Monroe left the Senate after President George Washington appointed him as a minister to France in 1794. During his time as minister to France, Monroe negotiated the release of Thomas Paine, the American writer who authored Common Sense. Monroe also obtained the release of other American prisoners in France. However, Monroe objected to U.S. foreign policy and the Jay Treaty, which he felt too closely aligned American interests with Great Britain as opposed to France. Washington discharged him from his position.