James Monroe was an American statesman and Founding Father who served as the fifth President of the United States from 1817 to 1825. Monroe was the last president of the Virginia dynasty, and his presidency ushered in what is known as the Era of Good Feelings. Born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, Monroe was of the planter class and fought in the American Revolutionary War. He was wounded in the Battle of Trenton with a musket ball to the shoulder. After studying law under Thomas Jefferson from 1780 to 1783, he served as a delegate in the Continental Congress.
As an anti-federalist delegate to the Virginia convention that considered ratification of the United States Constitution, Monroe opposed ratification, claiming it gave too much power to the central government. Nonetheless, he took an active part in the new government, and in 1790 was elected to the Senate of the first United States Congress, where he joined the Democratic-Republicans. He gained experience as an executive as the Governor of Virginia and rose to national prominence as a diplomat in France when he helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.