Polk’s America | Scott Harris

Scott H. Harris | The Monroe Doctrine

James Monroe, Courtesy James Monroe Museum & Memorial Library.

May 25, 2021 | 7PM Central

James K. Polk’s Presidency was defined by westward expansion. But the idea of a United States that spread “from sea to shining sea” didn’t originate in the 1840s…

The Monroe Doctrine, the most enduring legacy of the presidency of James Monroe (1817-1825), served as a cornerstone of American foreign policy for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. 

James K. Polk interpreted and employed the Doctrine to secure North America from European influence and foster an expansionist foreign policy by the United States. Scott H. Harris, Executive Director of the University of Mary Washington Museums and an editorial advisor to the White House Historical Association, will compare Monroe’s and Polk’s conduct of international relations and the ways in which they shaped the course of U.S. history.

This edition of Polk’s America will be presented virtually, with a live Q&A component after the lecture.

SCOTT H. HARRIS became Executive Director of the University of Mary Washington Museums in January 2018. This followed six years as Director of the James Monroe Museum, which is administered by the university. He was previously Director of the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park and Director of Historic Resources for the City of Manassas, Virginia.

Mr. Harris received his BA with honors in history and historic preservation from the University of Mary Washington in 1983, and an MA in history and museum administration from the College of William and Mary in 1988. He is a peer reviewer for the accreditation and assessment programs of the American Alliance of Museums and an editorial advisor for White House History Quarterly, the journal of the White House Historical Association.

His published articles have appeared in the Augusta Historical Bulletin; Civil War Traveler; Dictionary of Virginia Biography; White House History Quarterly; and numerous other history and travel publications.

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