Today I am writing about the life and career of James Monroe for my history class. James Monroe was the 5th President of United States. I think that James Monroe was a pretty good President. Not only that, but he was a very tough man. Here is his life.
James was born in 1758 in Westmoreland County, Virginia. The family lived in the same area that Monroe’s Great-Grandfather had settled in 1650. James was tutored by his mother until he was 10 years-old. At that time, he went to Campbell Town Academy until he was 16 years-old. When he was enrolled at the academy, Monroe studied with John Marshall, who would later become the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
James’ father, Spence Monroe, died in 1774 and James inherited the family plantation. During that very same year, James enrolled in the College of William and Mary. He also joined the excitement for the possibility of rebellion against Britain. Soon, in 1775, Monroe dropped out of College and joined the Continental Army, and never returned to school.
Once James joined the army, he was given an Officer’s commission, because of his education and his status in life. Then, with 24 other soldiers, raided the Governor’s mansion and armed the Williamsburg militia. During the battle of Trenton, Monroe was wounded, he was shot in the shoulder and severed an artery. Luckily, he survived and eventually healed. He even continued to serve until the end of the war in 1783.
During those last three years of the war, Monroe began studying law under Thomas Jefferson. Unfortunately, he had no desire to become a lawyer or study politics but he saw this as a good way to earn money easily. He even passed the bar exam and began practicing in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Monroe’s political career, in the United States, actually started with his election to the Virginia House of Delegates. He then served as the anti-federalist delegate in the Constitutional Convention and opposed ratification to the new government plan. He recognized that the Constitution would grant more power to the central government and he didn’t approve of the idea of such an atrocity. Monroe was then elected to the Senate in 1796 and joined the Jeffersonian limited government camp. When Jefferson was President, Monroe helped to negotiate the Louisiana purchase with France.
Monroe then served as Secretary of State and Secretary of War under James Madison during the War of 1812. In 1816, Monroe won over 80% of the electoral votes, he basically almost ran unopposed, and became the 5th President of the United States.
Monroe was a very popular President following his election because of the following:
- He bought Florida from Spain.
- The treaty of 1819 gave the United States land in the North West Pacific for the first time.
- An “Era of Good Feelings” lasted until mid- 1819.
The in 1819, an economic downturn struck that lasted until 1821. This was caused by poor inflation policies. This represented America’s transition from a fledgling nation to one with it’s own economic ups and downs. (A sort of economic rollercoaster!) Monroe also had to deal with the struggles of admitting Missouri into the Union.
In the end, Monroe was a good President and he actually served two terms. I find this surprising because of the economy from 1819 to 1821. Anyway it’s history and it’s vital. Please like or dislike and comment or email me personally.
Until next time, your friendly neighborhood Homeschooler…