- NAME: James Monroe
- OCCUPATION: Military Leader, Diplomat, U.S. President, U.S. Representative, U.S. Governor, Government Official
- BIRTH DATE: April 28, 1758
- DEATH DATE: July 04, 1831
- EDUCATION: College of William & Mary, Campbelltown Academy
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Westmoreland County, Virginia
- PLACE OF DEATH: New York, New York
- Nickname: "The Last Cocked Hat"
- Nickname: "Era-of-Good-Feelings President"
Best Known For
The fifth president of the United States, James Monroe is known for his "Monroe Doctrine," disallowing further European colonization in the Americas.
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Following the custom set by President Washington of only serving two terms, Madison decided not to run for a third term paving the way for James Monroe to be the Democratic-Republican candidate. With little opposition from the now-fading Federalist Party, Monroe became the fifth president of the United States. He began his presidency with a tour of the northern states,
during which time a Boston newspaper described Monroe's reception as an "Era of Good Feelings."
The declaration was more than media hype. The United States could claim a victory in the War of 1812 because of the favorable peace treaty. The nation's economy was booming and the only opposing political party, the Federalists, was on life support. During the first year of Monroe's administration, he continued his outreach to other parts of the country with successful tours in 1818 and 1819. He also made some smart choices to fill his cabinet, appointing a Southerner, John C. Calhoun, as secretary of war, and a Northerner, John Quincy Adams, as secretary of state.
After the Napoleonic Wars, which ended in 1815, many of Spain's colonies in Latin America declared their independence. Americans welcomed this action as validation of their spirit of Republicanism. Behind the scenes, President Monroe and Secretary of State Adams informed these new countries that the United States would support their efforts and open up trade relations. Several European powers threatened to form an alliance to help Spain regain its territories, but pressure from Great Britain, who also saw merit in independent Latin American countries, stopped their efforts.
On December 2, 1823, Monroe formally announced to Congress what would become known as the "Monroe Doctrine." The policy stated that the Americas should be free from future European colonization, and that any interference with independent countries in the Americas would be considered a hostile act toward the United States.
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The first U.S. president, former military leader George Washington, took his oath of office on April 30, 1789, on the balcony of Federal Hall. From that moment onward, the United States' highest office has been filled regularly by elected officials who aim to serve the people under the guidance of the U.S. Constitution. Learn more about the 43 men who have served as America's chief executive.
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