James Monroe was born on April 28, 1758 and grew up in Virginia. His parents were very good planters. His mother died before 1774 and his father died when James was 16. Monroe inherited his father's farm. He attended school at Campbell town Academy and then went to the College of William and Mary. He dropped out to join the Continental Army and fight in the American Revolution.
From 1782-3, James was a member of the Virginia Assembly. He joined the Continental Congress in 1783. He left to practice law and became a Senator in 1790. He was elected Virginia Governor in 1799. He helped to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase. He became minister to Britain in 1803. He was Secretary of State 1811-1817.
James served to terms of presidency from 1816-1824. The election in 1816 Monroe was the choice of both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. His Vice President was Daniel D. Tompkins. He had very little support for the federalists, and won 183 out of 217 electoral votes. In James second term he had no opponent for presidency, so he did not have to campaign much at all.