James Monroe was the only president, except George Washington, to run unopposed for reelection. This may not be the least interesting information about the final Founding Fathers who occupied the White House. Have a look at these Facts About James Monroe below!
Monroe was born on April 28, 1758, in Virginia, and his public life began from humble beginnings. Monroe was a witness to several of the events that led to the founding of the United States and the U.S. Constitution.
However, you won’t see Monroe’s name being mentioned in the same elitist terms as his close friends Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and the former commanding officer, George Washington.
Monroe left a lasting impression on America’s destiny due to his Monroe Doctrine, which he created to exclude other nations from his Western Hemisphere.
Facts About James Monroe
Here are ten fascinating facts about a largely ignored Founding Father who sat for more than forty years at the American Revolution’s forefront.
- A teenager, James Monroe was a hero in his time in the Battle of Trenton. The 18-year-old lieutenant had been sent over the Delaware River by Washington to observe and nearly was killed when he was shot during the battle in Trenton.
- Monroe worked as a lawyer trainee in the administration of Thomas Jefferson. Monroe studied under the presidency of the third president but was not an exceptional lawyer. Monroe was more concerned with politics in his hometown of Virginia and was a member of his first Continental Congress at 25.
- Monroe was against Monroe initially opposed the Constitution. Monroe wasn’t at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and was against it at the Virginia ratification convention. He wanted an uncompromising right to rights bill. Monroe later backed the Constitution.
- Madison and Monroe were unique friends. James Madison won the contest in Virginia regarding ratification of the Constitution in 1789 and later was a candidate against Monroe to be a member of Monroe’s House of Representatives. Madison and Monroe participated in several public debates, and Madison narrowly won the race. However, the two rivals quickly became allies during the campaign, to the dismay of Madison’s adversary, Patrick Henry.
- Monroe did not get along with George Washington. The men fell out following the time Washington sent Monroe and his former lieutenant to France as ambassadors. Washington was eventually forced to dismiss Monroe for expressing disapproval of Washington’s Jay Treaty. Monroe was also unpopular with Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s close friend.
- Monroe was a pivotal participant in two presidents’ administrations. Monroe was a minister to France and England for President Thomas Jefferson, and he was secretary of state and secretary of war under President James Madison. Monroe was in almost every major public position before becoming president in 1817.
- Monroe was among the most powerful presidential candidates of all time. Monroe received 68 percent of the votes when he beat Rufus King in the 1816 election. Monroe was unopposed in the 1820 election, receiving 81 percent votes. One angry elector in New Hampshire kept Monroe from winning a majority at the Electoral College.
- Monroe was aided in the writing of Monroe and received some assistance in writing the Monroe Doctrine. John Quincy Adams was the driving factor behind the policy that President Monroe introduced in his annual address to Congress in 1823. The doctrine stipulated that Europe should stay away from the activities of the new territories and countries located in the Western Hemisphere. In exchange for this, Europe would be able to remain out of the spheres. The United States would stay out of European issues.
- Monroe was able to buy Florida with 5 million. Monroe had started talks with Spain regarding Florida when he was James Madison’s secretary of State in 1815. After the violence in the area and a frenzy of diplomacy, Adams assisted in negotiating an agreement with Monroe that stipulated that it was agreed that the U.S. would pay off the claims for damages from Spain during the war. The U.S. got Florida and assured that it would acknowledge Spain’s sovereignty over Texas.
- Monroe passed away on the Fourth of July, too. Three founding Fathers of the United States who became presidents died on July 4. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both passed away on the 4th of July, 1826. It was on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Monroe passed away on July 4, 1831. Monroe is also known as the only president not to be photographed during his presidency.