He constantly protested against flogging in the army, the impressment of sailors and imprisonment for debt.
Impressment is commonly employed to fill the ranks, and in cases of emergency the prison population is drawn upon for recruits.
A pamphlet written to propose a substitute for the system of impressment in 1822 is said to have offended King William IV.
These pamphlets contain an extreme statement of the anti-war party and defend impressment as a right of long standing.
After negotiating with Don Pedro de Cevallos, the Spanish minister of foreign affairs, from January to May 1805, without success, Monroe returned to London and resumed his negotiations, which had been interrupted by his journey to Spain, concerning the impressment of American seamen and the seizure of American vessels.
On another occasion he is said to have taken a man out of a British ship in retaliation for the impressment of an American seaman by H.M.S.
The provisions of the law, however, have never been enforced, and the actives or regular army are recruited by impressment rather than through conscription.
This force represented the peace footing of the army, which is recruited in part by voluntary enlistments and in part by a form of conscription that might be called impressment.