James Monroe, 266
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  • Birthday
    April 28, 1758
  • Birthplace
    Westmoreland Country, Virginia
  • Age
    266 Years

James Monroe was an American salesman, lawyer, diplomat, Founding Father who served as the 5th President of the United States from 1817 to 1825. James Monroe’s presidency was concurrent with the Era of Good Feelings.

Early Life of James Monroe

James Monroe was born on April 28, 1758, in Westmoreland Country, Virginia. His father is Spence Monroe and his Mother is Elizabeth Jones Monroe. Likewise, Spence was a somewhat booming planter and carpenter. James was the eldest among four siblings. His siblings are Elizabeth, Spence, Andrew, and Joseph Jones. His mother died in 1772, and his father two years later.

Furthermore, after the death of both of his parents, he inherited property, including slaves. However, 16-year-old was forced to withdraw from school to support his younger brothers. Similarly, his childless maternal uncle became a surrogate father to him and his siblings.

Educational Background

Speaking about the educational background of James Monroe, firstly tutored by his mom at him. However, later attended Campbelltown Academy between 1769 and 1774. He was an excellent student. Later, a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, Jones took him to the capital of Williamsburg Virginia. Jones enrolled him at the College of William and Mary and was also introduced to important Virginians as well.

Involvement in War Service

James Monroe did enroll at Virginia’s College of  William & Marry with intentions of studying law. However, about a year and a half after his enrollment, he dropped out of college. After which he joined the 3rd Virginia Regiment in the Continent Army. He was commissioned with the rank of lieutenant, serving under Captain William Washington. Likewise, he took part in a surprise attack on which he nearly died. Furthermore, after his involvement in the war, he resumed studying law under Jefferson and continued until 1783.

Political Career in brief

James Monroe is the 5th president of the United States from 1817 to 1825. Also a member of the Democratic-Republic Party. Similarly, his presidency is considered the Era of Good Feelings. It is compared with the First Party System era of American politics. One of his remarkable works is issuing the Monroe Doctrine. It is a policy of opposing European colonialism in America while effectively asserting U.S dominance, empire, and hegemony in the hemisphere. Following his political career, he also served as governor of Virginia, a member of the United States Senate. Also, the U.S ambassador to France and Britain, the 7th Secretary of State, and the 8th Secretary of War.

Similarly, although he was born into a slave-owning plater family in Westmoreland Country, Virginia. He served in Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Likewise, he also served as a delegate in the Continental Congress. As a delegate to the  Virginia Ratifying Convention, he opposed the ratification of the United States Constitution. Alike, In 1790, he won election to the Senate, where he became a leader of the Democratic-Republican Party.

However, he left the Senate in 1794 to serve as President George Washington’s ambassador to France but was recalled by Washington in 1796. Moreover, he won the election as Governor of Virginia in 1799. He strongly supported Jefferson’s candidacy in the 1800 presidential election.

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He as President Jefferson’s special spokesperson helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase. Through the negotiation, the United States nearly doubled in size. Likewise, during the later stages of the War of 1812. He simultaneously served as James Madison’s Secretary of State and Secretary of War. His wartime leadership established him as Madison’s heir apparent, and he easily defeated Federalist candidate Rufus King in the 1816 presidential election.

However, the Federalist Party collapsed as a national political force during his tenure. He was re-elected, virtually, unopposed, in 1820. Monroe, as a president, signed the Missouri Compromise. It admitted Missouri as a slave state and banned slavery from territories north of the parallel.

Likewise, in 1823, he announced the United State’s opposition to any European intervention with Monroe Doctrine. Likewise, he was a member of the American Colonization Society. It supported the colonization of Africa by freed slaves, and Liberia’s capital of Monrovia is named in his honor. Following his retirement in 1825, he was tortured by financial difficulties. He passed on July 4, 1831, in New York City. Hence, he has been generally ranked as an above-average president by historians.

Marital Life and Family

James Monroe married Elizabeth Kortright on February 16, 1786, in New York City. She was the daughter of Hannah Aspinwall Kortright and Laurence Kortright, a wealthy trader, and a former British officer. He met Elizabeth while serving in the Continental Congress. The couple moved to Virginia, settling in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1789. Similarly, they bought an estate in Charlottesville known as Ash Lawn-Highland. The Moroes had three children. They are Eliza Monroe Hay, James Spence Monroe, and Maria Hester Monroe.

Memorials of James Monroe

In memory of the late 5th president of the United States, the capital of Liberia is named Monrovia after him. It is the only national capital other than Washington, D.C. named after the U.S. president. Similarly, he was the last U.S president to wear a powdered wig tied in a queue, a tricorne hat, and knee-breeches according to the style of the late 18th century. Likewise, he was the last president who was not photographed.

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