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5th U.S. President: James Monroe

About the fifth President of the United States James Monroe, his birth, death, biography, description, facts and quotes.

5th President JAMES MONROE

Born: April 28, 1758, in Westmoreland County, Va.

Died: July 4, 1831, in New York City.

Career: College dropout, volunteer in the Revolutionary Army, rising to the rank of major. Student of law (under Thomas Jefferson). Virginia assemblyman, U.S. senator, Ambassador to France, governor of Virginia, Secretary of State and Secretary of War (serving simultaneously during the War of 1812).

Personal Life: At 28, Monroe married the beautiful daughter of a wealthy New York merchant. In personal matters, he was often dominated by his wife and his 2 elegant daughters, who put on aristocratic airs and were known as notorious snobs. They spent Monroe's money so freely that he was in serious financial difficulty when he died.

His Person: A 6-footer with a broad chest, a finely sculptured nose, and gentle blue-gray eyes, Monroe was said to bear a striking resemblance to George Washington.

Elections: By 1816, the Federalist party was in a state of collapse and, as the candidate of the Democratic-Republicans, Monroe swept to an easy electoral victory-183 to 34-over Rufus King. When he ran for reelection in 1820, he was virtually unopposed, and carried the Electoral College 231 to 1. Because of the absence of heated 2-party competition, Monroe's terms were characterized as "The Era of Good Feelings."

Term of Office: March 4, 1817-March 4, 1825 (8 years).

Little-known Facts: During the Revolution, Monroe served as aide to General Stirling, a notorious alcoholic. Legend has it that the General taught his young aide how to drink, and all his life Monroe was known as a serious (but never a problem) drinker.

Quotes from Monroe:

"There is every reason to believe that our system will soon attain the highest degree of perfection of which human institutions are capable."-1820.

"The American continents...are hence-forth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers."-The Monroe Doctrine, 1823

Quote about Him:

"His virtue was not in flying high but in walking orderly, his talents were exercised not in grandeur but in mediocrity."-Arthur Styron, Monroe biographer

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