Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Historic background
 The immediate background
 The doctrine announced
 Contemporary opinion
 The non-colonization principle...
 The struggle for a canal route
 Non-interference in Europe...
 Interference in Africa, the Pacific...
 Non-interference in America by...
 The relation of European claims...
 Dollar diplomacy -- leaving Santo...
 Dollar diplomacy -- leaving Haiti...
 Dollar diplomacy -- leaving Central...
 Dollar diplomacy -- leaving Mexico...
 Dollar diplomacy -- oil on the...
 Recent European views
 Recent Latin American views
 Pan Americanism
 Pan Americanism and Pan Hispan...
 The Paris conference and the senate...
 The Washington conference and the...
 The Lausanne conference
 The International Court of...
 Attempting to difine the Monroe...
 Summary and conclusion

Group Title: One hundred years of the Monroe doctrine, 1823-1923,
Title: One hundred years of the Monroe doctrine, 1823-1923
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080801/00001
 Material Information
Title: One hundred years of the Monroe doctrine, 1823-1923
Series Title: One hundred years of the Monroe doctrine, 1823-1923,
Physical Description: xii, 580 p. : ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Thomas, David Y ( David Yancey ), 1872-1943
Publisher: Macmillan
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: 1923
Subject: Monroe doctrine   ( lcsh )
Foreign relations -- United States   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by David Y. Thomas.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080801
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - AFH8140
oclc - 00618900
alephbibnum - 001092578
lccn - 23017509

Table of Contents
    Half Title
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    Table of Contents
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
    Historic background
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    The immediate background
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    The doctrine announced
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    Contemporary opinion
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    The non-colonization principle in practice
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
    The struggle for a canal route
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
    Non-interference in Europe in practice
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
    Interference in Africa, the Pacific and Asia
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
    Non-interference in America by European powers in practice
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
    The relation of European claims to the Monroe doctrine
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
    Dollar diplomacy -- leaving Santo Domingo to herself
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
    Dollar diplomacy -- leaving Haiti to herself
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
    Dollar diplomacy -- leaving Central America to herself
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
    Dollar diplomacy -- leaving Mexico to herself
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
    Dollar diplomacy -- oil on the diplomatic waters
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
    Recent European views
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
    Recent Latin American views
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 383
        Page 384
        Page 385
        Page 386
        Page 387
        Page 388
        Page 389
        Page 390
        Page 391
        Page 392
        Page 393
        Page 394
        Page 395
        Page 396
        Page 397
        Page 398
    Pan Americanism
        Page 399
        Page 400
        Page 401
        Page 402
        Page 403
        Page 404
        Page 405
        Page 406
        Page 407
        Page 408
        Page 409
        Page 410
        Page 411
        Page 412
        Page 413
        Page 414
        Page 415
        Page 416
        Page 417
        Page 418
        Page 419
    Pan Americanism and Pan Hispanism
        Page 420
        Page 421
        Page 422
        Page 423
        Page 424
        Page 425
        Page 426
        Page 427
        Page 428
        Page 429
        Page 430
        Page 431
        Page 432
        Page 433
    The Paris conference and the senate debate
        Page 434
        Page 435
        Page 436
        Page 437
        Page 438
        Page 439
        Page 440
        Page 441
        Page 442
        Page 443
        Page 444
        Page 445
        Page 446
        Page 447
        Page 448
        Page 449
        Page 450
        Page 451
        Page 452
        Page 453
        Page 454
        Page 455
        Page 456
        Page 457
        Page 458
        Page 459
        Page 460
        Page 461
        Page 462
        Page 463
        Page 464
        Page 465
    The Washington conference and the senate debate
        Page 466
        Page 467
        Page 468
        Page 469
        Page 470
        Page 471
        Page 472
        Page 473
        Page 474
        Page 475
        Page 476
        Page 477
        Page 478
        Page 479
        Page 480
        Page 481
        Page 482
        Page 483
        Page 484
        Page 485
        Page 486
        Page 487
        Page 488
        Page 489
        Page 490
    The Lausanne conference
        Page 491
        Page 492
        Page 493
        Page 494
        Page 495
        Page 496
        Page 497
        Page 498
        Page 499
        Page 500
        Page 501
        Page 502
        Page 503
        Page 504
        Page 505
        Page 506
        Page 507
        Page 508
        Page 509
        Page 510
        Page 511
        Page 512
        Page 513
        Page 514
        Page 515
        Page 516
        Page 517
        Page 518
        Page 519
        Page 520
        Page 521
        Page 522
        Page 523
    The International Court of Justice
        Page 524
        Page 525
        Page 526
        Page 527
        Page 528
        Page 529
        Page 530
        Page 531
        Page 532
        Page 533
        Page 534
        Page 535
        Page 536
        Page 537
        Page 538
        Page 539
        Page 540
        Page 541
        Page 542
        Page 543
        Page 544
        Page 545
    Attempting to difine the Monroe doctrine
        Page 546
        Page 547
        Page 548
        Page 549
        Page 550
        Page 551
        Page 552
        Page 553
    Summary and conclusion
        Page 554
        Page 555
        Page 556
        Page 557
        Page 558
        Page 559
        Page 560
        Page 561
        Page 562
        Page 563
        Page 564
        Page 565
        Page 566
        Page 567
        Page 568
        Page 569
        Page 570
        Page 571
        Page 572
        Page 573
        Page 574
        Page 575
        Page 576
        Page 577
        Page 578
        Page 579
        Page 580
Full Text







0 y 09
/ 0


Jtto ofrk

All rights reserved


CoPYRIoHT, 1923,

Set up and electrotyped. Published November, 1928.

Press of
J. J. Little & Ives Company
New York, U. S. A.


J3XId' 893(


Nothing connected with the foreign policy of the
United States has secured and maintained a stronger
hold on the popular imagination than the Monroe Doc-
trine, yet comparatively few know what that "doc-
trine" really is. Perhaps this is sufficient justification
foi the publication of another book on the subject at
this particular time, the one hundredth anniversary of
its announcement. Another justification is found in
the increasing importance of our foreign relations and
the continuing hold which the Monroe Doctrine has
upon the center of the stage in the carrying out of our
foreign policy. One will not miss the truth far when
he says that it always has been and "always will be"
the heart and soul of that policy.
The so-called Monroe "doctrine" was announced
simply as the policy of the Monroe Administration.
At first it was sometimes referred to as Monroe's "pro-
nouncement," sometimes simply as the "principles"
in the message of December 2, 1823. Just when it was
first referred to as a "doctrine" the writer has not been
able to determine, but that expression has become
crystallized and that, rather than "policy," is used
throughout this book. While those who announced the
doctrine put it forth as the policy of that administra-
tion and doubtless had no thought of the transcendent
importance of the announcement to future generations,
they at least consciously built it upon a historical


foundation, a foundation brief in point of time but
solid in essential principles, and that is why it has
This study was not undertaken with any idea what-
ever of propaganda. Before the work was begun, I, like
most Americans, believed in the Monroe Doctrine,
though never with any blind adulation of everything
masquerading under that name. The study was under-
taken with a sincere desire to get at the facts, wherever
they might lead. They have led far afield, but not
astray. Except that they have broadened a little in
the direction of more interest in the welfare of our
neighbors, the principles of the Monroe Doctrine are
the same to-day that they were in 1823; the policies
entered upon to carry out those principles have
changed from time to time, whether always for the
better or not the reader is left to judge. Upon our
ability to broaden principles and to change policies to
meet new conditions the future of the doctrine and of
the nation will depend.
Numerous friends and strangers have helped in the
preparation of this book. Among those who have re-
plied to letters of inquiry or helped in the finding of
material the following should be mentioned: Mr.
Henry White, Mr. Oscar Straus, Mr. Elihu Root, Mr.
Robert Lansing, and officials of the Department of
State, the Pan-American Union, and the British and
Uruguayan legations; also, Don Alfredo de la Huerta
and Don Alejandro Alverez; also, Mr. J. K. Turner,
Mr. E. H. Gruening, Mr. Denys P. Myers, Mr. George
A. Finch, Mr. S. Ralph Harlow, Mr. Ray Stannard
Baker, Dr. J. F. Jameson, Professors H. G. James and
Carl Russell Fish, my colleague Dr. T. G. Gronert, and
the editor of the North American Review. For reading


and criticising the greater part of the proof I am under
lasting obligation to Dr. N. A. N. Cleven, of the Uni-
versity of Pittsburgh, and to Professor Wm. E. Dodd,
of the University of Chicago, for reading Chapters XI-
XIV and XX. The above named gentlemen have
helped to improve the book, but they are hereby ab-
solved from all responsibility for its defects.
I regret that Cresson's "The Holy Alliance," the
"Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy," and
MacCorkle's "The Personal Genesis of the Monroe
Doctrine" did not come to my notice until the book
was in type. However, while they help to clarify some
points, they would not have caused any considerable
changes in the text. A few Spanish and Latin-
American titles also came to my notice too late for use.
As several of the chapters deal with very recent mat-
ters they are inevitably based on newspaper and mag-
azine reports, that is, incomplete and possibly inaccu-
rate material. For these parts I beg the kind indul-
gence of the reviewer.
The greater part of Chapter XIV appeared in the
Southwestern Political Science Quarterly for Decem-
ber, 1922, parts of Chapters XVIII-XIX in the North
American Review for April, 1923. For the privilege of
republication I here wish to express my appreciation.
D. Y. T.
University of Arkansas,
September 15, 1923.

I. HISTORIC .. ..... 1
TICE . . . 51
ASIA . . . 165

SELF . . . 240
HERSELF . . . .. 301


MATIC WATERS . . . .. 339
DEBATE . . . . .. 434
SENATE DEBATE . . . .. 466

TRINE . . . . 546

INDEX .......... 569





As a general introduction to the subject which is to
be treated in some detail we may say that the Monroe
Dgotrinef as nroclnimrd in 1323, "ciened three dia-
tinct features. The first was that the Ameriann non-
tinents were not open to any further colonization by
European powers, the second, that any attempt to ex-
tend the European political system to this hemisphere
lwm Ttf danger our peace and sa et. an the third,
that it was our policy not to interfere in the internal
concerns of European powers, but to cultivate friend-
ship with them. .
Taken as a whole the doctrine clearly implied that
the western hemisphere was separate and apart and
that the part to be played by European powers in its
future was limited to the colonies then in their posses-
sion. In the other hemisphere the United States would
not seek to play any prominent part. /The idea that the
United States should keep clear of(European politie
developed first. !

The policy of isolation is almost as old a humor, or
In 1781 Thomas Pownall, sometime colon al
nent alliances
in a "Memorial to the Sovereigns in Ag--ean, as we
minded them that nature had given them p-rjTe-oE0o
lation and that it was to their interest to have no
"connections of politics with Europe other than merely
commercial." The following year John Adams ex-
pressed to Oswald, the English peace commissioner,
his fear that all the European powers would be
maneuvering to work us into their imaginary balance
of power. He declared that we should not meddle in
European affairs and that the European powers should
not allow it, if we wished to do so. Again and again
the idea of isolation crops out in the discussions in the
i lconst nion nf T7. After the conven-.
tion ad adior Washington ha gone home he
wrote to Jefferson, who was then in aris, expressing
the hope that th- nezw government would be elnieiL
eng oring t s together lu keS
fr m forming "separate, improper, or indeed any con-
nection w whin
them in their political dispu About the same time
he wrote to Sir Edward Newenham that we should
keep disengaged from the labyrinth of European poli-
tics and wars. He hoped that we could gain the re-
spect of the Europeans and that we could minister to
their wants without engaging in their quarrels.
With this general policy Washington's first secretary
of state, Jefferson, was in full accord, though his sym-
pathies with the French Revolution were more pro-
nounced. It was this political upheaval which gave the
policy of isolation its first real test. The treaty of
alliance with France, by whose help we had gained our
independence, was still in effect, and Genet came to


we enter the war with France under that
V ah1iugtan believed that nations, as
iduals, should keep their word. Did the
this case? If so, it certainly would em-
bro us in a European political turmoil. Anxious to
do the right thing, he laid the case in all its phases be-
fore his cabinet. The result was the proclamation of
neutrality, which was soon followed by the Neutrality
Act of 1794. On the eve of quitting office he uttered
words in his Farewell Address which are influential
to this day:

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign
nations is, in extending our commercial relations to have
with them as little political connection as possible. So far
as we have already formed engagements let them be ful-
filled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.
Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have
none or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged
in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially
foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise
in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary
vicissitudes of her politics or the ordinary combinations and
collisions of her friendships or enmities.
Our detached and distant situation invites and enables
us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people,
under an efficient government, the period is not far off
when we may defy material injury from external annoyance;
when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neu-
trality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously
respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility
of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the
giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as
our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.
Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation?
Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why,
by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of
Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils

of European ambition, rivalship, interest
It is our true poi er erm
withany por ion of the foreign world, so ar,
are now at liertyto oit: or et me no
as capa ble o patronizing infidelity to existing engagements.
I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private
affairs that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat,
therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine
sense. But in my opinion it is unnecessary and would be
unwise to extend them.
Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable estab-
lishments on a respectbldefensive posture, we may safely
trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.1

As President John Adams held to his earlier idea
of aloofness, yet recognized that it was not altogether
a simple problem, our relations with France were such
that he felt it necessary to call a special session of
Congress soon after his inauguration. In a special mes-
sage to that body he said:

Although it is very true that we ought not to involve our-
selves in the political system of Europe, but to keep our-
selves always distinct and separate from it if we can, yet
to effect this separation, early, punctual, and continual in-
formation of the current chain of events and of the political
projects in contemplation is no less necessary than if we
were directly concerned in them. However we may con-
sider ourselves, the maritime and commercial powers of
the world will consider the United States of America as
forming a weight in that balance of power in Europe which
never can be forgotten or neglected. It would not only be
against our interest, but it would be doing wrong to one-
half of Europe, at least, if we should voluntarily throw
ourselves into either scale.2

1Richardson, "Messages and Papers of the President," I, 222-3.
SIbid., 238.

While secretary of state Jefferson.wrote to Pinck-
ney (1792) that we ad no wish to meddle with the
government of Spain. He later wrote to William Short
expressing a perfect horror at everything like connect-
ing ourselves with the politics of Europe." In his in-
augural address he refers to the fact that we are
"kindly separated by nature and a wide ocean from the
exterminating havoc of one quarter of the globe." To
his friend Thomas Paine he writes:
Determined as we are to avoid, if possible, wasting the
energies of our people in war and destruction, we shall
avoid implicating ourselves with the powers of Europe,
even in support of principles which we mean to pursue.
They have so many interests different from ours, that we
must avoid being entangled in them.
This determination to "avoid implicating ourselves
with the powers of Europe" and "being entangled" in
their interests soon underwent a severe test. Jefferson
hidfno Tive otheBritish, but Napoleon, the enemy
of liberty and democracy, he hated more. The pros-
pect of Napoleon as a neighbor on the southwest struck
terror to his heart and he declared that the moment
Napoleon took possession of Louisiana we must "marry
ourselves to the British fleet and nation." Fortunately
the course of events rendered the marriage unnecessary
and Jefferson could again breath easy in the assurance
that we were "separated by a wide ocean from the na-
tions of Europe and from the political interests which
entangle them together."
The doctrine of two spheres appears full blown in a
letter of Jefferson addressed to William Short (1820):
I hope he sees, and will promote in his new situation,
the advantages of a cordial fraternization among all the


American nations, and the importance of their coalescing
in an American system of policy, totally independent of
and unconnected with that of Europe. The day is not dis-
tant when we may formally require a meridian of partition
through the ocean which separates the two hemispheres, on
the hither side of which no European gun shall ever be
heard, nor an American on the other; and when, during
the rage of the eternal wars of Europe, the lion and the
lamb, within our regions, shall be drawn together in peace.
. . The principles of society there and here, then, are
radically different, and I hope no American patriot will
ever lose sight of the essential policy of. interdicting in the
seas and territories of both Americas the ferocious and
sanguinary contests of Europe. I wish to see this coalition

But, six months before Monroe proclaimed his
famous doctrine, Jefferson suggested to him a departure
from the pelic oT i n i h q
as that proposed in order to keep Napoleon out of
Louisianaj As the possession of Cuba y G Briai
"would indeed be a great calamity to us," he thought it
advisable to induce Great Britain to join us "in
guaranteeing its independence against all the world,
except Spain." *
As far back as the summer of 1818, Monroe asked
John Quincy Adams, his secretary of state, to sound
the British minister on cooperation m recognizing the i
indepondeiae@, of th Spanish colonies a
a proposition was made for the recognition of Buenos
Aires, but nothing came of it. There were two reasons
why England should not give the new states recog-- .
itin Th gh hn hadh the enemy of gpa
for centuries, se bechPMme her friend after the_ advegt nf

SQuoted in Moore, "Digest of International Law," VI, 371.
'Ibid., 385.

Napoleon. While not particularly friendly toward the
ed~spotic Ferdinand VII, it would have been a manifes-
tationof an unfriendly disposition toward the paiiish
people to recognize at this time-the-sep~aratioi f the
colonies. Another reason was that she waskeping
an eye on the southwar expansion of the United
B the opening of 1823 the situation was different.
TeC congress of Verona hadmet and had decided that
France should restore the Spanish King to his despotic
powers. This mighW mean French intervention in
America to restore the colonies to Spain. Also. France
might take some of the nlnni as pay for hrtrouble
In either case, the trade of England would be injured.
In the latter case, her old and still powerful rival would
again become a real factor in America. Canning, sec-
retary of foreign affairs, now talked of recognition and
assured France that England had no designs on any of
the Spanish colonies; he also tried to secure a like dis-
claimer from France, but without success. Instead he
soon found, late in the summer, that circular letters
had been issued inviting the powers to a conference at
Paris to consider the question of the Spanish colonies.
He then turned to Richard Rush, our minister to Eng-
land, and sounded him on the possibility of concerted
or joint action against any attempt of the Holy Al-
liance to subjugate the Spanish colonies. Our minister
declined to commit himself, chiefly, he says, because
of "the danger of pledging my government to any
measure or course of policy which might in any degree,
now or hereafter, implicate it in the federation system
of Europe." However, Canning renewed the propo-
sition several times and Rush transmitted his notes to
Washington. By October 10 Rush was satisfied that

England had nothing in view but "ends of her own"
for the realization of which she was seeking to use his
"auxiliary offices as minister of the United States."
Also, he felt that the independence of the new states,
"for their own benefit," was "quite another question
in her diplomacy. It is France that must not be ag-
grandized, not South America that must be made
free." 5
When Canning's proposition as transmitted by Rush
was received by Monroe, he laid it before Jefferson and
Madison and asked whether we should

S. entangle ourselves, at all in European politics and
wars, on the side of any power, against these, presuming
that a concert by agreement, of the kind proposed, may
lead to that result.

If a case could arise in which we would be justified in
departing from the "sound maxim" of no entangle-
ments in European politics, this seemed to be such a
case, and he thought that we should meet the proposal
of Great Britain.
Jefferson and Madison both approved of a joint dec-
laration, the former saying that "we should sedulously
cherish a cordial friendship" with England. Madison
even wanted to issue a statement condemning the in-
vasion of Spain and any effort to interfere with the
Greeks in their struggle for independence of Turkey.
The President's cabinet also, Adams excepted, favored
a joint declaration, but disapproved of any pronounce-
-ment on European affairs. Adams vigorously opposed
joint action, not so much because he feared entangle-
ments, but because he believed Canning's chief motive

'Amer. Hist. Rev., VII, 679, 691; Moore, VI, 391.

was to secure a pledge from the United States that she
would not annex any of the Spanish dominions. For-
tunately, Adams' view finally prevailed. Though the
cabinet knew nothing of it when deliberating, Canning,
convinced that he could get nothing from Rush, again
tried France and secured (October 9) from Polignac
a definite statement that France sought neither an-
nexations of Spanish territory nor any exclusive ad-
vantages of trade. The note also declared that France
had no intention of using force against the colonies.
Satisfied with this, Canning dropped negotiations with
Rush, though the last statement would have been of
peculiar interest to him, but did not inform him of the
contents of the memorandum until November 24, too
late for it to become known in Washington before the
President's message was made public.
Whilst the Canning-Rush negotiations were in prog-
ress and under consideration by the cabinet, an attempt
was made, evidently with the approval of Adams, who
wrote the notes (July 22, 1823), to secure joint action
between the United States and Great Britain on the
dispute with Russia over the ukase of 1821 claiming
the fifty-first parallel as the southern boundary of
Alaska. Probably the reason for doing so was to try
to keep Great Britain from siding with Russia in ob-
jection to the proposition that the Americas were no
longer open to new European colonies. Sir Charles
Bagot, the English representative in Russia, certainly
was led by Canning, possibly unintentionally, to be-
lieve that joint action was contemplated and he so in-
formed Rush, but on reading his full powers he found
that they related only to Russia's claim to exclusive
right of navigation in the northern Pacific one hundred
miles out from Alaska and that even on this he had no


authority for a joint agreement. He then wrote back
for further powers, but before Canning replied Mon-
roe's message was received in London and Canning now
refused all joint action because he did not approve of
the principle that the Americas were no longer open
to European colonization.6
Fromthe foregoing, it seems clear that the doctrine
of no European "entanglement" was formulated, not
as-a.-permnent policy from which there should-b-
_no dviatin bt as one from whih thgh gnn
principle, a departure would be amply justified when
the occasion seemed to demand it.

The natural corollary to the policy of American
isolation was, no European intervention in America.
This developed a little more slowly, but no less surely.
At first it was concerned chiefly with colonial posses-
sions, later with political systems.
About the same time that Washington was hoping
that the new government would be strong enough to
keep the states from forming "separate, improper"
connections with European powers, Hamilton was bold
enough to declare that

by a steady adherence to the Union, we may hope, ere long,
to become the arbiter of Europe in America, and to be
able to incline the balance of European competitions in
this part of the world as our interests may dictate.
Our first concern about colonies related chiefly to
their transfer from one power to another, especially
*Moore, VI, 415; Amer. State Papers, For. Rel., V, 437-8, 448-9,
462-3, 457.

from a weaker to a strong er power. Spignd Eng-
lan were the only powers which held territory con-
tiguous to ours. The session W Tait-bv--Sain to
FramnpCeD 17Q- nngtd n pftrticunlr oncern. For
more than a decade we had been trying to get Spain
to rpoongniR th tiFrty-firQt prarllel as our southern
boundary and to concede the right to navigate the
Missgigsippi ^er--iaear ae signed are
granting these concessions and in 1798 evacuated our
tetory. Bu th um thatpa
ha d d the- Flri. a ndi TI niiigfnn to Pranpc (1801)
Riuus King, our minister to England, expressed to
Lord Hawkesbury an opinion whh ,a lr,*-y pretty
xed in America-"that we are contented that the
Floridas remain in the hands of Spain but should not
willing to see thee tr ed, pt ourselves."
Just before the rupture of the peace of Amiens
(1803) by which Napoleon became involved in war
witl-TEhgland, Mr. Addington said to Mr. King that,
in-~ e event ot war, one of their frst steps rbably
would be to occupy New Orleans.

I interrupted him by saying, I hoped the measure would
be well weighed before it should be attempted; that, true
it was, we could not see with indifference that country in
the hands of France; but it was equally true, that it would
be contrary to our views, and with much concern, that we
should see it in the possession of England: we had no ob-
jection to Spain continuing to possess it, they were quiet
neighbors, and we looked forward without impatience to
events which, in the ordinary course of things, must, at no
distant day, annex this country to the United States. Mr.
Addington desired me to be assured that England would
not accept the country, were all agreed to give it to her;
that, were she to occupy it, it would not be to keep it,
but to prevent another power from obtaining it; and, in

his opinion, this end would be best effected by its belonging
to the United States. I expressed my acquiescence in the
last part of his remarks, but observed, that, if the country
should be occupied by England it would be suspected to be
in concert with the United States, and might involve us in
misunderstandings with another power, with which we de-
sired to live in peace. He said, if you can obtain it, well,
but if not, we ought to prevent its going into the hands of
France; though, you may be assured, continued Mr. Ad-
dington, that nothing shall be done injurious to the interests
of the United States.'

This foreshadows the idea of "dangerous to our peace
and safety," though probably not m the sense which
Monlroe later hidin mind.
Five years later Jefferson, in a letter to W. C. C.
Claiborne, whom he had appointed governor of
Louisiana, expressed the same satisfaction for Cuba
and Mexico to remain dependencies of Spain and an
unwillingness to see them become dependencies of
either France or England, "politically or commercially."
As the contest between England and Napoleon waxed
hotter the Americans became more and more con-
cerned. They made no formal protest when England
took over the French West Indies, but as Napoleon
tightened his grasp upon Spain they kept a closer
watch upon contiguous Spanish territory to keep it
from falling into the hands of England. In 1810, a
part of West Florida declared its independence, largely
through the connivance of Americans, and was
promptly annexed by the United States, in spite of
the protests of Great Britain. In January President
Madison communicated to Congress certain documents
relating to Florida and said:

'Moore, VI, 371.


Taking into view the tenor of these several communica-
tions, the posture of things with which they are connected,
the intimate relation of the country adjoining the United
States eastward of the river Perdido to their security and
tranquillity, and the peculiar interest they otherwise have
in its destiny, I recommend to the consideration of Con-
gress the seasonableness of a declaration that the United
States could not see without serious inquietude any part
of a neighboring territory in which they have in different
respects so deep and so just a concern pass from the hands
of Spain into those of any other foreign power.

He also asked for authority to take possession and
govern, with or without the consent of the Spanish
authorities, or in case they should be subverted.8
The message was read at a secret session and in secret
session Congress promptly responded. "Taking into
view the peculiar situation of Spain, and of her Amer-
ican provinces," and the influence which the destiny
of territory adjoining the souen rd of the United
States might have upon their "security, tranquillity,
and commerce," Congress resolved that the United
States could not. "without serious inquietude, see any
part_.ofthe said territory pass into tne. hXndz nf-iiay
foreign power," and that "a due regard to their own
safety" compelled them to provide, "under certam con-
tingencies, for the temporary occupation of the said
territory"-to be held "subject to future negotia-
tions 9
It has often been contended that the Monroe Doc-
trine is merely an executive poic and hatit
never been sanctioned by Congress. The above reso-
lution certainly embodies a part of the Monroe Doc-

SRichardson, "Messages and Papers," I, 488.
SMoore, VI, 372.

trine and gives it official sanction, we may almost say,
gives birth to this feature of it.
The policy of watchfulness was followed up without
much waiting. In 1812 Amelia Island was seized and
the country between the Pearl and Perdido was an-
nexed to Mississippi Territory, Mobile being made a
port of entry. Amelia Island was surrendered next
year, but so much of the other territory as had been
seized was not. The President being authorized by
Congress to occupy and hold the rest of it, Mobile was
now occupied. The situation was simply this: The
United States wanted the territory. Spain was
throttled by Napoleon, and Great Britain, with whom
we were now at war, was seeking to get hold of the ter-
ritory, as she claimed to hold it for Spain. In 1817
Amelia Island was reoccupied and Pensacola was seized
in 1818. This was not done to secure against transfer
to some other power, of which there was now no danger,
but because of the lawless condition arising from the
impotence of the Spanish authorities. Pensacola was
evacuated in 1819, but Spain was now convinced that
she could not hold the territory and signed a treaty de-
livering it to the United States.
Almost within sight of Florida lies Cathe "Pearl
of the Antilles." The distracted con ition of_ ain
and the activity of the Holy Alliance caused much un-
easiness in regard to the tate o this island. Monroe
and John Quincy Adams.hi- secretary of state, felt
that it was "not competent to self-dependence" and
that if separated from Spain it must depend either on
Great Brit.in nr th Unitc tt.. -- The entrance of
Great Britain into Cuba would be "an event un-
propitious to the interests of this Union," and all dis-
claimers on the part of Great Britain of any intention

of seizing the island failed to allay their fears. When
France was suppressing the revolutionary government
in Spain a special messenger was sent to Spain, and
a special agent to Cuba to find out the attitude of the
Cubans. Jefferson, as we have already seen, suggested
a joint guarantee with Great Britain for the sole pur-
pose of keeping it out of British hands. If this should
not be necessary, then it would be better, he thought
"to lie still in readiness to receive that interesting in-
corporation when solicited by herself. For, certainly,
her addition to our confederacy is exactly what is
wanting to round our power as a nation to the point
of utmost interest.10
Moore, VI, 385.



Except for Guiana and a few small islands, the peace
of Paris (1763) left France without American posses-
sions. Leaving out Russia (Alaska) three other
powers. Great Britain Spain, and Portugal, had large
holdings i Amzi At the close of our Revolution-
ary War the situation was practically unchangedex-
cept that the thirteen colonies, extending to the Missis-
sippi River, had become independent and Spain had
recovered Florida. Beginning with Florida on the At-
lantic the Spanish possessions fringed the Gulf and
extended west and northwest, including Louisiana, to
the Pacific. From the Oregon country her Pacific coast
line was undisputed to Cape Horn. From the cape up
to the Atlantic and around the Gulf of Mexico back
to Florida she held sway except for Brazil (Portugal),
part of Guiana, Belize, and some islands in the West
Indies. We have already seen how she lost Louisiana
and the Floridas. In the course of the Napoleonic
Wars, Great Britain occupied a few places, but made
no permanent gain of any consequence.
One of Napoleon's great ambitions was a great co-
lonal pire. Failing in antfi' io6ngIiff-gl ,e sld
Louisiana, but later sought to lay hands on the Spamsh


and Portuguese possessions. The House of Braganza
fled to Brazil and the Spanish King was driven out,
but the British fleet stood between Napoleon and the
colonies. An agent did get through to Buenos Aires.
but his demand for acknowledgment of French au-
thority was refused. Also, a British fleet was driven
Except for some results of the activity of Miranda, a
native of Venezuela and revolutionist by trade, there
was little disposition anywhere to revolt against
Spanish authority. In 1811 a Venezuelan Congress
led out in a declaration of independence and made
Miranda dictator. However, he was unsuccessful in
his struggle with the royalists and died in a Spanish
Elsewhere the sentiment in the Spanish colonies was
not particularly strong for independence. There were
two outstanding grievances agamst the mother coun-
try, one economic, the other political. The restrictions
on intercolonial trade and the restriction of foreign
trade to the merchant ships of Cadiz constituted a real
oppression. The exclusion of the creoles (Spaniards
born in America) from political rights wounded them
to the quick. After Napoleon overran Spain, Buenos
Aires was practically independent,
e-^ iqIne lear tbthe tored "efbn ep
had le "&-oth nd that he inte d

did she declare a formal separation. In 1813 Simon
Bolivar, patriot, took up the work which the adven-
turer, Miranda, had started in Venezuela and under
his leadership of the creoles the states of the north-
west carried on a long-drawn-out struggle and finally,
with some aid from England, secured their independ-



ence. The details of these struggles need not detain
us. Sufficient here to say that by 1822 Spanish au-
thority was recognized in few places on the continent.
In 1821 the Emperor returned to Portugal and Brazil,
refusing to be governed from Lisbon, set up an empire
with Dom Pedro as ruler.

After the second overthrow of Napoleon the leading
powers formed two alliances of considerable moment,
the Holy Alliance and the Quadruple A nce. The
first wasborn in the brain of Alexander 1,Tsa-rof
Russia a religious mystic and at that time inclined
toward liberalism. In this document the signatory
sovereigns, having reached the conviction that they
ought to be guided by the "sublime truths taught by
the religion of God our Savior" invoke "the very holy
and indivisible Trinity," and solemnly declare "their
unchangeable determination to adopt no other rule of
conduct, either in the government of their respective
countries, or in their political relations with other gov-
ernments than the precepts of that holy religion, the
precepts of justice, charity, and peace." The King of
Prussia signed in seriousness, the Emperor of Austria
to avoid giving offense. The document was signed
only by the sovereigns. As the King of England could
not sign a document binding his country without the
signature of a minister, Castlereagh found a way out
by having the Prince Regent send a personal letter
approving the principles of the treaty. Ultimately all
the other sovereigns signed except the Pope and the
Sultan. They were not invited, the former because
he had too much authority in the Christian Church,

and the latter because he had none. This treaty cer-
tainly was not anti-liberal.
The Quadruple Alliance (Austria, England, Prussia.
Russia was formed to guarantee the throne of France
to the Bourbons and to repress "French ideas." They
were to hold a conference at the end of three or more
years and thereafter at fixed intervals. Here was
found in embryo the doctrine of the right of interven-
tion, though now confined to France, the disturber of
Europe for the last quarter century.
Between the signing of this treaty and the time for
the mee tg th f first Congress e^nIg happened in-
Germany and Rinmis nh wich Mpttprnmih prime minister.
of Austria, manipulated to bring Alexander over into
the. camp of the reantionn~i.i. At the Congress of
Vienna the German states had been promised liberal
governmntaor at least constitutions. Delay in grant-
ing these caused uneasiness and the liberals made a
few demonstrations while the universities were in a
ferment. As a counter measure Metternich got the
Diet to sanction the Carlsbad Decrees providing for
special representatives to watch the professors and
students, seeing that the former did not "propagate
doctrines harmful to public order or subversive of exist-
ing governmental institutions" and that the latter
formed no secret societies. A rigid censorship of the
press was established and a special commission was
established to ferret out revolutionary societies and
conspiracies with power to arrest any German.
With a pocket full of such facts and decrees, Met-
ternich came to the first Congress of the Quadruple
Alliance, at Aix-la-Chapelle, in October, 1818. France
now appeared and asked to be received as a member.
Metternich could easily steer the discussion on to the


suppression of revolution, wherever it occurred. Had
Castlereagh and Wellington (an attack had been made
on the life of Wellington as a reactionary) been free
to act as they thought, they probably would have as-
sented to the program of interference for repression,
but liberalism was raising its head again in England
and there were men in the cabinet who dared not
disregard it. Chief of these was Canning, who looked
upon the proposed concert as a combination of govern-
ments against liberty. He was willing to stand by
the engagement already made to keep Napoleon out
of Frahce and to repress the Jacobins in France, but
beyond that he was unwilling to go and his idea pre-
vailed. The immediate result was the adoption of a
somewhat meaningless resolution at Aix-la-Chapelle
which each could interpret in his own way. This also
marks the virtual withdrawal of EnglAnd from the
Quadruple Alliance.
But Metternich and Alexander merely awaited the
occasion. It came first in Spain (1820), where King
Ferdinand VII was forced to accept the constitution
of 1812. Alexander at once proposed joint diplomatic
action, demanding in no uncertain terms that the Cor-
tez disavow the crime of March 8. But Canning was
still in the cabinet and Castlereagh replied in no
less uncertain terms that England would never agree
to joint interference in Spain. Even France hesi-
tated to act in opposition to England and refused to,
\st ir
Metternich was more fortunate. Italy had been
left under the domination of Austria. The revolution
in Spain was soon followed by one in Naples and the
King was forced to accept the Spanish constitution.
Here was a fire at Austria's very door and it must be

put out. Castlereagh (Canning was now out of the
cabinet) thought so, too, but insisted that it should
be done by Austria alone. That suited Metternich
and he would have been glad to march into Italy at
once, but deferred to the wishes of Alexander, who
wanted joint action, and called a conference at Trop-
pau. England and France declined to take part,
though their delegates attended as spectators. This
left Austria, Prussia, and Russia, the original thre-eof
the IHovy Alliane' and thereafter the schemes of re-
pression were ascribed to t ization. etter-
nic alrdy had R.si, nender his thumb. Altough
Alexander had proposed the policy of intervention at
Aix-la-Chapelle he came to Troppau with a few rem-
nants of his old liberalism. However, Metternich
so worked upon his fears as to cure him of this. His
doctrine of interference to repress resistance to the
established order was accepted by Austria and Prussia
and he allowed Metternich to take over the work of
repression in Italy. Circulars were issued embodying
the idea of intervention and England and France were
asked to approve its application in Naples, though
Metternich had no intention of waiting for such ap-
proval. Castlereagh denounced the doctrine, but Eng-
land stood neutral in the contest with Naples. France
offered no protest, but Louis XVIII tried to mediate
between his Neapolitan kinsman and his subjects so
as to avoid an invasion so distasteful to the French, all
in vain.
Hardly had the revolution in Naples been snuffed
out when another broke out in Piedmont, where the
famous Spanish constitution was proclaimed. It was
a small affair and an Austrian army was already on
the border, but the Tsar was so alarmed that he or-

dered out 150,000 men.. Here again the movement
for freedom was soon crushed.
Spain still remained a sore spot. For a time the
allies hesitated to act there in the face of the opposi-
tion of England, but Ferdinand VII finally appealed
to them and a congress was called at Verona.
Castlereagh had died in the eve of setting out to
this conference and was succeeded by the more liberal
Canning as foreign secretary. Wellington, an old
reactionary, was sent to Verona, but no doubt was
instructed to oppose intervention. But, in spite of
opposition, the pious princes adopted some very re-
markable articles embodying the idea of repression.

Article I.-The high contracting powers being convinced
that the system of representative government is equally as
incompatible with the monarchical principles as the maxim
of the sovereignty of the people with the divine right, en-
gage mutually, in the most solemn manner, to use all their
efforts to put an end to the system of representative govern-
ments, in whatever country it may exist in Europe, and to
prevent its being introduced in those countries where it is
not yet known.
Article II.-As it cannot be doubted that the liberty of
the press is the most powerful means used by the pretended
supporters of the rights of nations, to the detriment of those
of Princes, the high contracting parties promise reciprocally
to adopt all proper measures to suppress it, not only in
their own states, but, also, in the rest of Europe.

There was also a third article about religion being
a good thing to keep the people "in the state of pas-
sive obedience which they owe to their Princes" and
promising to sustain the clergy in their work "so inti-
mately connected with the preservation of the au-
thority of Princes." 1
'Hart, "The Monroe Doctrine," 46.


Now Liverpool, the prime minister, though he was
a great reactionary and had secured the passage of some
very repressive acts, knew enough English history
to know that a religion of passive resistance had
passed into active resistance and had placed on the
throne the family of the present reigning prince, and
Canning had little difficulty in leaving Verona with-
out signing the articles given above.
The other powers, one of the French delegates dis-
senting, now agreed to put their doctrine in practice
in Spain.2 They began with identic notes demanding
the restoration of the king to all of his powers. In
case of refusal, which was expected, France was to
enforce the demand with an army. There were those
in France who did not like the job, and even Louis
XVIII was willing to stop short of the demands of
the three powers for the restoration of complete au-
tocracy. When it became known that Angouleme,
leader of the French army, might insist upon a limited
monarchy, such as that of France under the charta,
the ambassadors of the three despotic powers formed
a coalition to prevent this. The result was the restora-
tion of Ferdinand (summer of 1823) as an autocrat
and the drenching of Spain with the blood of her
people in satisfaction of his vengeance.
Such was the political system which had triumphed
in Europe. The Spanish colonies were still outside
its influence and they were marked for its next ad-
venture. Small wonder that Monroe and his cabinet
were alarmed at the prospect of the extension of such
a political system in America.
'For the part played by Chateaubriand in persuading Louis XVIII
to undertake the Spanish adventure and for his scheme for over-
turning Republicanism in America see W. P. Cresson in N. A. Rev.,
217:479 ff.



In 1741 Vitus Bering, following out the projects
of Peter the Great for explorations to the east of
Kamchatka, discovered Alaska. From that time on
it was occasionally visited by Russians in search of
furs until 1790, when the Russian American Company
Took possession of it and established trading posts,
though they never made any real settlements. In
1821 Alexander I, who was now running a close second
to Metternich as a reactionary, issued a ukase claim-
ing the territory down to the fifty-first parallel and
forbidding foreigners to carry on commerce in that
region or to navigate or to fish within a hundred
Italian miles of the coast. As this included a bit of
territory claimed by both the United States and Great
Britain, naturally they both protested against the
ukase. Russia expressed a willingness to settle the
difficulty by diplomacy, but events moved more slowly
in those days and it was not until the summer of 1823
that instructions were finally issued to Mr. Middle-
ton, our representative in Russia, and to Mr. Rush,
minister to England, for their guidance in settling the
matter in dispute.
When the instructions were under discussion in the
cabinet John Quincy Adams, secretary of state, de-
clared that Russia's claims were inadmissible because
she appeared to have no settlements in the disputed
area. To Baron Tuyll, the Russian minister, he was
far bolder and declared

that we should contest the right of Russia to any territorial
establishment on this continent, and that we should assume
distinctly the principle that the American continents are

no longer subject to any new European colonial

While the instructions (dated July 22, 1823) to our
minister do not deny to Russia any territory on this
continent, they do very clearly say that "the American
continents, henceforth, will no longer be subjects of
colonization." However, in a letter of observations
accompanying the instructions to Mr. Middleton,
Adams did say:

There can, perhaps, be no better time of saying, frankly
and explicitly, to the Russian Government, that the future
peace of the world, and the interest of Russia herself, can
not be promoted by Russian settlements upon any part of
the American continent. With the exception of the British
establishments north of the United States, the remainder of
both the American continents must henceforth be left t
the management of American hands.4


Forestalling the Holy Alliance involved two steps,
recognition of the new states and possibly active inter-
vention in case an attempt should be made to sub-
jugate them.
As the Latin-American states declared their inde-
pendence they naturally sought and expected sym-
pathy and recognition from the United States. An
agent was unofficially received from Mexico, agents
were sent to some of the would-be states, and a dec-
laration was issued (1815) putting the United States
in a position of neutrality. Early in 1817 Henry Clay

'Moore, VI, 412.
SIbid, 414.

began a fight for recognition, but the elder statesmen
were more cautious. One effect of Clay's activity was
the sending out of several agents (1820), chiefly com-
mercial. As late as 1821 Adams said:

I had seen and have yet seen no prospect that they would
establish free or liberal institutions of government.

One thing, perhaps the main thing, which caused de-
lay was theFlorida question. We had begun.nibbling
at the territory m 1810: m treatt of cession was
signed but the Spanish government delayed ratifica-
tion until 1821. With this out of the way and a favor-
able report from the agents who returned in 1822,
Monroe was ready for recognition and asked Congress
(1821-22) for appropriations for legations in Buenos
Aires, Colombia, Chile, and Mexico. Congress re-
sponded by authorizing missions to such of the states
as the President thought proper. A representative of
Colombia was received June 17, 1822. By the end
of 1823, practically all had been recognized except
Haiti, Peru, and Paraguay.
What of the European powers? All parties in Spain,
revolutionists and royalists, were united in their de-
termination not to give up America. In France there
was a desire for colonies and it was thought that some
might be found in America. Of more consequence was
the attitude of England. That country had profited
immensely by the breaking of the Spanish monopoly
on colonial trade and was loath to lose her gains. She
was willing to see Spain conquer them, if she could,
or to mediate and see them separated even on the basis
of a treaty giving Spain preferential trade rights, but
she would not sit idly by while other powers conquered


them for Spain or for themselves. The question of the
colonies had been discussed at the Congress of the
powers at Aix-la-Chapelle. At Verona King Ferdinand
called on the powers to help him subdue the colonies.
After subduing the revolution in Spain, they would
take that up. Now allied intervention in America
would mean French intervention. Spain was no longer
a serious rival of England. France had been, and
might again become, a rival that would have to be
reckoned with. That was too much for Canning (Cas-
tlereagh was now dead) and it marked the definite
severance of the connection of England with the allies.
Knowing the abiding interest of the United States in
the question, Canning began to sound Rush on the
question of concerted or joint action to block the Holy
The United States had already recognized the inde-
pendence of the Spanish colonies and Rush wanted to
know if England was taking any steps, or contemplated
taking any, to do the same. Canning replied that she
was "on the eve of taking one," but not the final step.
Waiving this question, he took up the possibility of
France subduing the colonies, nominally for Spain, in
reality for her own ends. In case she should meditate
such a policy he was satisfied that "the knowledge of
the United States being opposed to it, as well as Great
Britain, could not fail to have its influence in checking
her steps." As a basis of agreement on concerted or
joint action he suggested (1) that the recovery of
the colonies by Spain was hopeless, (2) that recognition
of independence was only a question of time and nir-
cumstance, (3) that no impediment should be thrown
in the way of amicable settlement, (4) "we aim no
at te p of any portion of them ourselves,"

(5) "we could not see any portion of them transferred
to any other power with indifference.
Three days later (August '2) Cannimg wrote to say
that he had received news which ought to furnish an
additional motive for coming to an understanding.
The overthrow of the revolution was reported to be
nearing the end, and on its completion a congress
would probably be called to discuss the question of the
American colonies. He added:

My government would . .regard as alike objection-
able, any interference whatever in the affairs of Spanish
America, unsolicited by the late Provinces themselves, and
against their will; . it would regard the convening of a
congress to deliberate upon their affairs as a measure
uncalled for, and indicative of a policy highly unfriendly
to the tranquillity of the world; . it could never look
with insensibility upon such an exercise of European juris-
diction over communities now of right exempt from it,
and entitled to regulate their own concerns unmolested from

This sounded like good doctrine to American ears,
but Canning soon dropped the matter of joint action.
The reason was that he received assurance from Poli-
gnac, the French minister, that his government thought
the reduction of the Spanish colonies a hopeless task
and that France had no intention of trying to appro-
priate a part of them. We have already seen why
joint action was rejected by the United States.
A few conferences were held by Baron Tuyll, the
Russian minister, and Secretary Adams on the ques-
tion of recognition. The baron had heard that
Colombia had appointed a minister to Russia and
Moore, VI, 388-9.
'Hart, "The Monroe Doctrine," 53.

called to say to Mr. Adams that "faithful to the po-
litical principles which she observed in concert with
her allies," Russia could not receive such an agent.
He also expressed the satisfaction of his master with
the action of the United States in declaring, when
recognizing the independence of the South American
states, that they had no intention of deviating from
the policy of neutrality previously observed and that
it was the wish and hope of his majesty that this policy
would be continued. Adams remarked that the dec-
laration had been made under the observance of a
like neutrality by all the European powers to the same
contest and added that,

.. .so long as that state of things should continue he
could take upon himself to assure the baron that the
United States would not depart from the neutrality so de-
clared by them but that if one or more of the European
powers should depart from their neutrality, that change
of circumstances would necessarily become a subject of
further deliberation on the part of the United States, the
result of which it was not in his power to foretell.7
In another conversation Adams more specifically
stated that the United States hoped that "Russia would
on her part also continue to observe the same neu-
'Moore, VI, 398.



Beginning November 7, the cabinet held several ses-
sions at which the European-American situation was
discussed in detail. The main question was, should
a warning be issued to the Holy Alliance against inter-
fering in America. Closely related to this was the
question whether, if the warning was issued, it should
be done in concert with England. Calhoun's state-
ment, made twenty-five years later, that the question
of colonization was not discussed may be correct, if he
had in mind only the Latin-American countries, other-
wise it is unbelievable. On the contrary, the docu-
mentary evidence is against him, as will soon appear.
Another question, purely domestic, was how far the
action of the executive, if a warning should be issued,
would be binding upon Congress.
The decision on the question of concerted action
has already been explained. The discussion of the
"political system" of Europe and how to prevent the
Holy Alliance from extending it to America over-
shadowed all others. So far as intervention in America
was concerned, the Tsar of Russia was the moving
spirit of the Holy Alliance. We have seen that Adams
had been discussing with Baron Tuyll both the ques-
tion of recognizing the South American states, which

the baron objected to on the basis of the political
system of Europe, and the matter of the Russian
claims to Alaska. When asked categorically what he
meant by the "political system which she observed in
concert with her allies" the baron replied, "the right of
supremacy of Spain over her colonies."
This, coupled with other things the baron had said,
seemed to imply that Russia wanted the United States
to pursue a policy of hands off in case of intervention.
November 25 Adams submitted to the cabinet some
"observations" on Baron Tuyll's notes, and it was
agreed that he should send a note to Russia. As pre-
pared by Adams the note contained a paragraph say-
ing that a government to be lawful must be founded
upon the consent of the governed. Some of Baron
Tuyll's remarks could easily be interpreted as uncom-
plimentary to our systems of government, but Monroe
thought this observation out of taste in a note ad-
dressed to Russia and it was omitted. In the note as
sent Adams called attention to the fact that the United
States had "studiously kept themselves aloof from
European politics and had not sought by the propaga-
tion of their principles to intermeddle with the policy
of any part of Europe." On the contrary, they had
cultivated the friendship of monarchies. In conclusion
he added:
that the United States of America, and their Government,
could not see with indifference the forcible interposition of
any European power, other than Spain, either to restore the
dominion of Spain over her emancipated colonies in
America, or to establish monarchical governments in those
countries, or to transfer any of the possessions heretofore
or yet subject to Spain in the American hemisphere, to any
other European power.1
'Moore, VI, 401.

On the question of a warning in the President's
message against intervention by the Holy Alliance,
some thought this might lead to war. William Wirt,
attorney general, did not believe that the people would
support a war for the independence of South America.
Calhoun thought that they would and expressed the
belief that, if not resisted, the Holy Alliance would
subdue all South America and then attack us. Adams
did not fear any designs on the United States, but said
that they might partition the colonies and recolonize
them. In imagination he saw Russia in possession of
California, Peru, and Chile, France in Mexico and
Buenos Aires, and Great Britain, unable "to resist this
course of things," in Cuba. Or, if the allies should
make the attempt and Great Britain should oppose
them alone successfully, this would throw the colonies
into her arms. Therefore, the United States should
act promptly and decisively. Whatever action the
Executive might take Congress would still be free to
act or not, according to circumstances.
The Adams view prevailed and the ideas contained
in the note to Russia were incorporated in the Presi-
dent's message.

December 2, 1823, Monroe sent to Congress a mes-
sage which has done more than all the other acts of
his life to link his name indissolubly with the history
of our country. The parts relating to the Monroe
Doctrine are quoted in full.
At the proposal of the Russian Imperial Government,
made through the minister of the Emperor residing here, a
full power and instructions have been transmitted to the

minister of the United States at St. Petersburg, to arrange,
by amicable negotiation, the respective rights and interests
of the two nations on the northwest coast of this continent.
A similar proposal has been made by his Imperial Majesty
to the Government of Great Britain, which has likewise
been acceded to. The Government of the United States has
been desirous, by this friendly proceeding, of manifesting
the great value which they have invariably attached to the
friendship of the Emperor, and their solicitude to cultivate
the best understanding with his Government. In the dis-
cussions to which this interest has given rise, and in the
arrangements by which they may terminate, the occasion
has been judged proper for asserting as a principle in which
the rights and interests of the United States are involved,
that the American continents, by the free and independent
condition which they have assumed and maintain, are
henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future
colonization by any European powers.

It was stated at the commencement of the last session
that a great effort was then making in Spain and Portugal
to improve the condition of the people of those countries,
and that it appeared to be conducted with extraordinary
moderation. It need scarcely be remarked that the result
has been, so far, very different from what was then antici-
pated. Of events in that quarter of the globe with which
we have so much intercourse, and from which we derive our
origin, we have always been anxious and interested specta-
tors. The citizens of the United States cherish sentiments
the most friendly in favor of the liberty and happiness of
their fellow-men on that side of the Atlantic. In the wars
of the European powers in matters relating to themselves
we have never taken any part, nor does it comport with
our policy so to do. It is only when our rights are invaded
or seriously menaced that we resent injuries or make prep-
aration for our defense. With the movements in this
hemisphere we are, of necessity, more immediately con-
nected, and by causes which must be obvious to all en-
lightened and impartial observers. The political system
of the allied powers is essentially different in this respect

from that of America. This difference proceeds from that
which exists in their respective Governments. And to the
defense of our own, which has been achieved by the loss
of so much blood and treasure, and matured by the wisdom
of their most enlightened citizens, and under which we
have e jyed unexampled felicity, this whole nation is de-
voted._We owe it, therefore, to candor, and to the amicable
relations existing between the United States and those
powers, to declare that we should consider any attempt on
their part to extend their system to any portion of this
hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. With
the existing colonies or dependencies of any European
power we have not interfered and shall not interfere. But
with the governments who have declared their independence
and maintained it, and whose independence we have, on
great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged,
we could not view any interposition for the purpose of op-
pressing them, or controlling in any other manner their
destiny, by any European power, in any other light than
as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward
the United StateI In the war between these new govern-
ments and Spain we declared our neutrality at the time of
their recognition, and to this we have adhered and shall
continue to adhere, provided no change shall occur which,
in the judgment of the competent authorities of this Govern-
ment, shall make a corresponding change on the part of the
United States indispensable to their security.
The late events in Spain and Portugal show that Europe
is still unsettled. Of this important fact no stronger proof
can be adduced than that the allied powers should have
thought it proper, on any principle satisfactory to them-
selves, to have interposed, by force in the internal concerns
of Spain. To what extent such interposition may be car-
ried, on the same principle, is a question in which all inde-
pendent powers whose governments differ from theirs are
interested, even those most remote, and surely none more
so than the United States. Our policy in regard to Europe,
which was adopted at an early stage of the wars which
have so long agitated that quarter of the globe, nevertheless
remains the same, which is, not to interfere in the internal

concerns of any of its powers; to consider the government
de facto as the legitimate government for us; to cultivate
friendly relations with it, and to preserve those relations by
a frank, firm, and manly policy, meeting, in all instances,
the just claims of every power, submitting to injuries from
none. But in regard to these continents, circumstances are
eminently and conspicuously different. It is impossible
that the allied powers should extend their political system
to any portion of either continent without endangering our
peace and happiness; nor can anyone believe that our
southern brethren, if left to themselves, would adopt it of
their own accord. It is equally impossible, therefore, that
we should behold such interposition, in any form, with in-
difference. If we look to the comparative strength and re-
sources of Spain and those new governments, and their
distance from each other, it must be obvious that she can
never subdue them. It is still the true policy of the United
States to leave the parties to themselves, in the hope that
other powers will pursue the same course.2

The fundamental principles of the Monroe Doc-
trine were stated at the beginning of Chapter I.
The essential features of the doctrine as stated by
Monroe may be given in nine paragraphs.
1. The American continents, being free and independent,
are no longer open to colonization by European powers.
2. We have never taken any part in European wars
and politics, nor does it comport with our policy to do so.
3. We shall consider any attempt by the European
powers to extend their political system to any part of this
hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety.
4. We have not interfered and shall not interfere with
the existing colonies of European powers.
5. We shall consider any attempt by European powers
to oppress or control in any other manner the free states
of the Americas as an act unfriendly to the United States.
Richardson, "Messages and Papers," I, 209, 217-9.

6. Our policy has been, and remains, not to interfere
in the internal concerns of Europe, to recognize the de
facto government as legitimate, and to preserve friendly
relations, when possible with honor, with all.
7. Any attempt, in any form, to extend the European
political system, which is not acceptable to the States south
of us, to any part of this hemisphere, will endanger our
peace and happiness.
8. The true policy of the United States is to leave the
new states, which Spain can never subdue, to themselves.
9. We hope that other powers will also leave them to

The reader will notice that there is some repetition.
Let us try to state the principles more briefly and in
their natural relation to one another.

1. The American continents, being free and independent,
are no longer open to colonization b Euroean wears
-2. We have not interfered and shall not interfere with
existing colonies of European powers.
3 Our policy has been, and remains not to take part in
the. s and internal politics of urope, to recognize the
de facto governments as legitimate, and to preserve friendly
relations with all, when possible with honor.
4. Fstal consider any attempt or ie European
powers to extend their politict-l syFtem which i s different
from ours, and is not acceptable to the people south of us,
to any part of the hemisphere, or any attempt to oppress
or control in any other manner the free states of the two
Americas, as dangerous to our peace and safety.
5. The truge policy of the united states is to eave the
new states, which Spam can never subdue, to themselves.
6. W.ope-that ther- pwe U

As thus stated we have three groups. In each of
these one is correlative to the other. Perhaps the sec-
ond paragraph should be given first. It states our


policy of non-interference with European colonies. In
return, Europe must not attempt further colonization
in America. The second group states our policy of
abstention from European wars and politics and de-
mands European abstention from American politics.
The third group states our policy of letting the other
states of America work out their own destiny and
warns European powers to do the same.
The casual student of the message may doubt if
Monroe was consciously building up a doctrine of non-
colonization and non-intervention as a unified Amer-
ican policy. The part relating directly to colonization
is aimed solely at Russia and is separated from the
other part by several pages relating to domestic affairs.
But then, if the specific reference to colonization is
found only in the paragraph relating to Russia, the
doctrine or policy can very easily be found by im-
plication in the other part, for example, in the phrase
"interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or
controlling in any other manner their destiny." Cer-
tainly if Monroe was willing to protest against the con-
quest of colonies for Spain, he would not have allowed
their conquest and retention by any other power to
pass unnoticed.
On the matter of colonization there is one notable
omission. We have seen that on several occasions
prominent men, and at one time in Congress, went so
far as to say that we would not look with indifference
upon the transfer of certain provinces, even if made
voluntarily. Writing to Hugh Nelson, our minister
to Spain, April 23, 1823, Secretary Adams instructed
him not to "conceal from the Spanish government the
repugnance of the United States to the transfer of the
Island of Cuba by Spain, to any other power." He

even went so far as to question the legal right of
Spain "to make the cession, at least upon the principles
upon which the Spanish constitution is founded." 3
Evidently he refers to the constitution which France
was then crossing the border to overthrow. Whether
Monroe approved of these instructions we do not know.
Probably he did, but nowhere in the message do we
find any direct reference to such doctrine. Indeed,
it is only by a rather strained interpretation that we
can find it by implication.
Th d trine of two spheres is found in the message,
though it is not stated as clearly as it had been stated
by Jefferson. The doctrine of peculiar interest is very
clearly stated-"with the movement of this hemisphere,
we are, of necessity, more intimately connected," but
nowhere is there any statement of permanent inter-
est, much less of paramount interest. Indeed, there
is an express denial of any peculiar hegemony in the
western hemisphere.
Whatever the Monroe Doctrine may be to-day, cer-
tainly there was little altruism in it in 1823. Our
statesmen of that time undoubtedly had a friendly in-
terest in the welfare of our sister republics, as they
were called, though they were republics only in name,
but nowhere do we see this standing out as a prominent
motive of action. The paragraph of Monroe's mes-
sage dealing with colonization gives no particular rea-
son for objecting to new European colonies, but from
the expressions of individuals, we know that there were
two reasons: fears for our own safety and a desire for
room for expansion. As for the political system, Mon-
roe says more than once that it would be "dangerous
to our peace and safety." Also, he says that the at-
'Amer. Hist. Rev., VII, 680.

tempt to oppress the nations whose independence we
had recognized would be "the manifestation of an
unfriendly disposition toward the United States." In
two different places Monroe refers to our policy of
non-intervention in Europe, but he gives no reason
for this policy. It was unnecessary to give any.
Nowhere in the message is there any appeal to in-
ternational law in support of the doctrine, nor can the
writer recall any reference to international law in
any of the papers and correspondence that gave rise
to it, except in the correspondence relative to Russia's
extravagant claims to the exclusive right of navigation
in the north Pacific one hundred miles out from Alaska.
The Monroe Doctrine was simply a state policy, not
a new element of international law.
Certa.&nl.ny.jnon e t f aill Monroe. thought that
the message was creating n fiing for sil tiLe a
S lcy or our court ntry. Monroe and his supporters
were ipl doing thr heat to meiPt .a concrete
Some writers have sought to give to John Quincy
Adams practically all the credit for the Monroe Doc-
trine. Little needs to be added on that point just
now. If the reader has followed carefully the preced-
ing pages he already knows that the doctrine was not
"struck off from the brain of man at a given time."
Rather it represented a growth stretching over more
than a quarter of a century. In fact, it is a congeries
somewhat like the Homeric poems, which Peisistratus
collected into one whole. I have an impression of
'This question is discussed fully, though not without some bias,
by W. C. Ford in Amer. Hist. Rev.., VII, 676-96; VIII, 28-52.

having read somewhere that Jefferson was accused of
plagiarizing the Declaration of Independence, and that
in reply he did not claim to have evolved the whole
thing out of his brain. But he was the author of it,
and was proud enough of it to select it as one of the
few accomplishments of his life to be named on his
tombstone. In authorship he had simply gathered up
ideas which men had been discussing some time and put
them into language which will never die.5
It has been, and is, customary for cabinet members
not only to discuss the President's messages, but even
to write paragraphs for it. Very likely Adams wrote
the paragraph on Russian colonization. The fact that
it is separated from the other parts of the doctrine
leaves at least a reasonable doubt that he actually
penned the latter, though it contains phrases closely
akin to some which he had used, but it seems to be true
that he had more to do with gathering up and formu-
lating the ideas than did Monroe and that he was very
influential in persuading Monroe to act upon them.
As for authorship, then, we may say that Adams de-
serves far more credit for it than Peisistratus does for
the authorship of the Homeric poems, but far less than
Jefferson deserves for the authorship of the Declaration
of Independence. Monroe certainly had a hand in it
and with it his name is indissolubly associated. In-
deed, we may feel certain that, had Adams been Presi-
dent and Clay secretary of state, the Adams Doctrine
would have been less restrained, not to say more ag-
gressive, in form.
'For a full defense of Monroe's part see MacCorkle's "The Per-
sonal Genesis of the Monroe Doctrine."



What did the Holy Allies, against whom the Monroe
Doctrine was directed, think of it and what was its
immediate effect? Chateaubriand, the French secre-
tary of foreign affairs, said that it "ought to be re-
sisted by all the powers possessing either territory
or commercial interests in that hemisphere."
A French newspaper, l'Etoile, thought it ridiculous
that a republic only forty years old, situated on the
eastern coast of North America, bounded by Spanish
and British possessions, and of which Monroe was only
the temporary President, should take all of the two
Americas under her control. Metternich, prince of the
reactionaries, thought the message in strict conformity
with republican principles. It confirmed him in his
opinion that "great calamities would be brought upon
Europe by the establishment of these vast republics in
the New World, in addition to the power of the United
States, of whose views no man could entertain a doubt
after reading the speech in question." He thought that
no European power could be of "opinion (their com-
mercial interests being secured) that the independence
of America was desirable although circumstances might
compel them to acquiesce in it." Von Gentz, another
Austrian, was sure that if the return of the colonies,

either voluntarily or by conquest, ever had been pos-
sible, it was now out of the question and that this op-
position of the United States, long in development
and now openly declared, would alone be "sufficient
to banish all thought of it." The Tsar was not con-
vinced and opposed giving up, but in spite of his op-
position, the French army was withdrawn from Spain.
While Russia did not agree to get out of Alaska alto-
gether-nor was any serious effort made with that end
in view-she did agree with the United States to make
540 40' the southern boundary (1824) and the follow-
ing year made a treaty with Great Britain to the same
In England the message was received, for the most
part, with enthusiasm. Lord Brougham, leader of the
opposition, said that nothing had ever "dispensed
greater joy, exultation and gratitude, over all the free
men of Europe." Canning, as we have already seen,
did not admit of the non-colonization feature. In the
same letter to Bagot, written after he had read the
President's message, in which he expressed his oppo-
sition to this feature, he also said that, while the United
States had recognized the independence of the Spanish
colonies, Great Britain was still withholding such
recognition. Possibly he had some idea of using the
New World as a means of "redressing the balance of
the Old," but the wind of opinion was blowing too
strongly the other way and he trimmed his sails ac-
cordingly. Before reading the President's message he
had called on France to explain her delay in getting
out of Spain. Probably this had more to do with the
withdrawal than the message did. December 31 he
put in motion the steps for recognition (affecting only
two states) which he had told Rush six months before

were then being initiated, and proudly boasted of an
act which would "make a change in the face of the
world almost as great as that of the discovery of the'
continent now set free." He also went on to say that,
although the United States had "got the start of us,"
by recognizing independence first, the greater gain in
the end would be to England. Three years later, in a
flight of oratory in the Commons, he made the boast,
with little basis of fact to support it, that he had
"called the New World into existence to redress the
balance of the Old."
Spain remained obdurate for some time. She pro-
tested against Canning's act of recognition, but was
assured that de facto governments could not go on
forever unnoticed.

While Monroe's message was well received in Latin
America it can hardly be said that there was any great
enthusiasm about it, especially as separate from the
policy of Great Britain. Both countries are named
as friends and protectors, sometimes together, some-
times separately.
News of the message was received in the City of
Mexico near the middle of February, 1824. A Mexican
newspaper gave a brief statement of the policy against
intervention, but seemed to consider the securing of
recognition by Great Britain a matter of more im-
portance. Another paper spoke in very high terms
of Great Britain's influence in preventing intervention
by the Holy Alliance. In his report to Congress
(January 1, 1825) Sefior Alaman, minister of foreign
affairs, used several sentences in praise of England's

refusal to join the Holy Alliance for intervention and
added: "Very similar also was the resolution an-
nounced by the President of the United States of North
America, as set forth in his message presented to a
former Congress." 1
Central America seems to have given out few ex-
pressions on the message other than those copied from
Mexican and Colombian papers. Haiti was some-
what peeved at not having been included by President
Bolivar, leader of the movement for independence
in northern South America, seems never to have made
any direct reference to Monroe's message, though he
often spoke of the help that England rendered his
cause. The tendency to lean on England had been
noted by Mr. Todd, our charge d'affaires at Bogota.
In a letter to Henry Clay (May 8, 1823) he said that
the "hope of the public council is directed to Europe,
and especially to Great Britain, in the vain delusion
that by these powers alone their interests can be pro-
moted." Santander, vice-president of Colombia and
acting president in the absence of Bolivar, said that
he read the message "with much pleasure" and that
it was "eminently just and worthy of the classic land
of liberty." However, even Santander had words of
praise for England and as time went on the importance
attached to her friendship increased, while that to
the United States decreased.2
The situation in Brazil, which was not Spanish, was
somewhat different from that of the other Latin-
American countries. Her separation from Portugal
was not violently resisted and England was instru-
'Lockey, "Pan-Americanism: Its Beginnings," 225-8.
21bid, 243-6.

mental in securing the treaty by which Portugal recog-
nized her independence. In 1823 the United States
had not yet recognized Brazil's independence, conse-
quently the message of December 2, strictly speaking,
did not include her, as it did not include Haiti. How-
ever, Brazil manifested considerable enthusiasm for
the doctrine announced and sought an alliance, pos-
sibly to give her assurance in the impending struggle
with her neighbors to the south.8
A little later Rivadavia, President of Argentina,
asked the United States to apply the doctrine in her
defense against Brazil, stating that the close relation-
ship between Brazil and Portugal made it applicable
as against a European power, but Clay declined.
Extracts from the message were published in Buenos
Aires February 9 and the next day our minister, Mr.
Rodney, wrote enthusiastically about its reception
and predicted that it would have "the happiest effect
throughout the whole Spanish provinces." To promote
this effect he had it translated and scattered abroad
in Peru and Chile. Official mention was made of the
message in May by the executive of Buenos Aires,
who spoke of two principles which it advocated, the
abolition of private war and the prevention of Euro-
pean colonization in America, but said nothing about
non-intervention. Later in the year mention was
made of the United States which had "constituted
itself the guardian of the field of battle in order to
prevent any foreign assistance from being introduced
to the aid of our rival." In August, 1825, Mr. John
M. Forbes arrived to fill the vacancy left by the death
of Mr. Rodney more than a year earlier. On being
received he restated the principles of Monroe's
*Lockey, loc. cit, 250-4.


message. In reply General Las Heras, executive of
Buenos Aires, said that his country recognized the
importance of these principles and would avail it-
self of every opportunity to second their adoption
by all the states of the continent.4
In Chile the message was regarded as a promise of
protection against the designs of Europe, but England
also was looked upon as a bulwark of protection. How-
ever, when our first minister, Mr. Henan Allen, ar-
rived, he was received with great ceremony and when
he told the Chileans that they need fear no alliance
or coalition he was thanked for President Monroe's
assurance of their safety.5
Taking Latin America as a whole, Monroe's atti-
tude does not seem to have been regarded as any more
important than that of Canning. Indeed, as time
went on, it became less important. This is not strange,
considering that the policy was announced professedly
for "our own peace and safety" and that President
Adams, in the hope of winning the Senate's approval
of sending delegates to the Panama Congress, weak-
ened the inference of help that might reasonably have
been drawn from the message by saying that each
country was to maintain the policy for itself.

Not very long after the message was made public
an anonymous writer said that the pledge of the Presi-
dent might be "considered as sacred and permanent,
so far as the warm and universal approbation of the
country when it was given, may be regarded as cloth-
4Lockey, loc. cit., 254-9.
6 Ibid., 260-1.

ing it with that character." 6 Concerning the effects
here Daniel Webster said:
One general glow of exultation, one universal feeling of
the gratified love of liberty, one conscious and proud per-
ception of the consideration which the country possessed,
and of the respect and honor which belonged to it, pervaded
all bosoms.

Henry Clay, who had just returned to Congress,
after an absence of nearly three years, offered a reso-
lution using substantially the language of Monroe,
but considerable opposition developed to such a
declaration, not because the announcement of the
doctrine was unpopular, but because such an an-
nouncement by Congress, hard upon the President's
declaration, might sound warlike. Besides, some were
trying to couple with it the struggle of the Greeks for
independence of Turkey. In consequence, Clay did
not press his resolution.
A little more than a year later Clay became secretary
of state under Adams. A few weeks later, in a letter
of instructions to Joel R. Poinsett, our first min-
ister to Mexico, he took occasion to restate the doc-
trine. He discussed the non-colonization feature and
European interference with the political system, with
the corresponding negative of each, in two separate
paragraphs and closed saying that the President ap-
proved of the principles and asking Poinsett to urge
upon the government of Mexico the "utility and ex-
pediency of asserting the same principles on all proper
occasion." It is hard to believe that Adams now thought
that the policy which he had helped to formulate a
short time ago had become in Clay's words, "principles
*N. A. Review, 13:174.

of intercontinental law," however well satisfied that
the announcement of the doctrine had had "consider-
able effect in preventing the maturity" of the dangers
of intervention. But no one yet asserted that it was a
part of international law.
The calling of the Panama Congress (1826) was the
occasion for more expressions on the Monroe Doctrine,
though in this case they were for the most part indirect.
Also political antipathies played so important a part
in the discussion that in some cases it is difficult to
judge of the sincerity of the views expressed. Presi-
dent Adams favored representation at the conference,
his enemies opposed. In the end Adams secured the
assent of Congress to the sending of delegates. After
the vote had been taken, Van Buren, one of the op-
ponents, is said to have remarked, "If he had only
taken the other side, we would have beaten him."
As far back as 1822 proposals had been made in the
far south for a congress of American states. This was
repeated several times and in 1825 Colombia and
Mexico issued invitations to a congress to be held at
Panama the next year. Among the subjects named for
discussion were concerted resistance against any effort
of any power to help Spain reconquer her colonies, and
opposition to colonization in America by any European
In his first annual message President Adams notified
Congress that he had accepted the invitation and that
commissioners would be appointed. Now the invita-
tion to the congress plainly implied that the United
States would be expected to agree to some policy of
coSperation with the states referred to in the Monroe
Doctrine. Although Adams had specifically said that
the delegates would be commissioned "to attend at

those deliberations and to take part in them so far
as may be compatible with that neutrality which it is
neither our intention nor the desire of the other Amer-
ican states that we should depart" (sic), this does not
seem to have satisfied his political enemies, who now
raised objections on the score of the Constitution and
of our policy of no "entangling alliances." 7
The debate arose over the confirmation of the men
nominated as delegates. The nominations were con-
firmed by a narrow margin, twenty-four to twenty,
and the debates were then published. The question
again came up over the bill to pay the expenses of the
mission. President Adams now sent a special message
(March 15, 1825) defining the purpose of the congress
as he understood it. So far as it related to the Monroe
Doctrine, he said:
The purpose of this Government is to concur in none
[measures] which would import hostility to Europe or
justly excite resentment in any of her States. Should it be
deemed advisable to contract any conventional agreement
on this topic, our views would extend no further than to a
mutual pledge of the parties to the compact to maintain
the principle in application to its [sic] own territory, and
to permit no colonial lodgments or establishments of
European jurisdiction on its own soil; and with respect to
obtrusive interference from abroad-if its future character
may be inferred from that which has been and perhaps
still is exercised in more than one of the new states-a
joint declaration of its character and exposure of it to the
world may be probably all that the occasion would require.8
It is hard to believe that this was a genuine expres-
sion of Adams' idea of the Monroe Doctrine, which
he had helped to formulate. On the contrary, it seems
likely that he intended to engage the United States
'Benton, "Thirty Years' View," I, 65.
"Richardson, "Messages and Papers," II, 335.

to defend the new republics. The message probably
was called out by the fact that members of Congress
were objecting to the mission on the ground that
Colombia was expecting the nations represented at
Panama to engage to support the Monroe Doctrine by
their joint and united efforts. The President was
simply trimming his sails in the hope of getting the
measure passed. Senator Benton, one of the leaders
in opposition, assures us that such had not been the
common interpretation of the doctrine before that. He
was disposed to ridicule this interpretation, which, in-
stead of having us "stand guard over the two Americas,
and repulse all intrusive colonists from their shores,"
now proposed that each should guard its own terri-
tories. This opinion of the doctrine now given by
Adams met with the approval of Daniel Webster.
Randolph's caustic criticism of Clay, whom he vir-
tually accused of manufacturing the invitation, re-
sulted in a challenge, but there were no fatalities.
In the effort to secure approval of our participation
in the conference, Adams laid much stress upon sub-
jects which have no connection with the Monroe Doc-
trine. One of these was commerce, but he so colored
this as to relate it to the doctrine. He declared that
the independence of the Latin-American states had
opened their commerce to us. The establishment of
colonies in these states

would be to usurp, to the exclusion of others, a commercial
intercourse, which was the common possession of all. It
could not be done without encroaching upon existing rights
of the United States.
Interfering with trade is, indeed, a good way to
"endanger our peace and safety."



We have seen that the announcement that the
American continents were no longer open to coloniza-
tion was called out primarily by the Russian ukase of
1821, extending the boundary of Alaska to the fifty-
first parallel. This difficulty was soon settled and in
1824 Russia made a treaty with us by which she agreed
to recognize 540 40' as her southern boundary. The
following year she made a similar treaty with Great
The dispute between the United States and Grin
Britain over the northwest territory, including a part
of that claimed by Russia, began soon after the ac-
qusltion of Louisiana, and some think that this really
invoilved-tlhe-Monroe Doctrine. The trouble was to
agree upon a boundary which had never been fixed
and this agreement was reached in 1846. It may be
argued that this dispute involved the Monroe Doc-
trine as much as did that with Russia, for the latter
turned on the location of a boundary. On the con-
trary, the position of England as a colonial power was
secure and she was only seeking a boundary along
lines commonly recognized in international practice-
mountains and rivers. The position of Russia as a
colonizing power in America was not fully recognized-

indeed, it was denied outright by Adams-and her
claims had less basis of fact than did those of England.
In the end Russia gave up all that was demanded;
England gave up only a part. Some may claim that
each represents a compromise on the non-colonization
principle, since England kept a part of her claims and
Russia did not get out altogether, but the writer does
not take this view, as Russia had rights in Alaska.
The final result of our dispute with Great Britain
about her position in Central America comes much
nearer to the nature of a compromise. The struggle
for territory in this region and the struggle for canal
rights are inextricably woven together and will be
treated together. Here it is sufficient to say that Eng-
land had practically no legal claim to sovereignty over
any territory in Central America when the Monroe
Doctrine was proclaimed, but had a foothold in two
places and later added a third and undoubtedly was
at times disposed to assert sovereignty. The protests
of the United States did not begin immediately after
the announcement of the Monroe Doctrine and were
somewhat weak in the time of the Mexican War, but
later became more and more vigorous. Sometimes
they were based directly on the Monroe Doctrine,
sometimes on the policy of no monopoly on a canal
route, but after 1850 more frequently on the Clayton-
Bulwer treaty. In the end, England withdrew from
the Bay Islands and the Mosquito coast, but retained
Bluefields (now known as British Honduras) and even
extended her boundaries beyond the meets of her
original claim. The United States protested against
this extension, but finally acquiesced.
Perhaps no controversy growing out of the Monroe
Doctrine has ever excited the people of the United

States more, or brought us nearer war, than that grow-
ing out of the dispute between England and Venezuela
over the boundary of British Guiana. Some writers
have taken the position that the Monroe Doctrine
did not apply to this case, a mere controversy over
boundaries, but was dragged in by the hair of the head.
Undoubtedly in the course of the controversy some
positions were taken by President Cleveland and his
secretary of state, Mr. Olney, especially the latter,
which no one had ever dreamed of before as growing
out of Monroe's ideas and which very few would main-
tain to-day, but these in no way affect the fundamental
issue, the extension of territory by moving a boundary
line. Acquisition of territory in this way is a violation
of the non-colonization principle just as much as the
acquisition of an entirely separate colony. It would
also be extending a political system of Europe-there
is no the political system of Europe to-day. If British
Honduras were contiguous to the Mexican oil fields and
Great Britain were to try to extend its boundaries
so as to include them, there is no doubt that it would
endanger the peace and happiness of the oil interests
and our government would protest against such action
in no uncertain terms.
The boundary between Dutch Guiana, which Great
Britain took over in 1814, and the Spanish Captaincy
General of Venezuela had never been settled. In 1840
Great Britain authorized one Schomburgh to deter-
mine and mark such a boundary, without any confer-
ence with Venezuela. When in possession of Schom-
burgh's report, Great Britain notified Venezuela
(1844), but that government declined to settle on the
basis of the Schomburgh line. By 1848 the report
was current in the United States that Great Britain

had encroached on Venezuela to the extent of 180,000
square miles.1 The question was then raised in the
Senate whether this did not involve the Monroe Doc-
trine, but Senator Cass appears to have thought that
it did not, though he did not say specifically that a
real aggression by moving a boundary would not affect
the principle. What he did say was that Monroe never
meant to claim the right to regulate all American
affairs so far as respected Europeans and that he ex-
pressly exempted existing colonies.2
In 1850 there was an exchange of notes between
Great Britain and Venezuela in which each agreed
not to encroach upon the disputed area. In 1857, a
British agent was sent to Caracas to negotiate for a
settlement of the dispute, but the Venezuelan govern-
ment had fallen on evil days-chronic revolution-
which lasted for nineteen years. In 1876 Venezuela
renewed negotiations for a settlement and a little later
asked for arbitration. Great Britain was willing to arbi-
trate all claims beyond a certain line, but Venezuela
refused to agree to arbitration unless all the disputed
territory was included. Early in 1881 the Venezuelan
minister at Washington informed our government of
certain British demonstrations at the mouth of the
Orinoco which appeared to mean assertion of terri-
torial rights. In reply, Secretary Evarts said:
that in view of the deep interest which the Government of
the United States takes in all transactions tending to at-
tempted encroachments of foreign powers upon the territory
of any of the republics of this continent, this Government
could not look with indifference to the forcible acquisition
'This was an exaggeration, for after further extensions west of
the Schomburgh line, the total area of British Guiana in 1887 was
only 109,000 square miles.
Moore, "Digest International Law," VI, 533-4.

of such territory by England if the mission of the vessels
now at the mouth of the Orinoco should be found to be for
that end.8

A little later an appeal was made to the United
States to interfere for her protection under the Mon-
roe Doctrine, but Secretary Frelinghuysen thought the
time inopportune for "applying that doctrine to a
speculative case" affecting Venezuela and advised her
not to arouse a discussion of the point. However, he
soon offered the good offices of the United States to
bring about arbitration, but nothing came of it.
In December, 1886, Secretary Bayard offered the
good offices of our government and added that the
"doctrines we announced two generations ago" had
"lost none of their force or importance in the progress
of time." This offer was declined by Great Britain,
and Venezuela now broke off diplomatic relations with
her. Efforts were made later by the United States to
bring about a resumption of diplomatic relations and
Venezuela sent an agent to London for that purpose
but all efforts failed because Venezuela insisted that
all the disputed area be submitted to arbitration.
From this time Washington became the center of
action. February 22, 1895, Congress passed a joint
resolution earnestly recommending to both powers
that they "refer their dispute to friendly arbitration."
July 20, Secretary Olney followed this up with a rather
remarkable letter to Ambassador Bayard to be laid
before the British government. In this he attempted
to give a sort of running history of the Monroe Doc-
trine and of the Venezuelan boundary dispute and
brought out some interesting facts and some disconcert-
-Ibid., 539.

ing errors. The letter also contained some very re-
markable opinions added as interpretations of, or ad-
ditions to, the Monroe Doctrine. Among them the
following are worthy of especial notice:

That distance and three thousand miles of intervening
ocean make any permanent political union between an
European and an American state unnatural and inexpedient
will hardly be denied.

And the following:

To-day the United States is practically sovereign in this
continent, and its fiat is law upon the subjects to which
it confines its interposition.*

The foregoing were sufficiently out of taste, but
other phrases may be found in the letter which look
almost as if the communication were intended as a
studied insult. The surprising thing is the courtesy
of Lord Salisbury's reply-but he had waited four
months. In one letter of November 26 he corrects
some of Mr. Olney's misstatements and gives a con-
nected history of the controversy with Venezuela,
though with some omissions. Another letter of the
same date is devoted to the Monroe Doctrine and to
the Olney and the British interpretations thereof. In
the latter he takes the position that the Monroe Doc-
trine does not apply.

Great Britain is imposing no "system" upon Venezuela,
and is not concerning herself in any way with the nature
of the political institutions under which the Venezuelans
may prefer to live. It is a controversy with which the
United States have no apparent concern. The disputed
frontier of Venezuela has nothing to do with any question
SMoore, VI, 551.

of the colonization by a European power of any portion
of America. It is not a question of the imposition upon
the communities of South America of any system of govern-
ment devised in Europe. It is simply the determination
of the frontier of a British possession which belonged to
the Throne of England long before the Republic of Vene-
zuela came into existence.

Several references by Secretary Olney to the Mon-
roe Doctrine as "public law" in the United States
seem to have misled Lord Salisbury into thinking that
he meant to say that it was a part of international law
and the prime minister spends some time in denying
A few days after Lord Salisbury's letter was re-
ceived President Cleveland sent a message to Con-
gress (December 17, 1895) in regard to the matter.
The first part of this is argumentative, seeking an
answer to Salisbury's lines of reasoning. The conten-
tion that the doctrine, however good it was in Mon-
roe's day, was inapplicable "to the state of things in
which we live to-day" he dismissed by saying that it

strong and sound because its enforcement is important to
our peace and safety as a nation, and is essential to the
integrity of our free institutions and the tranquil main-
tenance of our distinctive form of government. It was
intended to apply to every stage of our national life, and
cannot become obsolete while our Republic endures.

On the contention that this is a mere boundary dis-
pute and involves no extension of the European po-
litical system he says:

If a European power, by an extension of its boundaries,
takes possession of the territory of one of our neighboring

republics against its will and in derogation of its rights,
it is difficult to see why to that extent such European
power does not thereby attempt to extend its system of
government to that portion of this continent which is thus
taken. This is the precise action which President Monroe
declared to be "dangerous to our peace and safety," and
it can make no difference whether the European system is
extended by an advance of frontier or otherwise.

As for the doctrine not being a part of international
law, he assumes that every nation is entitled to the
rights belonging to it, that the enforcement of the
Monroe Doctrine is something we may justly claim
and that while it may not have been admitted in so
many words to the code of international law, it

finds its recognition in those principles of international
law which are based upon the theory that every nation shall
have its rights protected and its just claims enforced.

In the second part he says that the United States
has "labored faithfully for many years to induce Great
Britain to submit the dispute to impartial arbitration,"
that Great Britain has refused all such overtures and
that the only thing left to do is for the United States
to take the measures necessary to find out the true
divisional line. In closing he said:

When such report is made and accepted it will in my
opinion be the duty of the United States to resist by every
means in its power as a willful aggression upon its rights
and interests the appropriation by Great Britain of any
lands or the exercise of governmental jurisdiction over any
territory which after investigation we have determined of
right belongs to Venezuela.
In making these recommendations I am fully alive to the
responsibility incurred and keenly realize all the conse-
quences that may follow.

I am nevertheless firm in my conviction that while it
is a grievous thing to contemplate the two great English-
speaking peoples of the world as being otherwise than
friendly competitors in the onward march of civilization,
and strenuous and worthy rivals in all the arts of peace,
there is no calamity which a great nation can invite which
equals that which follows a supine submission to wrong
and injustice and the consequent loss of national self-
respect and honor beneath which are shielded and defended
a people's safety and greatness.
The country, the world, was astounded. This was
little short of a call to war in defense of a doctrine,
but the country rallied almost unanimously to the
President's support. Congress passed a law appropriat-
ing money to pay the expenses of making the investi-
gation and the commission was appointed for the
When we were demanding the withdrawal of Eng-
land from Central America Palmerston said that she
could not retreat with honor. Salisbury now grace-
fully agreed to arbitrate, thus adding immensely to his
own honor and that of England.
It only remains to say that in the end the arbitrators
awarded to England by far the larger part of her
Recently a writer on public affairs declared that'
"when President Cleveland prevented the British from
forcibly establishing a boundary line in Venezuela, he
did something that Monroe never dreamed of." 5 We
cannot tell to-day precisely what Monroe was dream-
ing of, but we cannot believe that he would have re-
mained silent, had he become convinced that Great
Britain had in mind any serious encroachment upon
Venezuelan territory through "forcibly establishing
'Bullard, "The A B C's of Disarmament," ch. II.

a boundary line in Venezuela." The world knows
something of how such lines have been established in
Asia. Had the line been established in Venezuela with-
out protest, it might ultimately have been established
in Colombia. This certainly would have endangered
"our peace," if not our "safety," while dreaming of a
canal at Panama.

Until the struggle for independence was really
ended the United States offered no objection to any
effort that Spain might make by herself to reconquer
her colonies, maintaining a position of neutrality all
the while, but when independence was once fully es-
tablished she let it be known that while Spain might
make war on her former colonies for just cause, she
would not be allowed to resubjugate them.
The first apparent test of this cause came in 1858
when a rumor reached the United States that military
and naval forces were preparing to leave Spain for
Mexico with a view to acquiring a political hold on the
country. Secretary Cass at once wrote our minister in
Spain, saying that we would not sit in judgment on the
cause of the war nor interfere in it, but clearly intimat-
ing that we would interfere to prevent any permanent
subjugation. After this letter had been sent, the
Spanish minister called to say that the expedition was
intended merely to protect persons and property and
that no conquest was intended.6
A few days before the bombardment of Fort Sumter
Secretary Seward received news that the Spanish au-
thorities in Cuba had subverted the republic of Santo
Moore, VI, 477 f.

Domingo with a view to annexing it to Spain. He at
once reminded the Spanish government of our tra-
ditional policy of preventing Cuba and Porto Rico from
falling into the hands of a hostile power and notified
her that they must not be used as a base of operation
to subjugate any Spanish American state. If this
should be done the President would be obliged to re-
gard such an act "as manifesting an unfriendly spirit
toward the United States and to meet the attempt
with prompt, persistent, and, if possible, effective
resistance." 7
All warning proved unavailing and in July the
Spanish minister announced the annexation of the
island. Apparently no more protests were made.
When Mr. Schwartz, our minister to Spain, asked for
instructions he was informed that internal troubles
had prevented a formal answer and that the subject
had been passed over to the deliberations of Congress
at its next regular session. Meantime, as Spain had
observed our sovereignty by respecting our blockade
and closing her ports to the insurgent privateers, he
might open negotiations for revision of the commercial
But the Dominicans resisted and resisted so effec-
tively that the Spanish press called (1863-64) for the
abandonment of the island. This was done in April,
1865, a few days after the surrender of Lee at Ap-
pomattox. Had the abandonment been delayed much
longer, Seward probably would have renewed his pro-
tests in more vigorous language.
When war broke out between Spain and Peru and
other states on the west coast of South America in
1864 our officials feared that Spain intended to reduce
'Moore, VI, 515 f.

Peru to subjection. This fear was partly due to rep-
resentations of Spain that she had never acknowledged
the independence of Peru. But when informed that
the United States would not "regard with indifference"
any attempt to reconquer and reannex Peru, Spain re-
plied that she had no intentions of doing so. In June,
1866, the Spanish minister gave notice that his gov-
ernment had authorized the commander of the Pacific
squadron to occupy the Chirica Islands, respecting the
contractual rights of citizens of neutral countries to
trade there. He added that his government had no
intention of acquiring territory, but only wanted to
take important resources from the enemy and to re-
cover some of its losses in the war. Thereupon Seward
informed him that if his government persisted in this
course the United States could not be expected "to
remain in their present attitude of neutrality," and
Spain then desisted.8
It is a notable fact that, although Seward based his
action in the foregoing cases on our traditional policy,
neither in these nor in the protest against French inter-
ference in Mexico did he ever directly mention the
Monroe Doctrine.
The first settlement in the Falkland Islands was
made by the French in 1764, but the following year
their rights were sold to Spain. The same year (1765)
a British colony was established there. In 1771 Spain
abandoned the islands and Great Britain did likewise
in 1774. In 1829 the republic of Buenos Aires claimed
the islands and sent out officials to take possession.
For some time Americans had been resorting there to
Moore, VI, 507-8.

capture fur seals. In 1831 three American vessels en-
gaged in taking seals there were seized and their crews
imprisoned by the governor of the island. The Amer-
ican consul at Buenos Aires (our charge d'affaires had
died shortly before this) protested against these acts,
but the minister of foreign affairs defended them.
When President Jackson heard of the trouble he dis-
patched Captain Duncan, of the U.S.S. Lexington,
with orders to protect American interests. The cap-
tain retook the vessels and released the prisoners and
demanded of the government of Buenos Aires that it
surrender the governor of the islands, Vernet, to be
tried on charges of piracy and robbery, or that he be
punished by Buenos Aires. When the foreign minister
protested against Captain Duncan's acts and future
plans our consul notified him that our government had
given instructions to remonstrate against any measures
of Buenos Aires imposing the slightest restraints on
Americans fishing in the Falkland Islands. Our consul
was then notified that because of the "aberration of
ideas" and the "irregularity of language" in his notes
the government would have no further dealing with
him. However, a few days later our consul sent the
minister of foreign affairs a letter from Captain Dun-
can stating that he would deliver up the prisoners held
by him on receiving assurance that they had acted by
authority of the government.9
Before these passages at arms were known in Wash-
ington a new charge d'affaires, Mr. Baylies, was ap-
pointed. In making out instructions to him Secretary
Livingston entered into a lengthy hypothetical argu-
ment to show that the acts of Vernet could not have
been authorized by the government of Buenos Aires
'Moore, I, 876 f.


and gave him "hypothetical" instructions on procedure.
The right of Americans to fish in the Falkland Islands
was defended on historical grounds, dating back to
colonial days, and on international law. If the acts
of Vernet were disavowed, then he was to defend Cap-
tain Duncan's seizure of the vessels, and to give orders
to the commander of the squadron to break up the set-
tlement and bring Vernet to Buenos Aires for trial.
No instructions were given on what to do if Vernet's
acts were not disavowed, but on the matter of fishing
rights he was to "use firm but not irritating language,"
for we wanted a commercial treaty.
About three weeks later, additional information hav-
ing been received from our consul, Mr. Baylies was
further instructed that if Buenos Aires did have juris-
diction, she had "no right so to use it as in any way to
interfere with our right of fishery, established by long
usage," and above all to use it in the irregular manner
in which she had used it, as established by affidavits.
Again he was instructed not to let this incident be-
come an obstacle to the negotiation of a commercial
Mr. Baylies arrived in Buenos Aires in June, 1832,
and on July 10 presented to the government a long
note attacking its claims to the Falkland Islands, as-
serting our right to the fisheries, and demanding repa-
ration. The foreign secretary replied in a long note
defending the claims of his government to the islands,
sustaining the acts of Vernet, and demanding repara-
tion for the acts of Captain Duncan. Mr. Baylies
then demanded his passports, which, with considerable
reluctance, were delivered to him.
If the acts of Vernet were such as described by Sec-
retary Livingston, "imprisoning the crews; leaving

part of them on desert islands; sending others to foreign
parts; forcing others into his service; encouraging in
desertion from our vessels; robbing those which (sic)
he seized of their cargoes," he certainly deserved to be
punished by Buenos Aires, but any commander should
have hesitated to break up his "piratical band" until
apprised of the attitude of the government he claimed
to represent. The acts of Captain Duncan were never
disavowed, but they were declared unlawful by an
American court.
At the opening of the following year (1833) Great
Britain occupied the islands and refused to give them
up on the claim of Buenos Aires. A protest was now
lodged with the United States and the loss of the
islands was laid to the acts of Captain Duncan in
driving out the Argentine officials. The act of Great
Britain was also said to be a violation of the Monroe
Doctrine. Several years later (1841) Daniel Webster,
then secretary of state, declared that Great Britain's
claim was "long antecedent to the acts of Captain
Duncan" and declined to take any part in the con-
troversy. In 1853 the British government notified the
government of the United States that it was going to
stop the killing of wild cattle on the island by our
citizens. Complaint was made to the British govern-
ment of its acts in dealing with one offender, but a
warning was issued to our citizens. Secretary Marcy
told the British minister of this warning, but added
that it "said nothing about the sovereignty" of the
islands and also that "while it claimed no right for
the United States," it conceded none to Great Britain
or any other power. He also complained of the pre-
tensions of the authorities there to exclude our citizens
from fishing rights. To this Lord Clarendon replied in

a cavalier fashion that the matter was not open to
discussion. Soon after this the discussion ended.
But the Argentine government was not satisfied.
In 1885 it claimed of the United States indemnity for
the acts of Captain Duncan and the consequent loss
of the islands to Great Britain. Secretary Bayard
quoted Webster as given above, and declared that the
Monroe Doctrine was not involved and that the United
States would not be a party to the dispute.10
There is a recognized principle of prescriptive right
by which a nation acquires a title to territory by ad-
verse possession extending over a long time, for "time
immemorial." In 1897 Great Britain and Venezuela
agreed upon fifty years as confirming possession. The
law respecting the loss of title to territory through
abandonment is that it must have been abandoned in
purpose and in fact, without hope of returning. Great
Britain certainly abandoned the Falkland Islands in
fact in 1774 and seems not to have had any thought
of returning until the United States had driven the
Argentines out, a lapse of more than fifty years.
In 1895 Great Britain reoccupiedd" the island of
Trinidad, in the South Atlantic, which she had held
for a brief time in 1700, but Brazil protested so vigor-
ously, showing conclusively the insecurity of the
British claims and the validity of her own, that the
island was relinquished without any appeal to the
United States under the Monroe Doctrine.11
In 1861 Great Britain, France, and Spain signed a
treaty agreeing to send a joint force to Mexico for
the collection of certain claims. They informed the
United States and forwarded a copy of the treaty. As
Moore, I, 298, 889.
"Ibid, 299.

they bound themselves in the second article not to
seek any acquisition of territory or any peculiar ad-
vantage, Secretary Seward did not deem it necessary
to make any comment on this phase of the expedition,
though he wrote at length on other features treated
elsewhere in this volume.


In Monroe's time our territory touched the Pacific,
but we then knew very little of the far west and the
Pacific Islands. The non-colonization principle, as
we have seen, was aimed primarily at Russian aggres-
sion in Alaska. The Hawaiian Islands (Sandwich
Islands, as they were then called) were known in
Monroe's day to traders, but somewhat imperfectly in
political circles. Whether they be considered a part of
America,12 as some claim, or not, we gradually de-
veloped a policy toward them which is substantially
the Monroe Doctrine, though never called by that
From 1787, when some Boston fur traders first visited
the islands, the commercial relations between the two
countries were continuous. The interest of the United
States in the future of the Hawaiians was further
strengthened through American missionaries, who went
there in 1819.
Other countries were also interested. In 1794 Van-
couver, on his third visit to the islands, called a council
of the chiefs and persuaded them to acknowledge
themselves as subjects of the King of Great Britain.

"In 1881 Secretary Blaine invited the King of Hawaii to send
delegates to the first International American Conference.

A copper plate was prepared in commemoration of
this cession, but the French Revolution was then ab-
sorbing the attention of Great Britain and she paid
no attention to this new acquisition. In 1815 the gov-
ernor of Alaska raised the Russian flag on one of the
islands, but the chief of the largest island, who was
called king, compelled him to leave. Also, the Tsar
refused to ratify his act.
In 1820 the United States sent John C. Jones to the
islands as "agent of the United States for commerce
and seamen." Five years later Great Britain sent out
a consul general. In 1826 Captain Thomas and J. C.
Jones negotiated a treaty with the king. This granted
certain trade privileges to Americans and acknowledged
the jurisdiction of the Hawaiian courts over Americans
resident there. This last provision, which was not
accorded to Japan for many years, is a splendid testi-
mony of the progress of the natives since their con-
version to Christianity. Although the treaty was not
submitted to the Senate, it was observed by both
In 1839 the Catholics tried to get a foothold in the
islands, but the king opposed their coming. The
priests charged the Americans with causing the trouble
and appealed to France. In response a French war
vessel came and demanded freedom for the Catholics,
the delivery of $20,000 as a pledge, and the modifica-
tion of the prohibition law so as to admit French wines
at five per cent duty. In the absence of the king, who
was visiting another island, the commander forced the
prime minister to sign under a threat of war. In this
he was only extending somewhat the example of a
British commander who had "negotiated" a treaty un-
der the muzzle of his guns the year before.

Following the advice of Sir George Simpson, gover-
nor of the Hudson Bay Company, the king now sent
commissioners to England, France, and the United
States to make an appeal for fair treatment and ac-
knowledgment of independence. In response to the
commissioners at Washington, one of whom was a na-
tive of Hawaii, Daniel Webster, secretary of state
(1842), expressed a warm interest in their report. The
government, he said, rested on the choice of the people
and suited their condition, and, he added:

The President is of opinion that the interests of all com-
mercial nations require that that Government should not
be interfered with by foreign powers. Of the vessels which
visit the islands, it is known that the great majority be-
long to the United States. The United States, therefore,
are more interested in the fate of the islands and of their
Government than any other nation can be; and this con-
sideration induces the President to be quite willing to de-
clare, as the sense of the Government of the United States,
that the Government of the Sandwich Islands ought to be
respected; that no power ought either to take possession
of the islands as a conquest or for the purpose of coloniza-
tion, and that no power ought to seek for any undue control
over the existing Government, or any exclusive privileges
or preferences with it in matters of commerce.13

In a special message to Congress President Tyler,
in paragraphs prepared by Webster, elaborated on this
idea and declared that any attempt "to take posses-
sion of the islands, colonize them, and subvert the na-
tive Government" would "create dissatisfaction on the
part of the United States." He did not see any neces-
sity for a treaty or for a diplomatic mission; however,
Congress provided for a diplomatic agent.
"Moore, I, 476.


Sir George Simpson went to England in person and
when the commissioners, who had stopped in Wash-
ington, joined him they had little difficulty in induc-
ing England to acknowledge independence and France
was finally brought around after an explanation of the
policy of the government toward the Catholics. Prob-
ably the attitude of Washington had some influence.
England and France now united in an acknowledgment
of the independence of the islands and asked the
United States to join them, but President Tyler de-
clined to do this as contrary to our policy of avoiding
complications with European powers. Before the
French-British declaration was issued, Lord Paulet
seized the islands and compelled the king to sign a deed
of cession to the Queen of England, but the act was dis-
avowed with apologies satisfactory to both Hawaii and
the United States.
Although the United States had not asked that its
citizens be not subject to trial in the Hawaiian courts,
France had forced this, along with other favors, in the
treaty of 1839 and Great Britain did likewise in 1844.
This situation caused trouble between the resident
aliens and the government. Unfortunately, when an
American became involved the American diplomatic
representative demanded for him trial by a foreign
jury. This incident called attention to the need of a
treaty and a new commissioner was sent with instruc-
tions to negotiate. He demanded the privileges ac-
corded to the French and British, but the Hawaiian
commissioner objected and the negotiations were trans-
ferred to Washington. Here Secretary Clayton signed
(1849) a treaty without the objectionable features in
the French and British treaties, and later these treaties
were modified in line with our own.

But while these negotiations were in progress fresh
troubles arose with France and a French naval officer,
de Tromelin, presented ten demands, among them the
reduction of the duty on French brandy one-half and
the use of the French language in official intercourse.
The reply not being satisfactory, he landed a con-
siderable force, seized the public buildings and all
Hawaiian vessels, dismantled the fort and committed
other acts of war and then sailed away. This hap-
pened in 1849, while an adventurer, Louis Napoleon,
was warming the presidential chair of the French Re-
public, preparatory to turning it into an imperial
throne. He may not have sent de Tromelin, but the
opportunity for adventure was too good to be lost and,
after turning a deaf ear to a special commissioner
from Hawaii, he sent a special commissioner to renew
the demands. The king, "despairing of equity and
justice from France," drew up and handed to the
American commissioner a proclamation turning the
islands over to the United States as a protectorate,
to be used by him in case France made war, but not
When these events were reported to Mr. Webster,
again secretary of state, he instructed the commis-
sioner to return the deed of cession, but denounced the
action of the French. He further said that commercial
considerations, together with other reasons, had fixed
the policy of our government in regard to the islands,
and that policy was

that while the Government of the United States itself,
faithful to its original assurance, scrupulously regards the
independence of the Hawaiian Islands, it can never consent
to see those islands taken possession of by either of the
great commercial powers of Europe, nor can it consent

that demands manifestly unjust and derogatory, and in-
consistent with a bona fide independence, shall be enforced
against that Government.1"

His instructions to Mr. Rives, minister to France,
were of like tenor, and he intimated that a persistence
in the French demands would "tend seriously to disturb
our existing friendly relations with the French Gov-
France yielded some, but secured the most important
of her demands, freedom for Catholic worship and
teaching in their schools, and a reduction of the duty
on French liquors. In justice to France, it should be
added that the $20,000 secured in 1839 had been re-
turned several years before this.
In the light of the foregoing events and of our
increasing trade in the Pacific it is not strange that
Secretary Marcy thought that the islands were des-
tined to fall under foreign domination and that the
best way to prevent European domination was to
annex them (1854). However, his treaty of annexation
was unsatisfactory because of excessive annuities and
the promise of statehood. Before another treaty could
be negotiated the king died and his successor pursued
a different policy. So annexation to prevent European
domination was put off until 1898. By that time there
was no danger whatever of European domination;
American sugar interests were dominating the island
and they asked for annexation in 1893. President
Cleveland was not an expansionist and wanted to re-
store the queen, but Congress decided that Hawaii
should be left to manage its own affairs. But the delay
in annexation was brief. The Spanish War emphasized
4 Moore, I, 481.

the strategic importance of the islands and they were
annexed by joint resolution (July, 1898).

In the chapter on "Historic Background" we found
numerous expressions previous to 1825 to the effect
that, while we would not interfere with Spanish rule
in Cuba, we would not be indifferent to the transfer of
the island to any other power by Spain. In the course
of half a century this was repeated many times.
In April, 1825, Mr. Clay, then secretary of state,
wrote our minister in Spain that, if Cuba and Porto
Rico should become the object and theater of the war
between Spain and her former colonies, their fortunes
had "such a connection with the prosperity of the
United States that they could not be indifferent
spectators." 1r Later in the year he wrote to our minis-
ter in France that the United States "could not con-
sent to the occupation of these islands by any other
European power than Spain under any contingencies
whatever." About the same time Albert Gallatin,
minister to England, sought to impress upon the gov-
ernment of that country that we could not consent to
the transfer of Cuba to "any great maritime power."
Similar views were expressed by Alexander Everett
in 1827, and Van Buren, secretary of state, in 1829
and while President in 1837. One reason why people
in those days believed that its transfer, especially to
Great Britain, would endanger our peace and safety
was the fear that the slaves would be emancipated and
so add fuel to the flame of emancipation in our borders.
This is seen faintly in the notes of Van Buren, more
"Moore, VI, 447.


clearly in those of Forsyth (1840), of Webster (1843)
and of Upshur (1844). Specific reference is made to
abolition activity in England and they say very em-
phatically that the United States will prevent "at all
hazards . any foreign military occupation for any
pretext whatever." By direction of the President
(Polk) Secretary Buchanan repeated what had already
been said several times, that we were content to see
Cuba remain in the hands of Spain, but would "never
consent" to see it in the hands of any other foreign
power. For this he gave two strategic reasons, one
military and the other commercial, and added that as
"the highest duty of every independent nation is to
provide for its own safety . we should be compelled
to resist the acquisition of Cuba by any powerful mari-
time State, with all the means which Providence has
placed at our command." 17 Here we may add that
when he became minister to England (1854) and again
when President Mr. Buchanan seems to have been no
longer "content to see Cuba remain in the hands of
Spain," as was shown by the Ostend Manifesto and
by his message to Congress.
Secretary Clayton was no less direct in statement
than his predecessors and declared that we were "reso-
lutely determined that Spain should never cede the
island to any other power than the United States." He
added that we did not care to make any threats or
enter into any guarantees about it, but served notice
that the news of the cession of Cuba to any foreign
power would be "the instant signal for war."
While we were content to see the island remain in
the hands of Spain, Daniel Webster served notice on
the French government (1851) that we did not approve
"Moore, VI, 452.

of any foreign help to maintain the connection. While
secretary of state, Mr. Marcy repeated several times
the general ideas about transfer given above. In 1867
Secretary Seward referred to Jefferson's idea that the
island would ultimately come to us "by means of con-
stant gravitation," and suggested to the Spanish minis-
ter that this gravitation should not be interfered with
by pledging the revenues of Cuba to French capitalists
to secure a loan. If Spain desired to pledge the reve-
nues, he hoped that she would notify the United States
before concluding an arrangement elsewhere. Three
years later Secretary Fish instructed our ministers in
London and Paris that, while we would abstain
"scrupulously from any effort to hasten" the separation
of Cuba from Spain, "we could not contemplate with
indifference or in silence, any measures which may
promise to give any possible ground of claim on the
part of any foreign power to acquire any rights of
ownership, or control, over that island or its revenues."
In this case the protest was unavailing for the Cuban
revenues were pledged by Spain.
The next protest was against continued ownership
by Spain and this was terminated by the war of 1898,
but Congress interfered with the "constant gravitation"
and Cuba did not fall directly into our hands, though
Porto Rico did.
In 1870 Sweden notified the United States that
Italy had made an offer for the island of St. Bar-
tholomew and indicated that we might have it on the
same terms. Having on his hands incomplete negotia-
tions for the Danish West Indies, President Grant was
not disposed to discuss the offer. In his reply to Swe-
den Secretary Fish said that the transfer to a foreign
nation might involve us in a controversy with a friendly

power, as such a transfer was contrary to that "car-
dinal policy of the United States which objects to
new colonies of European governments on this hemi-
sphere" and expressed the hope that the transaction
would be postponed. President Grant does not appear
to have referred specifically to this case, but in his
special message of May 31, 1870, advocating confirma-
tion of the treaty annexing Santo Domingo, he used
language, repeated in the annual message of Decem-
ber 5, which certainly would cover it. After invoking
the Monroe Doctrine he said that "hereafter no terri-
tory on this continent shall be regarded as subject of
transfer to a European power." Yet curiously enough,
eight years later, no objection whatever was raised
when Sweden transferred St. Bartholomew to France.
Was the State Department asleep?

Fear of the Indians finally led the few non-Indian
settlers in Yucatan to offer the "dominion and sover-
eignty" of that country to the United States. In order
to make sure of protection from some quarter, in case
the United States refused, they also made a similar
offer to Great Britain and Spain.
In his first annual message (1845) President Polk
had restated the Monroe Doctrine and added that,
should any independent American states propose to
unite themselves (Texas in this case) "with our Con-
federacy, this will be a question for them and us to
determine without any foreign interposition." This
did not exactly fit the case given above, for Yucatan
was not an independent state. It was a province of
Mexico, off of which we were just then carving a con-

siderable slice on the north. But here was the pos-
sibility of a European power getting a new foothold,
and President Polk again appealed to the Monroe Doc-
trine. In a special message to Congress he now (1848)
said that, while he did not propose to recommend any
measure looking to "dominion and sovereignty" over
Yucatan, "yet according to our established policy, we
could not consent to the transfer of this dominion and
sovereignty" to any other power. A few days later a
bill was reported to the Senate by the committee on
foreign relations authorizing the President to take
temporary military occupation of Yucatan, but two
weeks later the chairman of the committee asked that
it be passed over, as the whites and the Indians had
made peace.
The two messages referred to above have given rise
to what some call, almost contemptuously, the Polk
Doctrine. John Quincy Adams was alive when the
first was delivered and approved of it, though he bit-
terly opposed the annexation of Texas. When the sec-
ond was read John C. Calhoun, who had been a mem-
ber of Monroe's cabinet in 1823, said that the non-
colonization feature had never been discussed in
cabinet and gave as his opinion that "colonization"
meant the establishment of a settlement by emigrants
from the parent country in a territory either unin-
habited or from which the inhabitants have been
partially or wholly expelled." 17
Whether Monroe ever dreamed of including cases of
voluntary cession or not, objection has been made to
such cession more than once since the time of Polk's
Presidency. Clayton, who became secretary of state
when Polk went out of office, took the same position
Moore, VI, 424.

with regard to a treaty by which it was rumored that
Costa Rica would cede a claim to territory in dispute
with Nicaragua south of the San Juan River and put
herself under British protection. This, he said, would
seriously embarrass us and Costa Rica was warned not
to make common cause with Great Britain.
Costa Rica had actually made the offer before re-
ceiving the warning, but Palmerston declined it. The
controversy over the canal route was becoming acute
and he probably did not care to embarrass himself by
any further disregard of the Monroe Doctrine. Very
likely he recalled Polk's statement of the doctrine in
connection with Yucatan.
In 1880 a rumor spread that Great Britain was seek-
ing to obtain from Honduras the Bay Islands which
she had very reluctantly turned over to that state in
1859 upon the repeated insistence of the United States.
Secretary Evarts then took advantage of this oppor-
tunity to say that it would "be impossible for us to re-
main indifferent, or to acquiesce in any European
power acquiring any of them."
In 1883 the Haitian finances were in a bad way and
the government offered the Mole St. Nicholas or the
island of Tortuga to the United States in return for
certain guarantees and payments, but the offer was de-
clined as contrary to our national policy on such ac-
quisitions. A year later it was reported that Haiti
was making a similar offer to France, whereupon Sec-
retary Frelinghuysen asked our minister in Paris to
"call the attention of the foreign office" to the fact
that such an acquisition would conflict with "our pub-
lic policy known as the Monroe Doctrine." Upon
renewal of the rumor in 1888 that France had designs
on the island, substantially the same position was taken

by President Cleveland's secretary of state, Mr.
In view of this it seems very unlikely that President
Cleveland had in mind any transactions like the pre-
ceding when, speaking of the dispute between Great
Britain and Venezuela, he said that "any adjustment
of the boundary which [Venezuela] may deem for
her advantage and may enter into of her own free
will can not of course be objected to by the United
States." If so, it was a departure from the policy an-
nounced by Polk and followed by several of his
When we took over the Spanish colonies in 1898
some essayed to treat this as an abandonment of the
Monroe Doctrine. By such people it seems to have
been assumed that the Monroe Doctrine meant that
the Americas were held in reserve for expansion by
the United States and that we would leave the rest
of the world to others. The Monroe Doctrine as orig-
inally proclaimed undoubtedly was directed at Europe.
At that time no other power had any colonial policy,
nor was there the remotest probability that any other
power would attempt to extend its political system
to the New World or that we would interfere in the
internal concerns of Asia or Africa. But in the latter
part of the nineteenth century Japan became a world
power and began to attract attention as she began to
look around for places for expansion. Naturally our
occupation of the Philippines and Hawaii was not
altogether pleasing to Japan, was looked upon as
poaching on the preserves of others. It might inter-
fere with the development of her Asiatic and Pacific
policy. There was the possibility of peaceful pene-
tration elsewhere and Japanese filtered into California

and Mexico. But Japanese were not attractive to
Then, about the time American troops were sent into
Texas (1911) to guard the border, the newspapers de-
clared that a secret treaty existed between Mexico and
Japan whereby the latter was to secure a coaling sta-
tion on the Pacific-and this, said the papers, was the
real cause of the movement of the troops. Categorical
denials were at once issued by the Japanese ambas-
sadors at Washington and the City of Mexico; also,
Secretary Knox denied that the report had had any-
thing to do with the movement of troops. However, it
was known that Japanese colonists had received grants
of land in Mexico and that one of the subsidized
Japanese steamship lines had asked Mexico for coaling
privileges on the Pacific coast, consequently the sub-
ject was still a topic of discussion. In April, 1912,
Senator Lodge introduced, and the Senate passed, a
resolution calling on the President to furnish the Sen-
ate with all the information he had on the subject.
He had nothing to give, and the committee to which
the matter was referred finally reported that there was
no evidence of any intention on the part of Japan to
acquire a foothold in Mexico. However, they thought
this a good time to forestall such action in the future
and advised the passage of the following resolution in-
troduced by Senator Lodge:

Resolved: That when any harbor or other place in the
American continents is so situated that the occupation
thereof for naval or military purposes might threaten the
communications or the safety of the United States, the
government of the United States could not see without
grave concern the possession of such harbor or other place
by any corporation or association which has such relation

to another government, not American, as to give that
government practical power of control for national purposes.
When the resolution came up for passage Senator
Cummins asked if it was an extension of the Monroe
Doctrine or merely an application of the doctrine. In
reply Senator Lodge said that it rested on much older
and broader ground than the Monroe Doctrine, namely
in the principle that "every nation has a right to pro-
tect its own safety." He further added that if any
nation "feels that the possession by a foreign power,
for military or naval purposes, of any given harbor or
place is prejudicial to its safety, it is its duty as well
as its right to interfere." As a precedent in justifica-
tion of this view he cited the protest of Great Britain
against the occupation of Agadir by Germany. The
resolution was adopted without much debate, the vote
being 51 to 4, 39 not voting.s8
Time and circumstance make a difference. In 1866,
when Ecuador was seriously considering the sale of the
Galapagos Islands to British holders of Ecuadorian
bonds, Secretary Seward said that the United States
was not opposed to sale to private parties.19 Later,
when unauthorized parties approached Secretary Root
on the subject of the sale of these islands he paid no
attention to them,20 but he undoubtedly would have
objected seriously to their transfer either to a foreign
government or to foreign individuals. When the Lodge
Resolution was passed President Taft took no notice
of it. However, once or twice it was reported that the
Sixty-second Cong., 2d sess., Cong. Rec., 48, Part 10, pp. 10045-7.
"Dip. Cor., 1866, II, 480, 483.
"See Sixty-fifth Cong., 3d. sess., Cong. Rec., 57:196. The state-
ment of Senator Lodge that Secretary Root told Ecuador, that these
islands were not to be sold appears to be without foundation.
Letter from Mr. Root, Nov. 18, 1922.

State Department was inquiring into reports that
Japanese were acquiring lands in Mexico and letting
it be known that it would not look with favor on the
acquisition of large holdings. Possibly the reports
were incorrect. In 1922 a Japanese syndicate secured
a concession for pearl fisheries in Lower California and
lands for growing cotton, and the State Department
appears to have offered no protest.21
Probably no one would say that we entered the
Philippines to balk Japan, though to keep her out has
been urged as a reason for staying there, or that the
bays and islands on the west coast of America are held
in reserve for expansion when we want them, but the
fact remains that the United States will not permit
any more islands or bays anywhere in America to be
occupied by foreign powers, whether we want them or
not, even if granted freely by the country that owns
them. Also, concessions to private companies will be
watched with jealous interest, because, whether used
by the government of the concessionaires as a smoke
screen or not, they are likely to lead to political inter-
ference in backward countries. The matter of oil con-
cessions will be dealt with later.
Perhaps the extreme application of the Monroe Doc-
trine is found in the objection to Japanese in Cali-
fornia. Our government never has mentioned the doc-
trine in connection with this question. Indeed it has
never protested against the coming of the Japanese,
though at the insistence of California it secured a
"gentleman's agreement" by which Japan was to pro-
hibit the coming of laborers. There is no doubt that
the Japanese are influenced very little by the "melting
pot," that they do not assimilate. The Californians
SCurrent History Magazine, XVI, 341.

claim, apparently with truth, that the Japanese born
abroad are Japanese citizens to the nth generation.
The Japanese born on American soil are American
citizens, yet they are required to register with the
Japanese consul. The Californians claim that the
Japanese there maintain an organization, reporting
to the Japanese government. If so, then they form
a sort of Japanese colony in our midst. In time of war
with Japan there is little doubt that, if possible, their
lot would be cast with their mother country. If they
could not fight openly for her, they would do it
secretly. Certainly this would be dangerous to our
peace and safety.
The policy of not interfering with existing European
colonies may be said to have been reasonably well
carried out. The only official interference occurred
in the case of the Spanish colonies in 1898. For years
the island of Cuba had been wretchedly misgoverned
and had been in a chronic state of revolt for two ten-
year periods. Interference by private individuals from
the United States was attempted several times, but,
with only a few exceptions, our government was reason-
ably vigilant in the prevention of filibustering expe-
ditions. The revolutionists never succeeded in estab-
lishing a government which could have reasonably
claimed recognition under international law. Tired of
waiting for this and of the intolerable government so
near to our borders, our government finally declared
(1898) that the island should be free. In popular
language this was called interference in behalf of hu-
manity, though no official sanction was given to this

It is well enough that no such official reason was ever
given. Perhaps the conditions were bad enough to
justify such action. We not only did not invite other
nations, American much less European, to investigate
and sit in judgment with us on the question, but would
not have tolerated such action by European powers,
if they had offered to do so. When one nation attacks
a weaker power in the name of humanity, it lays it-
self open to suspicion.
In spite of repeated official denials, Spain had had
historic reasons for thinking that we wanted Cuba.
That the world might not think they were going to
war to satisfy a desire for territorial aggrandizement,
Congress passed a resolution of renunciation and de-
clared that Cuba should be free. But this did not
apply to Porto Rico and the Philippines, and they
were taken and kept.
At the time of the Canadian rebellion in 1837 at-
tempts were made to use our shores as a base of opera-
tion in behalf of the insurgents, but our government
performed its duty as neutral. Later the Fenians tried
to attack Canada from the United States as a means
of attacking England. For many years there was a
great deal of talk about annexing Canada to the United
States, but never any official hint of anything of the
kind. The nearest approach to it is found in the ex-
travagant Alabama claims put forward by Senator
Sumner in the hope that England would be forced
to sell us Canada to pay the damages.



The story of the contest for a canal route in Central
America and of territorial encroachments in that region
are inextricably woven together. The main entries in
the contest were England and the United States, with
France a poor third.
Far back in the seventeenth century England was
interested in Central America, mainly through buc-
caneers, one of whom was made governor of Jamaica.
For a long time the chief interest of Englishmen there
was the cutting of log wood, for which they secured
a concession in the Belize territories from Spain in
1670, but Spain never acknowledged British sov-
ereignty in any part of this country. The Mosquito
coast, occupied by natives bitterly hostile to the
Spanish, was used as a base for illegal trading with the
Spanish colonies. As late as 1825 the British attorney
general advised that certain treaties with Spain were
still in force and that Great Britain did not enjoy sov-
ereign rights in Belize. But soon after this the report
was spread that persons from the United States were
preparing to settle the region between the Sibun and
Sarstoon rivers and the British government began to
make plans for absorption and resisted the attempts of
Honduras and Guatemala to extend their jurisdiction

over it. Guatemala then sent an agent to London
by way of Washington, where he hoped to secure sup-
port, but the British minister forestalled him and won
over Secretary Forsyth to his views. The next step
of England was to drive the Central American authori-
ties out of the Bay Islands (1838) and the governor
of Jamaica was authorized to eject any foreign power
that took possession of the largest of these, Ruatan.1
From this time on, for a number of years, we have a
series of intrigues and machinations on the part of
Great Britain for footholds, partly for territorial ad-
vantages, partly for securing a canal, and of counter
moves by the United States, partly to prevent British
aggressions and partly to secure a canal route.
In the early thirties Central America began trying
to get Great Britain to agree on a boundary for Belize
and get her to relinquish her claims to the Bay Islands
and to the Mosquito coast, but the answer of Great
Britain was that indicated above in regard to Belize
and Ruatan, and an order to protect the Mosquito
coast against Central American encroachments. The
Mosquito flag was now (1841) raised at San Juan by
a British agent who claimed the region as a pro-
tectorate and shipped out the Nicaraguan commandant
who refused to recognize the authority of the Mos-
quito King. To the protests of Nicaragua the British
government turned a deaf ear.
At the same time Great Britain was looking with
jealous eyes upon the designs of the United States for
expansion in the southwest. But in 1845 Texas was
annexed and it seemed to Americans that "manifest
destiny" would lead them on still farther. In Decem-
ber President Polk gave a restatement of the Monroe
'Williams, "Anglo-American Isthmian Diplomacy," 32-9.

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