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James Monroe had a great influence on the history of America, even though he
was not a brilliant person. He was somewhat shy and was not even a very good
public speaker. But he helped the country to grow and become strong as a young
nation. His famous Monroe Doctrine helped to make the country secure by
warning the countries of Europe not to interfere in the nation's business. He
was a patriot and a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He studied law at the
College of William and Mary. He looked up to Thomas Jefferson and read every
book about law Jefferson told him to read. When he came to a problem, he would
discuss it with his friend until he understood it. He finally left college so
he could continue to study with Jefferson. Monroe was a good friend. Jefferson
said of him that you could safely tell him anything and he would keep it
confidential . "A better man cannot be," he said. Another time he said of
Monroe, "Turn his soul wrong side outwards, and there is not a speck on it."
When Jefferson was president, Monroe helped to arrange the Louisiana Purchase.
This was a large area of land which was later divided into 15 states. Then
when he became president, Florida was purchased from Spain. The country was
growing very fast! When he had a decision to make, he would ask experts and
get their opinions before he made his final decision. He always tried to see
other people's viewpoints and he tried to always be fair. By doing this, he
was able to make friends with those who opposed him. The two terms he served
as president became known as the Era of Good Feeling.