Monroe, James (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
James Monroe was the fifth president of the United States and a distinguished diplomat. His administration was marked by several foreign-policy accomplishments, including the MONROE DOCTRINE, and a period of domestic tranquility that has been called the Era of Good Feelings.
Monroe was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, on April 28, 1758. He attended the College of William and Mary at the age of 16 but left in 1776 to fight in the Revolutionary War. He was wounded at the Battle of Trenton but served until the end of the war.
During this period he became acquainted with THOMAS JEFFERSON, then governor of Virginia. Monroe soon adopted Jefferson as his teacher and mentor, a relationship that would endure throughout Monroe's life. In 1780 Monroe began studying law with Jefferson, and in 1786 he established a law practice in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Politics, however, proved a more powerful attraction than a legal career.
Monroe became a member of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1782, and from 1783 to 1786 he participated in the CONTINENTAL CONGRESS. Monroe, like Jefferson, did not favor a highly centralized federal government. He preferred a government system under the ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION, which allocated greater powers to the states, as opposed to the Constitution, which gave the federal government more authority. He did believe in the...
(The entire section is 834 words.)
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