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The Great Republic by the Master Historians
The First Quarter of the Century
by Bancroft, Hubert H.


The political history of the second war with Great Britain is one of strong party spirit, and of a persistent opposition to the war on the part of the Federalists. The party under this name, however, had greatly changed in its principles since the accession to power of the Republicans. Instituted originally in favor of a strong central government, it was now bitterly opposed to the increase of Executive power, while the Republicans, the successors of the older Anti-Federalists, supported the administration in acts which their opponents denounced as "encroachments upon the liberties of the people" and "invasions of the principles of civil liberty." The aggressions of England, the retaliatory measures of America, and the resulting war gave abundant exercise to the virulence of party spirit, and a war of opinions kept pace throughout with the war of hostile armies.

That there was abundant occasion for war needs no argument. The aggressive acts of Great Britain were of a nature which now would not be submitted to for a month, yet they were extended over a period of some twenty years. An official statement of the Secretary of State, made in 1812, declares that five hundred and twenty-eight American merchantmen had been taken by British men-of-war prior to 1807, and three hundred and eighty-nine after that period. The value of these vessels and cargoes, if estimated at the low figure of twenty-five thousand dollars each, would be nearly thirty million dollars, forcibly seized by a nation with whom we were at peace. During the same period several thousand seamen were impressed from American vessels, the greater number of whom were undoubtedly American citizens. Of eight hundred and seventy-three taken in eighteen months from October, 1807, to April, 1809, only ninety-eight were shown to be British subjects, but only two hundred and eighty-seven were released. And such as were eventually yielded as American citizens were long held as virtual prisoners, and finally left to make their way home penniless, and without even an apology for the outrage.

There was in all this abundant warrant for war. But the preliminary measure of the embargo, while it had caused severe distress to the industrial classes of England and reduced numerous manufacturers to poverty, bore yet more severely on the industries of America, and roused an unrelenting opposition to the administration. In the House the declaration of war was carried by a vote of 79 to 49, and in the Senate by the small majority of 19 to 13. The strong opposition here displayed was general throughout the Northern section of the country, and the Federal party everywhere opposed the war with great bitterness. The industrial depression which the embargo had created was continued by the war, and the suffering experienced gave strong support to the measures of the "Peace Party," who threw every possible obstruction, short of open rebellion, in the way of its successful prosecution.

At that period the commerce of the country was much less localized than at present. The total exports from 1791 to 1813 aggregated, in round numbers, two hundred and ninety-nine millions of dollars from the Eastern section, five hundred and thirty-four millions from the Middle, and five hundred and nine millions from the Southern section. The shipping of New England was more abundant, yet it was not much in excess of that of the Middle and Southern States. The distress from loss of commerce, therefore, must have been somewhat evenly distributed. Yet the vigorous opposition to the war came from the New England States. It had become a party sentiment, and was manifested most strongly where the Federal party was in excess.

The feeling engendered grew so violent that a disruption of the Union seems to have been desired by some of the ultra-Federalists. The lack of preparation for the war, and the incapacity with which it was managed for a long period, gave abundant arguments against the administration, while the heavy taxation laid upon a people who had been for years impoverished added a strong personal point to these arguments. Inspired by these feelings, the people of New England withheld aid as far as possible from the government, and made the not unreasonable complaint that the strength of the army was wasted in inadequate efforts to invade Canada, while the ocean border was left at the mercy of English cruisers, and the militia which should have defended it employed in distant and useless duty. The South and West favored the invasion of Canada, but from New York northward the opposite opinion strongly prevailed, while New England complained that the administration left it completely undefended, and even refused to Massachusetts the arms to which that State was entitled, and which were needed for its defence.

The embargo of 1813 was a new blow to the interests of New England. It was now proposed by zealous Federalists that the militia and revenues of New England should be kept for home defence, and Massachusetts resolved to call out ten thousand men to protect the coast, these men to be under officers appointed by the State. Such a proceeding was dangerous, though it could not be held to violate the provisions of the Constitution, which limited the control of the army to the general government in times of peace, but made no definite provision on this subject for times of war.

The opposition to administration measures reached its ultimate in December, 1814, when a convention of delegates from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, with a partial representation from New Hampshire and Vermont, met at Hartford for the purpose of considering the grievances of the people and of deciding how they could be best redressed. This convention assembled in secret session, and much doubt existed as to its purposes and proceedings. It was denounced as treasonable by the friends of the administration, and a strong excitement prevailed concerning it. But at the date of its assembly the enthusiasm of its supporters had become reduced by the strong indications of peace, and this undoubtedly influenced the deliberations of the members. When its proceedings were published they proved to be so mild as to excite general surprise. Instead of advocating a dissolution of the Union, or other violent measure, they confined themselves to a statement of grievances, most of which unquestionably existed, but were necessary results of the war, and proposed several amendments to the Constitution. They demanded that representation in the House should be based on the free population alone, that the President should not be eligible for re-election, that State offices should be held only by native-born citizens, that no embargo should extend more than sixty days, and that a two-thirds vote should be required to prohibit commercial intercourse, admit new States, authorize hostilities, and declare war. They also strongly opposed the mode adopted in recruiting the army. In all this there was nothing to warrant the terms of reproach with which it was long customary to speak of the "Hartford Convention," which was held up to the people by the opposing party as something deserving of the severest reprobation.

Its recommendations fell dead. With the signing of the treaty of peace the causes of complaint disappeared, and in the universal joy that followed all thought that the Constitution was not a perfect instrument disappeared. In August, 1814, the commissioners of the United States and Great Britain met at Ghent, in Flanders, where they signed a treaty of peace on the 24th of the following December. The British commissioners at first insisted that the Indians should be made parties to the treaty, and that definite boundary-lines should be fixed which neither party should pass. This was objected to on the part of the United States, and it was finally agreed that the Indians should be restored to the status of rights and possessions which they held in 1811, if they would agree to desist from hostilities. Both parties were prohibited from keeping a naval force on the lakes. The questions of boundaries and of the fisheries were settled, but on the points which had been the cause of the war - the encroachments upon American commerce, and the right of impressment - no measures were adopted. The treaty, as signed, was silent on these subjects. These causes of the war had disappeared, and the navy of the United States had proved its ability to defend American commerce in any future difficulty, so the sore subject was quietly ignored.

The war had produced certain important changes in the industrial relations of America. The embargo had annihilated commerce for several years before the war, and this had been continued by the subsequent blockade, these influences causing an abnormal scarcity of goods of foreign production. Many such articles were obtained wholly from abroad, and these grew very scarce and dear. Others, such as sugar, woolens, pottery, glassware, hardware, and cutlery, were produced partly at home, and were less severely affected; while the staples of home production - cotton, tobacco, and food-products - fell very low in price. Yet strenuous efforts were made to overcome the scarcity of foreign goods by home manufacture, and the interests of industrial production in America gained an important impetus. Numerous manufacturing establishments were founded, particularly in the Northern States, and that process of rendering the United States industrially independent of Europe, which had made some progress against severe discouragements in the colonies and in the early years of the republic, now progressed with encouraging rapidity.

But the close of the war quickly reversed all these conditions. Foreign goods, mostly of British manufacture, were poured profusely into the country, and the price of such commodities fell to less than half their war value. As a consequence, many of the rival manufactories of America were ruined. They had not attained a condition to enable them to compete with the skilled and cheap labor abroad, and but few of them were able to stand the sudden strain. It was the severer that English manufacturers, jealous of this growing rivalry, took special pains to undersell the products of American workshops.

Agriculture, on the contrary, received a powerful impetus, and its products greatly increased in value. Cotton, which had been sold with difficulty at ten cents per pound, now had a ready sale at more than double that price. Tobacco rose from two or three to fifteen, twenty, and even twenty-five dollars the hundred-weight. The value of land and labor rose in proportion, producers and merchants became enriched by the rapid rise in prices, and the shipping interests of the country grew more prosperous than ever before. The currency, which during the war had become a depreciated paper money, continued disordered, but this had no specially disturbing influence on the agricultural and commercial prosperity of the country, and every interest except that of manufacture was remarkably benefited. With this sudden change from poverty and privation to affluence and luxury the expenditure of the people greatly increased. Gold watches replaced those of silver, silk goods took the place of cotton, costly wines succeeded whiskey and other common beverages, furniture became transformed, and in every way the enhanced wealth of the people made itself apparent. Yet during this period the only money in use south of New England was the irredeemable paper of the banks, or in some cases the currency issues of irresponsible individuals.

An effort was made to overcome the latter difficulty by the establishment of a national bank. The charter of the former institution of this character had expired in 1811. After considerable debate, Congress passed, during the session of 1816, an act founding a national bank. This institution, which was given a twenty years' charter, was incorporated with a capital of thirty-five millions of dollars, its debts being limited to fifty millions, exclusive of deposits. Measures were taken at the same time to enforce a resumption of specie payments by the State banks. In the succeeding year (1817) a bill was passed for the total repeal of the internal taxes, and the financial conditions of the war finally disappeared In 1816 the funded debt of the Union was estimated at one hundred and ten millions of dollars.

During the period now under consideration certain important variations had taken place in the industrial relations of the people. There was a growing tendency to the division of the country into two marked sections,-one the home of free labor and of advancing commercial and manufacturing interests, the other the seat of slave labor and of developing agricultural conditions. Up to 1790 this separation of interests was not clearly evident. The vigorous measures of England had prevented any thriving development of manufactures, while outside the tobacco of Virginia the country produced no agricultural staple of sectional importance. The difficulties attending the preparation of cotton for the market as yet checked the development of that industry. But with the invention of the cotton-gin by Whitney, in 1791, cotton quickly rose to a prominent position among American industries. By the aid of this instrument three hundred and fifty pounds of cotton could be cleaned in a day, as compared with one pound by hand- labor. As a result, the cotton-product augmented with the utmost rapidity. In 1800 the export had reached the seemingly high figure of 19,000,000 pounds. In 1824 it reached 142,000,000 pounds.

Slave labor, which had been growing an undesirable form of industry, now became of high value, and the slaves of the country increased from 657,047 in 1790 to 1,524,580 in 1820. During the same period the total population increased from 3,929,782 to 9,654,596 persons. But, while slavery was thus developing in the South, it was vanishing from the North, and the industrial interests of the country were becoming strikingly differentiated, the character of the inhabitants of the two sections similarly deviating.

The industrial development of the slave States soon fell behind that of the North. The character of Northern agricultural labor required the division of the land into small farms, which had to be kept up to a high level of productiveness. The system of agricultural labor in the South tended towards increase in size of plantations, in which the soil was systematically exhausted, with no attempt to reproduce its fertility. In the North industry was the business of all, emulation was excited, and the worker was looked upon as the peer of any in the land. In the South labor was despised, the planter gave himself up to social enjoyment, and left the care of his interests to the overseer. The price of land in the South steadily fell behind that of the North.

Manufacture on a large scale had no existence in the Southern States. Their capital was monopolized by agriculture, and the development of the manufacturing industries was left to the North. Thus the distinction between the industries, ideas, and condition of society in the two sections of the country steadily grew more marked, until no two civilized nations could have been socially more unlike. In the South society became divided into three well-marked classes, with little in common between them: the great land-owners, who posed as a veritable aristocracy; the lesser slave-holders, the middle class; and the poor whites, an ignorant and worthless rabble, who were despised even by the slaves. Slavery served as the foundation-stone of these distinctly-separated classes. In the North no such class-conditions existed. The tendency there was towards the breaking down of social distinctions, and to the merging of the population into one general mass, in which every man considered himself the equal of every other, and all rising or falling below the broad level was an individual - not a class - phenomenon. The diversity of conditions which thus arose between the Northern and Southern sections of the country was destined to have the most vital consequences in its succeeding history, and to give origin to a strife which had its final outcome in the civil war.

While these relations were arising between the Northern and Southern sections of the original States, the conditions for the formation of new States were rapidly appearing in the West. The vast territory east of the Mississippi had been gradually filling up since the era preceding the Revolution. Along the borders of the great lakes and on the banks of the Ohio settlements had early been founded, while Boone and his followers had crossed the Cumberland Mountains and led a tide of emigration towards the fair land of Kentucky. All these formed centres of departure for new pioneer movements, while from the Eastern States emigration pushed northward into Maine and westward into Vermont and central New York, forcing its way ever and ever deeper into the wilderness. McMaster gives a vivid description of the pioneer fever in 1800. Then Kentucky and New York were the Far West. The flood of emigration followed two routes. Of these New- Englanders chose the northern, via Albany and along the Mohawk valley to the wilderness beyond. Every trade and profession, except that of seamanship, was represented in these westward-flowing columns. A genuine pioneer fever arose. In front of the tide moved the speculators and land-jobbers, buying up the land, often in whole counties at a time. Then came the restless pioneer, who built his log cabin, girdled the trees, sowed a handful of grain, and then gave way to the impatient longing that possessed him, and moved on, to make way for a second line of settlers, with some money, who purchased his improvements and availed themselves of the results of his labor. These in their turn moved on, leaving the country more habitable behind them. Next came the permanent settlers, the founders of towns and villages, and civilization began to settle upon the land.

The hardships endured by these pioneers were severe. Food was scarce, their huts were rude and ill fitted to bear the inclemency of the winter, but the fever of adventure which possessed them kept them in steady march, the aborigines yielding step by step before them, and civilization, with slower but firmer steps, advancing in their rear.

The other route, that via the Ohio, was pursued by the aid of rude boats, which floated down the current with the families and household goods of the hardy emigrants. Towns and villages quickly dotted the fertile borders of this great stream. The savages, who had fiercely assailed the early voyagers, were driven back, and as early as 1794 a line of packet-boats had begun to ply between Pittsburg and Cincinnati. These, which made one voyage a month, were bullet- proof, and carried six small cannon, throwing one-pound balls. After Wayne's victory the stream flowed into the Northwest. In the census of 1800 the population of Ohio Territory was already 45,360, while Kentucky had a population of 220,950.

During the succeeding period the West filled up with remarkable rapidity. As new emigrants from the Old World poured into the Atlantic ports, many of the older settlers made way for them, and followed the routes described into the boundless West. After the purchase of Louisiana the stream crossed the Mississippi, and spread over the broad forest-region beyond. State after State was admitted into the Union, as the Territories gained the requisite population, until by 1820 to the original thirteen States were added eleven others. All the States now existing east of the Mississippi, with the exception of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Florida, were by that time admitted, while west of that river the two States of Missouri and Louisiana were members of the Union.

It was a rude population that filled up the region that intervened between the pioneer outposts and the older civilized settlements. Drunkenness, gambling, profanity, fighting, and duelling prevailed, and no modern mining camp ever presented a more detestable "reign of terror" than did the frontier settlements of the wild West of that era. One locality is thus described by Peter Cartwright, the celebrated pioneer preacher: "Logan County, Kentucky, when my father moved to it (1793), was called `Rogues' Harbor.' Here many refugees from almost all parts of the Union fled to escape punishment or justice; for, although there was law, yet it could not be executed, and it was a desperate state of society. Murderers, horsethieves, highway-robbers, and counterfeiters fled here, until they combined and actually formed a majority." A battle with guns, pistols, dirks, knives, and clubs took place between the "Rogues" and the "Regulators." The latter were defeated, and villainy reigned supreme.

On the wickedness of Kentucky there suddenly fell, in the early years of the century, an epidemic of religious conversion so remarkable in character as to call for some attention at our hands. Many of its peculiar features had never before been seen, and none of them have ever appeared since in like intensity. This "awakening" of the people began in 1799, in Logan County, Kentucky, the home of wickedness above described. Several ardent sensational preachers, of the Presbyterian denomination, roused a strong revival spirit in their congregations, which spread widely through the adjoining country. But it was in the summer of 1800 that the "revival" broke out in the fulness of its intensity. It was in a measure due to a new feature of missionary work, the "camp-meeting." A religious encampment was organized under the trees of the forest, to which people flocked in thousands, while the impassioned appeals of the excitable preachers produced an extraordinary effect. Thousands were convicted of sin, while the camp-meeting idea spread rapidly throughout the whole region, and nearly all the population flocked to these emotional assemblies.

The effect upon those thus "convicted" was of a remarkable character. The wild cries and supplications, the flowing tears and wringing of hands, were followed by a "falling exercise," in which the excited participants fell prostrate to the earth and lay as if dead, displaying an abnormal muscular rigidity. During 1801 the revival grew more extensive and striking in its effects. "All who have left us any account of the scene agree that language is inadequate to describe it. It was sublime, grand, `awful.' The noise was `like the roar of Niagara. The vast sea of human beings was agitated as if by a storm.' The tide of emotion seemed to roll over them like tumultuous waves. Sometimes hundreds were swept down almost at once, `like the trees of the forest under the blast of the wild tornado.'.. Of the people, some were singing, others praying, others crying aloud for mercy, others still `shouting most vociferously;' while hardened men, who with horrid imprecations rushed furiously into the praying circles, were smitten down as if by an invisible hand, and lay powerless, or racked by `fearful spasms, till their companions beholding them were palsied with terror.' At times the scene was surpassingly terrible, and the boldest heart was unmanned. The infidel forgot his philosophy, and trembled till he sank to his knees or fell to the earth. `At one time,' says a spectator, `I saw at least five hundred swept down in a moment, as if a battery of a thousand guns had been opened upon them; and then immediately followed shrieks and shouts that rent the very heavens. My hair rose upon my head, my whole frame trembled, the blood ran cold in my veins, and I fled for the woods.'" (Gillett's "History of the Presbyterian Church," vol. ii. p. 167.)

As time went on, the muscular convulsions attending these "conversions" became more varied and extraordinary. "There was the falling, the jerking, the rolling, the running, the dancing, and the barking exercise. Individuals were seized by these, often in spite of studied resistance, and sometimes almost while the jest or open blasphemy was upon their lips. Dreams and visions, the holy laugh and the holy kiss, helped forward the enthusiasm of the occasion or the grotesqueness of the scene." (Ibid., vol. ii. p. 170.)

Those affected with the "jerks" were flung about as if hurled from a catapult; arms, head, legs, jerking as if they would be torn from the body; bodies flung against trees or bounding from the ground; hands torn from their grasp upon the branches of the forest; the whole muscular organism of the body seemingly divorced from its ordinary duty, and possessed by a frenzy. In the "holy laugh" the devotees would burst into uncontrollable fits of hysterical laughter. The other "exercises" presented similar indications of muscular convulsion, acting under the influence of emotional mania. Hundreds of conversions took place, affecting often the most hardened sinners of the community. It cannot be said that these "conversions" were always, or even generally, permanent. Many of the converts returned, sooner or later, to their original wickedness. Yet the general tone of the community was improved, and Kentucky ceased to be the harbor of the unregenerate to the extent to which it had been several years before.

This revival epidemic spread far beyond the region of the State, particularly into Tennessee, North and South Carolina, and Georgia, where similar phenomena, though on a less extraordinary scale, were presented. Since that era the camp- meeting has been a recognized element in the religious propagandism of the more emotional sects. The wild manifestations just described have been succeeded by less violent exercises, yet camp-meeting and revival conversions still display, though in a milder form, the same tendency to nervous excitement and muscular convulsion.

We may conclude this review with a general statement of the events of importance which occurred during the Monroe administration. James Monroe was elected President in the election of 1816, with Daniel D. Tompkins for Vice-President. Among the more important of the succeeding events was the invasion of Florida by General Jackson. From 1812 difficulties had existed with the Seminole Indians, while many fugitive slaves fled to Northern Florida and amalgamated with these savages. These negroes settled along the Appalachicola River for a distance of fifty miles, defying the American and the Spanish authorities alike. They had been supplied with arms and ammunition by the British, and built a strong fort, which was attacked by Colonel Clinch in 1816. A red-hot ball from a gunboat in the river penetrated the magazine and blew up the fort, only fifty of its three hundred inmates escaping alive. This for a time broke up the negro settlements; but annoyance from the Seminoles continued. In 1818 General Jackson invaded Florida, destroyed the Indian towns, and took forcible possession of the Spanish fort of St. Marks and the city of Pensacola. The diplomatic controversy between Spain and the United States to which this gave rise resulted in the cession of the whole of Florida to the United States, on February 22, 1819. The treaty of cession was ratified on the 19th of February, 1821.

In 1817 piratical settlements which had been formed on Amelia Island, Florida, and at Galveston, Texas, were broken up by the American navy. A more dangerous haunt of pirates, in the West Indies, was attacked in 1822, and over twenty piratical vessels destroyed. In 1823 Commodore Porter sought out and broke up the retreats of the pirates. They afterwards, however, continued their depredations from other hiding-places.

The political state of the country during the Monroe administration differed from its condition before or since. The Federal party had disappeared. The Republican party was yet undivided. Practically there was but one political party in America, and what was known as "the era of good feeling" prevailed. Industrially, however, there came on the land a severe depression. The sudden prosperity that succeeded the war had vanished, and the natural revulsion from abnormally high prices had come. After a brief resumption of specie payments, the banks again suspended. Gold and silver disappeared. The Bank of the United States was in a disorganized condition. It could not collect its debts without a ruinous pressure on business. Ruin and bankruptcy prevailed everywhere. Business and employment sank to a low ebb. In all directions the distress of a financial panic prevailed, from which it took several years for the country to recover.

An interesting event of 1824 was the visit of Lafayette to this country. The venerable visitor was received with an enthusiasm which has never been surpassed in America. His movement through the country was a continual march of joy and triumph. He journeyed five thousand miles through the Union, everywhere feted and caressed. Congress voted him two hundred thousand dollars and a township of land, and on this departure from the country he was conveyed to France in an American frigate prepared specially for his accommodation.

During the period in question the problem of internal improvements came up for the serious consideration of Congress. Large subsidies were demanded from the general government for the building of roads and canals and the improvement of rivers and harbors. Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe alike denied the constitutionality of such an appropriation of the public funds, yet each of them signed many bills for this purpose. The strife finally came to depend upon the simple question whether or not a certain sum of money should be voted by Congress, the discussion of the constitutional point being avoided. At first both sections of the country favored measures of this character, but eventually the South declared against them. The remark of a Louisiana Congressman in 1817, "Louisiana wants no roads," well expressed the ruling principle of the Southern opposition to internal improvement schemes. Yet large appropriations were made for various purposes, for a canal route across Florida, for a national road from Cumberland, Maryland, to Ohio, for the improvement of the navigation of the Ohio, etc. The greatest enterprise of the time, the Erie Canal, was the work of the State of New York. This was commenced on July 4, 1817, and completed in 1825, at a cost of ten million dollars.

Of the other notable events of the period may be mentioned the founding of the Anti-Slavery Association in 1815, with the establishment of a newspaper in its interests; the formation of the first savings-bank, in Philadelphia, in 1816; the founding of colleges and universities in nearly every State; and the crossing of the ocean by the steamer Savannah, in 1819. John Fitch had operated a steam-boat on the Delaware before 1790, while Fulton, in 1807, ran a steamboat more effectively upon the Hudson. The first railroad in America was a short road at Quincy, Massachusetts, worked by horse-power. The first locomotive engine ran from the coal-mines of the Delaware and Hudson Company to Honesdale, Pennsylvania, in 1828.

During the same era began the series of rebellions of the Spanish-American colonies, which finally ended in their independence and the establishment of republican governments in them all. The revolt of Mexico against Spain broke out in 1810. It continued year after year with varying success, the revolutionists now gaining important advantages, Spain now regaining predominance. The independence of Mexico was proclaimed in 1813, while by 1819 the dominion of Spain had again become almost unquestioned. Victoria, one of the last leaders of the revolutionists, was forced to fly for refuge to the mountains, where he remained concealed for several years in a state of the utmost destitution. In 1821 a new insurrection broke out, headed by Iturbide, which was joined by Victoria, Guerrero, and others of the old revolutionists. This attempt was successful: the Spanish were driven out, and a monarchical government was formed, with Iturbide as ruler. He was forced to resign, however, in 1823, and a republican government, on the model of that of the United States, was adopted in 1824, with General Victoria as the first President.

Closely connected with this successful revolution is the famous "Monroe Doctrine," with an account of which this article may close. America had early in its history "declared its intention" not to interfere in European affairs. But the correlative doctrine, that Europe should not interfere in American affairs, was later in being asserted. The idea appears in the correspondence of Jefferson, but it was first stated as a principle of American politics in the message of President Monroe of 1823. The South American Spanish colonies had achieved their independence at the same time with Mexico, and there was a possibility that the combined powers of Europe might interfere with their liberties in the interest of Spain. Monroe said, in the message in question, "We owe it to candor, and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and (the allied) powers, to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any part 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 just principles, acknowledged, 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 the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition towards the United States." He further declared that the American continents "are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European power."

The "Monroe Doctrine" never received the sanction of Congress. No congress of the republics of America has ever been held. Yet it holds its own as a national tradition which the people of the United States are earnest to uphold. The only decided attempt to act in opposition to its doctrines was in the effort of France to secure Maximilian a throne in Mexico. The unfortunate result of this effort will in all probability prevent any similar action from being taken at any time in the near future. "America for the Americans" is a principle of policy which all Europe is not strong enough to disdain or to subvert.

Charles Morris

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