Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Monroe, James

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MONROE, JAMES, an American statesman and 5th President of the United States; born in Westmoreland co., Va., April 28, 1758. Completing his education at William and Mary College, he joined the Continental army in 1776. Took part in the battle of Trenton, Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth, rising to rank of colonel. Elected to the Assembly of Virginia, and in 1783 became a delegate to the Continental Congress. In 1785 he moved a resolution in Congress empowering that body to regulate interstate trade, and the discussion and adoption of this resolution led to further efforts toward the formation of a national government, that culminated in 1787 in the framing of the Constitution. While serving in Congress he married Miss Kortright. On leaving Congress after three years of service he was immediately elected to the Virginia Legislature, and in 1788 became a delegate to the Virginia convention that ratified the Constitution in which he opposed its adoption. As United States Senator he acted with the Republican party, with Jefferson and Madison, and denounced Washington's neutrality proclamation relative to the European conflict, advocating the cause of France as that of America's natural ally. Washington appointed him minister to France in 1794. On his return, in 1799, he was elected governor of Viriginia. In 1802 he was sent to France as envoy extraordinary by Jefferson to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase (q. v.). He was minister to Great Britain in 1803-1807, where he negotiated a treaty that proved unacceptable to the people and Congress of the United States. He retired to Virginia, but was again elected governor in 1811, and the same year appointed Secretary of State under Madison, combining also the functions of Secretary of War. In 1817 he succeeded Madison as President, and was re-elected to a second term. His administrations were noted for the purchase of Florida from Spain, the adoption of the Missouri Compromise, and the enunciation of the Monroe Doctrine (q. v.). Died in New York, July 4, 1831.


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JAMES MONROE