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Formation of the Union By Albert Bushnell Hart Characters: 2407

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02

[Sidenote: Monroe's message.]

[Sidenote: Colonization clause.]

[Sidenote: Intervention Clause.]

John Quincy Adams had succeeded in bringing the President to the point where he was willing, in behalf of the nation, to make a protest against both these forms of interference in American affairs. When Congress met, in December, 1823, Monroe sent in a message embodying what is popularly called the Monroe Doctrine. He had taken the advice of Jefferson, who declared that one of the maxims of American policy was "never to suffer Europe to meddle with cis-Atlantic affairs." Madison, with characteristic caution, suggested an agreement with Great Britain to unite in "armed disapprobation." In the cabinet meeting, Adams pointed out that intervention would result, not in restoring the colonies to Spain, but in dividing them among European nations, in which case Russia might take California. His views prevailed, and the message contained, in the first place, a clause directed against Russia: "The American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintained, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers." A

gainst intervention there was even a stronger protest: "With the governments who have declared their independence and maintained it,… we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power, in any other light than as a manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States."

[Sidenote: Effect.]

In every way this dignified protest was effectual: the news caused an immediate rise in the funds of the revolted States in European markets; projects of European intervention were at once abandoned; and Great Britain followed the United States in recognizing the independence of the new countries. In 1824 Russia made a treaty agreeing to claim no territory south of 54° 40', and not to disturb or restrain citizens of the United States in any part of the Pacific Ocean.

When Monroe retired from the Presidency on March 4, 1825, the internal authority of the national government had for ten years steadily increased, and the dignity and influence of the nation abroad showed that it had become one of the world's great powers.



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