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Monroe Doctrine

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It is a singular fact tbat the Monroe j doctrine is of British origin. In 1823 George Canuing, British foreign j tary of state, suggested that the United ! States govermnent should take decided ground against interferenceby the "holy ! alliauce" in Mexico and South ! ica, where the Spanish colonies had established their independeuce. The "holy alliance" was a anión of Austria, France, Prussia and Russia for the rnaiutenance of the European monaichies. It was forined soon after the Napoleonic wars and was renewed and Ftrengthened in 1820, when nprisiugs occurred in several countries of Europe. Great Britain had been asked to joiu the combination, aud some steps had been taken in that direction uuder Lord Castlereagh. On his death by suicide Canning becaine foreign minister, and under his gnidance Qreat Britain held alouf from the continental alliauce. The. United States had recognized the independence of Mexico aud the other revolted Spanish colonies, and Cauuing was inclined to pnrsue the same course. ' In 1823 he suggested to Richard Ru.h, United States minister at London, that this goverument should express in a foreible manner its oppositiou to intervention by the European powers in be[ half of Spain against its colonies which had rejected allegiauce. This suggestion was conveyed to President Monroe tbrough John Qtiincy Adaras, the American secretaryof state. President Monroe submitted the propoI sitiou of Canning to Jefferson and Mad ; isou for their opinión on the subject. j Jefferson 's answer was prompt aud dej cisive in favor of such a declaration as I Canning had suggested. He said it was [ the most momentous question submitted for his oj)inion since the Declaration of Independence. Madison approved of Jefferson 's opinión and equally appreoiated the importauce of the question. Under these circnmstances President ■ Monroe, in his annual message Dec. 2, i 1823, expressed the doctrine that has since borne his name. There had been 1 some correspondence with Russia and Great Britain in regard to boundary treaties, which the president described, adding : j "In the discussioaa to which this in! terest bas given rise, and in the arrangements by which thoy inay terinij nate, the occasion has been judged prop! er for asserting as a principie in which 1 the rigbts and iuterests of the United Stutes are involved that the American continents, by the freo and independent condition which they have assurned and maiutain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects of colonization by any Enropean powers. ' ' In the same message, referring to the insurrections in Europe, President Honroe said that tbe United States would ' always be anxious and interested specI tators of events, but declared : "In the mass of European powers in matters relating to themselves we have , never taken any part, nor does it comport with our policy to do so. It is only when onr rights are invaded or serionsly menaced that we resent injuries or makeproparationsfor defense. With the movements in this heruisphere we are of I necessity more imruediately connected, and by causes which must be obvious to all enlightened and impartial observers." "The political system of the allied wwers is essentially different in this espect froin that of America. This dif'erence proceeds frorn that which exists. n their respective governments. And to he defense of onr own, which has been , acquired by the loss of so rauch blood and treasure, and matured by the wisdom of their most enlightened oitizens, and onder which we have enjoyed unexampled felicity, this whole nation is devoted. We owe it, therefore, to the candur and to the aniicable relations exïsting between the United States and those povvers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their parts to extend their system to this hemisphere as dangerons to our peace and safety With the existing colonies er dependen - cies of any European government we aave not iiiterfered and shall not interEere. Bnt with the goveruments hat have declared their independeuce and maintained it and whose independence we have on great consideratiou and on jtist principies acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, in any other light than ás a manifestaron of an unfrieudly disposition toward the United States." This is the Monroe dostrine: 1. No new European colonies on this hemisphere. 2. No interf erence with colonies of European powers now exiiing. 3. No interference by any Enropean power with the affairs of any American nation. It is but justice to say that the vigorous language in which it ie expressed evidcntly came from the able and caustic pen of John Q. Adams, secretary of state. John C. Calhoon was secretary of war in the sanie cabinet aud approved the positions taken by the president. This doctrine never bas been affirmed by cougress. In fact, it has been rejected rëpeatedly when resolutiotis wereoffered approviug the acts of the governmeilt ob the subject. But it has been reafflrmed by eveiy administration sicce that of Monroè in one form or another. The vigorous declarations of Mr. Seward aud the oommencement of preparatious for their enforcement drove France aud Spain from Mexico and secured the reestablishment of the repnblic after the rtoath of Maximilinn. It is the do-jtriue nf tlifi Aniericuu ueople tiad never wiil be


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