James Monroe

In office: 1817-1825

James Monroe (1758-1831)

James Monroe started his career off by going to law school. Due to the war of independence in 1776 he dropped out of college, however, he wasn’t in the army for long and was sent back home wounded. Having become a Major nevertheless he returned to his law studies in 1778 and became politically more active. He joined the Democratic Party and, together with Thomas Jefferson, formed the opposition to President George Washington as a member of the senate. The Republican Party eventually developed out of that. During the presidency of James Madison, Monroe was secretary of state.

In 1816 Monroe won the presidential election and became President of the United States of America, just like his predecessors, for two terms from 1817 to 1825. During his presidency, Monroe managed to finally overcome the misunderstanding between the parties which had never been possible in the years before. This time period is known as the “Era of Good Feeling”. In the election of 1820 he won all the votes without a rival candidate.

The year before, the United States had bought Florida from Spain already and Monroe announced the so called “Monroe Doctrine”, in which political independence was set and therefore called for a non-interfering behavior on both the European side towards America and vice versa.

Monroe was engaged in working for and at the University of Virginia after his presidency and took part in the constitutional convention in 1829 along with James Madison.

Back