James Monroe

By: Manasi Ramadurgum

What You Need to Know About James Monroe

James Monroe is best known as the fifth president of the United States. His term lasted from 1817-1825. He was also a Founding Father, one of the leaders who signed the Declaration of Independence and ratified the Constitution. The Founding Fathers of America were very active during the American Revolution that freed the American colonies from Britain.

James Monroe's impact as a founding father was crucial. When the Constitution was first being drafted, many feared that it gave the government too much power. This caused two different parties to form: the federalists and the antifederalists. The federalists believed that the government needed that much power while the anti federalists thought that it might deprive citizens of their rights. Monroe was an antifederalist and his efforts culminated to create the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to the Constitution which lists the rights that the people possess.

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During the War of 1812, Monroe was especially important. The War of 1812, also called the Second War for Independence, was a war against Britain due to their agitation. After the war ended, the Era of Good Feelings began. It was a period of time in which there was only one party and little political strife. It lasted until the Panic of 1819, the first recession that America experienced. Monroe was president during the Era of Good Feelings and the Panic of 1819. Monroe's actions during the Panic of 1819 are even now used as a standard for government intervention during recessions.

Monroe was also an abolitionist. Until 1865, slavery was legal in the United States. At that time, there were very few abolitionists, people who wished to abolish slavery. Even rarer were those who actively supported the cause. Monroe helped end slavery in the north and the wes. He also created the colony Liberia for freed slaves. Today, Liberia's capital is called Monrovia.