.”

“With Federalists in power, women will be allowed to bring their unique perspectives into the political realm, allowing this wonderful country to move forward.

“In this upcoming election, support the Federalists Party and watch this country progress and move away from the shadow of Great Britain.”

Guy- “Message brought to you by the Woman for Federalists and approved by Rufus King and the Federalists Party.”

During the last weeks of this campaign, there will be debates, speeches, and more ads. But if I could sit down with you in the living room or around the kitchen table, here’s what I would tell you: our nation has seen great growth and prosperity since we broke free from the British. As someone who wants to see the continued success of our nation, I urge all Americans to realize that the rights we have in this country are to be cherished (pg 87). Rufus King, my competitor for the Presidential Election, and his federalist party believe in a strong central government. In other words, unless something is explicitly condemned in the constitution, the government is within bounds to enact policies. However, I believe in states’ rights. The key to maintaining a successful federal government is delegating the powers of the Constitution to individual states. Women, please raise your sons to be good politicians in the hopes that your political views may be reflected by future leaders of our nation. On behalf of the Democratic-Republican Party, I request that you also participate in partisan meetings, gatherings, and events (pg 86). By participating in these activities, you are doing more than simply complying with the wishes of a man, you are declaring your personal, affirmative stance with our party (pg 85). And men, value the opinions of your wives because they can bring a levelheaded approach to opinions about war and other hot topics. When you vote for me this election season, you are voting for a candidate who wants America to continue to be great. I will do whatever it takes, including going to war with Britain again, to remain an independent nation. Please consider these ideas when you cast your vote for The Election of 1816, and remember to check James Monroe on your ballot. I’m James Monroe and I approve this message.