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James Monroe Essay

James Monroe (born April 28, 1758) was a Democratic-Republican from the state of Virginia. His parents died while he was still a teenager and was left with a part of the farm that his family owned. In 1774, he enrolled in William and Mary College at Williamsburg and was quickly involved in revolutionary matters—along with a few of his friends, he raided the Governor’s palace arsenal and was able to get enough weapons to supply a small army of Militia in the state of Virginia.

James Monroe was the 5th president of the United States of America and served a total of two consecutive terms as the nation’s highest ranked leader. He was president for a total of eight years in his two terms as president, from 1817, when he first got elected into office, up to 1825 (Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, 2009). Important Accomplishments President Monroe’s terms were known to be as an “era of good things” spearheaded by his national tour starting at Boston Massachusetts.

Unfortunately, the “good feeling” could not be maintained because of some political and economic problems (Whitehouse. gov). Monroe had a good head start to his first term, as the country’ economy was booming after the war in 1812. Monroe was a very popular president, mostly because of his efforts to reach out to the people, Monroe’s term was also known for the acquisition of Florida, which was initially a colony of Spain, the Missouri compromise and of course, the Monroe Doctrine.

1818 – Florida was still a colony of Spain and the Seminole Indians in Florida were frequently harassing American settlements. In response, President Monroe mobilized General Andrew Jackson to the Spanish controlled Florida to control the situation. In the process, the general was able to capture Spanish Forts, which is not clear whether if it was the intention of Monroe to do so. The occupation of the forts proved beneficial for the United States because it revealed that Spain’s hold over Florida was fragile.

As a result, President Monroe, with the advice of the then Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, pressured Spain into selling the territory to the United States Government (Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, 2009). The Missouri compromise was a bill that highlighted the term of President James Monroe. It was a bill in 1820 passed in Congress, admitting Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state. It created the borderline (the 36, 30, latitude line) that divides the areas where slavery was allowed and where it was prohibited.

North of the imaginary line, slavery was prohibited while territories on the south side allowed slavery (The Library of Congress, 2009a). The Monroe Doctrine was the president’s most notable contribution to foreign policy. It became the basis of future foreign policies in the US. The Monroe Doctrine issued a warning to the rest of the powers in the western world, Spain, Britain, and even Russia and France to not lay their hands again on Latin American countries that have already gained independence (The Library of Congress, 2009b). Troubles Monroe’s troubles came before the success of his mentioned projects.

Success does not often come as easily as we would like them to be. Apart from the troubles encountered in the projects, Monroe’s troubles came from life after his term as president. After his second term, Monroe was already in a heavy debt. Only through a petition was he bale to repay a portion of his debts. References Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. (2009). James Monroe (1758-1831): A life in brief. American President: An Online Reference Resource, University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs. Retrieved April 16, 2009. from: http://millercenter.

org/academic/americanpresident/monroe/essays/biography/1. The Library of Congress. (2009a, February 12). Missouri Compromise. Primary Documents in American History. Retrieved April 16, 2009 from http://www. loc. gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/Missouri. html The Library of Congress. (2009b, February 12). Monroe Doctrine. Primary Documents in American History. Retrieved April 16, 2009, from http://www. loc. gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/Monroe. html Whitehouse. gov. (n. d. ). James Monroe. The White House. Retrieved April 16, 2009 from: http://www. whitehouse. gov/about/presidents/jamesmonroe/


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