Virginia native James Monroe was exceptionally qualified to serve as the United States’ fifth president. Not only was he a Revolutionary War soldier, he was champion of the Bill of Rights, U.S. diplomat in Europe, governor of Virginia, senator, secretary of state, secretary of war, and negotiator of the Louisiana Purchase, before being overwhelmingly elected president in 1816.
His time in office is known as the “Era of Good Feelings” for the peace and booming economy the country enjoyed.
The Monroe Doctrine, a foundation of American foreign policy introduced in an 1823 message to Congress, warned European powers against expansionism in the Western Hemisphere.
Monroe’s presidency was also marked by the Missouri Compromise, which preserved a balance of free states and slave states in the United States and prohibited slavery in western territories above the 36/30’ north latitude line.