James Monroe had a great influence on the history of America, even though he was not a brilliant* person. He was somewhat shy and was not even a very good public speaker. But he helped the country to grow and become strong as a young nation.
His famous Monroe Doctrine helped to make the country secure by warning the countries
of Europe not to interfere in the nation's business.
He was a patriot and a soldier in the Revolutionary War.
He studied law at the College of William and Mary. He looked up to Thomas Jefferson
and read every book about law Jefferson told him to read. When he came to a
problem, he would discuss it with his friend until he understood it. He finally left
college so he could continue to study with Jefferson.
Monroe was a good friend. Jefferson said of him that you could safely tell him
anything and he would keep it confidential.* "A better man cannot be," he said.
Another time he said of Monroe, "Turn his soul wrong side outwards, and there is
not a speck on it."
When Jefferson was president, Monroe helped to arrange the Louisiana Purchase.
This was a large area of land which was later divided into 15 states. Then when he
became president, Florida was purchased from Spain. The country was growing very
When he had a decision to make, he would ask experts and get their opinions before
he made his final decision.
He always tried to see other people's viewpoints* and he tried to always be fair.
By doing this, he was able to make friends with those who opposed him. The two
terms he served as president became known as the Era of Good Feeling.*
This biography by Patsy Stevens, a retired teacher, was written in 2001.