The place of slavery in the westward expansion of the nation was not the only burning question which the American people had to face in the presidency of Monroe. Within a few years after that contest, the problem of the independence of the New World and of the destiny of the United States in the sisterhood of new American republics confronted the administration. Should the political rivalries and wars of Europe to acquire territory be excluded from the western hemisphere? Should the acquisition of new colonies by European states in the vast unsettled spaces of the two Americas be terminated? These weighty questions were put to the mild Virginian statesman; history has named his answer the Monroe Doctrine.

From the beginning of our national existence, the United States had been pushing back Europe from her borders, and asserting neutrality and the right to remain outside of the political System of the Old World. Washington's farewell address of 1796, with its appeal to his fellow-citizens against "interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe," sank deep into the popular consciousness. It did not interfere with the process by which, piece by piece, the United States added to its domains fragments from the disintegrating Spanish empire; for so long as European states held the strategic positions on our flanks, as they did in Washington's day, the policy of separation from the nations of the Old World was one difficult to maintain; and France and England watched the enlargement of the United States with jealous eye. Each nation, in turn, considered the plans of Miranda, a Venezuelan revolutionist, for the freeing of Spanish America. In 1790 the Nootka Sound affair threatened to place England in possession of the whole Mississippi valley and to give her the leadership in Spanish America. [Footnote: Turner, in Am. Hist. Rev., VII., 704, VIII., 78; Manning, Nootka Sound Controversy, in Am. Hist. Assoc., Report, 1904, p. 281; cf. Bassett, Federalist System (Am. Nation, XI), chap. vi.] Two years later, France urged England to join her in freeing the colonies of Spain in the New World;[Footnote: Sorel, L'Europe et la Revolution Francaise, II., 384, 418, III., 17.] and when Pitt rejected these overtures, France sent Genet to spread the fires of her revolution in Louisiana and Florida.[Footnote: Turner, in Am. Hist. Rev., III., 650, X. 259.] When this design failed, France turned to diplomacy, and between 1795 and 1800 tried to persuade Spain to relinquish Florida and Louisiana to herself, as a means of checking the expansion of the United States and of rendering her subservient to France. The growing preponderance of France over Spain, and the fear that she would secure control of Spanish America, led England again in 1798 to listen to Miranda's dream of freeing his countrymen, and to sound the United States on a plan for joint action against Spain in the New World. [Footnote: Turner, in Am. Hist. Rev., X., 249 et seq., 276.] The elder Adams turned a deaf ear to these suggestions, and when at last Napoleon achieved the possession of Louisiana, it was only to turn it over to the United States. [Footnote: Sloane, in Am. Hist. Rev., IV., 439.] Jefferson's threat that the possession of Louisiana by France would seal the union between England and the United States and "make the first cannon which shall be fired in Europe the signal for the tearing up of any settlement she may have made, and for holding the two continents of America in sequestration for the common purposes of the united British and American nations," [Footnote: Jefferson, Writings (Ford's ed.), VIII., 145.] showed how unstable must be the American policy of isolation so long as Europe had a lodgment on our borders. [Footnote: Cf. Channing, Jeffersonian System (Am. Nation, XII.), chap. v.]

The acquisition of Louisiana by the United States was followed by the annexation of West Florida; and the Seminole campaign frightened Spain into the abandonment of East Florida. [Footnote: Babcock, American Nationality (Am. Nation, XIII.), chap. xvii.] While the United States was thus crowding Europe back from its borders and strengthening its leadership in the New World, Spanish America was revolting from the mother-country. When Napoleon made himself master of Spain in 1807, English merchants, alarmed at the prospect of losing the lucrative trade which they had built up in the lands which Spain had so long monopolized, supported the revolutionists with money, while various expeditions led by English officers aided the revolt. [Footnote: Paxson, Independence of the So. Am. Republics, chap, iii.; Am. Hist. Rev., IV., 449, VI., 508.] At first, failure met the efforts of the loosely compacted provinces, made up of sharply marked social classes, separated by race antagonisms, and untrained in self-government. Only in Buenos Ayres (later the Argentine Confederation), where representatives of the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata declared their independence in 1816, were the colonists able to hold their ground.

A new era in the revolt began, however, in 1817, when General San Martin surprised the Spaniards by his march, from a frontier province of La Plata, over a pass thirteen thousand feet above the sea across the Andes to Chili. In the course of four years, with the co-operation of Lord Cochrane (who relinquished the British service in order to command the fleet of the insurgents on the Pacific), he effected the liberation of Chili and of Peru. Meanwhile, in the northern provinces the other great South American revolutionist, Bolivar, aided by a legion of Irish and English veterans, won the independence of Venezuela and Colombia. In July, 1822, these two successful generals met in Ecuador; and San Martin, yielding the leadership to the more ambitious Bolivar, withdrew from the New World. By this date, America was clearly lost to the Latin states of Europe, for Mexico became an independent empire in 1821, and the next year Brazil, while it chose for its ruler a prince of the younger line of the royal house of Portugal, proclaimed its independence.[Footnote: Paxson, Independence of the So. Am. Republics, chap. i.]

Although the relations between these revolutionary states and England, both on the military and on the commercial side, were much closer than with the United States, this nation followed the course of events with keen interest. Agents were sent, in 1817 and 1820, to various South American states, to report upon the conditions there; and the vessels of the revolutionary governments were accorded belligerent rights, and admitted to the ports of the United States.[Footnote: Ibid., 121; Am. State Papers, Foreign, IV., 217, 818.] The occupation of Amelia Island and Galveston, in 1817, by revolutionists, claiming the protection of the flags of Colombia and Mexico respectively, gave opportunity for piratical forays upon commerce, which the United States was unable to tolerate, and these establishments were broken up by the government.[Footnote: McMaster, United States, IV., chap. xxxiv.; Reeves, in Johns Hopkins Univ. Studies, XXIII., Nos. 9, 10.]

President Monroe seems to have been inclined to recognize the independence of these states on the earliest evidence of their ability to sustain it; but the secretary of state, John Quincy Adams, favored a policy of delay. He had slight confidence in the turbulent, untrained republics of Latin-America, and little patience with the idea that their revolution had anything in common with that of the United States. At the close of 1817 he believed it inexpedient and unjust for the United States to favor their cause, and he urged a friend to publish inquiries into the political morality and the right of the United States to take sides with a people who trampled upon civil rights, disgraced their revolution by buccaneering and piracy, and who lacked both unity of cause and of effort. [Footnote: Letter to A. H. Everett, in Am. Hist. Rev., XI., 112.] His own system was based on the theory that the United States. should move in harmony with England, and, if possible, with the other European powers in the matter of recognition; [Footnote: Paxson, Independence of the So. Am. Republics, 149 (citing MSS. in State Dept.)] and he perceived that Spain would be more likely to yield Florida to the United States if the president did not acknowledge the independence of her other provinces.

Henry Clay now came forward as the advocate of immediate recognition of the revolutionary republics. In this he was undoubtedly swayed by a real sympathy with the cause of freedom and by the natural instincts of a man of the west, where antagonism to Spain was bred in the bone. But his insistence upon immediate action was also stimulated by his opposition to Monroe and the secretary of state. Clay's great speech on recognition was made May 24 and 25, 1818. His imagination kindled at the vastness of South America: "The loftiest mountains; the most majestic rivers in the world; the richest mines of the precious metals; and the choicest productions of the earth." "We behold there," said he, "a spectacle still more interesting and sublime - the glorious spectacle of eighteen millions of people struggling to burst their chains and be free." He appealed to Congress to support an American system by recognizing these sister republics, and argued that, both in diplomacy and in commerce they would be guided by an American policy and aid the United States to free itself from dependence on Europe. His motion was lost by an overwhelming majority, but the speech made a deep impression. [Footnote: Annals of Cong., 15 Cong., 1 Sess., II., 1474.]

In the two years which elapsed between the negotiation and the ratification of the Florida treaty, the president was several times on the point of recommending the forcible occupation of Florida, but he withheld the blow, hoping that the liberal Spanish government established under the constitution of 1820 might be brought to give its consent to the cession. The impetuous Clay chafed under this delay, and on May 10, 1820, he broke forth in another speech, in support of a resolution declaring the expediency of sending ministers to the South American states. Charging the administration, and especially John Quincy Adams, with subserviency to Great Britain, he demanded that the United States should become the center of a system against the despotism of the Old World and should act on its own responsibility. "We look too much abroad," said he. "Let us break these commercial and political fetters; let us no longer watch the nod of any European politician; let us become real and true Americans, and place ourselves at the head of the American system." [Footnote: Annals of Cong., 16 Cong., 1 Sess., II., 2727.]

Clay was steadily gaining support in his efforts to force the hands of the administration: his resolutions won by a fair majority, and again, in February, 1821, he secured the almost unanimous assent of the House to a resolution of sympathy with South America. Another resolution, expressing the readiness of that body to support the president whenever he should think it expedient to recognize the republics, passed by a vote of 86 to 68, and the triumphant Clay was placed at the head of a committee to wait on the president with this resolution.[Footnote: Ibid., 2229, and 2 Sess., 1081, 1091; Adams, Memoirs, V., 268]

Although the victory was without immediate effect on the administration, which refused to act while the Florida treaty was still unratified, Adams perceived that the popular current was growing too strong to be much longer stemmed; the charge of dependence upon England was one not easy to be borne, and Clay's vision of an independent American system guided by the United States had its influence on his mind. Five months after Clay's speech, in 1820, extolling such a system, Adams set forth similar general ideas in a discussion between himself and the British minister over the regulation, of the slave-trade. [Footnote: Adams, Memoirs, V., 182] By 1822, Florida was in our possession. The success of the arms of the revolutionists was unmistakable; several governments, of sufficient stability to warrant recognition had been erected; and it was patent to the world that Spain had lost her colonies. Acting on these considerations, Monroe sent a message to Congress, March 8, 1822, announcing that the time for recognition had come, and asking for appropriations for ministers to South America. [Footnote: Richardson, Messages and Papers, II., 116]

In the mean time, the secretary of state was confronted with important diplomatic questions which, complicated the South American problem. As Spanish America broke away from the mother-country, its possessions in North America on the Pacific were exposed to seizure by the rival powers. In 1821, when Stratford Canning, the British minister to the United States, protested against a motion, in the House of Representatives, that the United States should form an establishment on the Columbia, Adams challenged any claim of England to the shores of the Pacific. "I do not know," said he, "what you claim nor what you do not claim. You claim India; you claim Africa; you claim - " "Perhaps," said Canning, "a piece of the moon." "No," said Adams, "I have not heard that you claim exclusively any part of the moon; but there is not a spot on THIS habitable globe that I could affirm you do not claim; and there is none which you may not claim with as much color of right as you can have to Columbia River or its mouth." [Footnote: Adams, Memoirs, V., 252.]

The time had arrived when Adams's familiarity with foreign diplomacy, his belief that a new nation must assert its rights with vigor if it expected to maintain them, his very testiness and irascibility, his "bull-dog fighting qualities" - in short, the characteristics that were sources of weakness to him in domestic politics - proved to be elements of strength in his conduct of foreign relations. The individualism, the uncompromising nature, the aggressiveness, and the natural love of expansion, which were traits of John Quincy Adams, became of highest service to his country in the diplomatic relations of the next few years.

Hardly a year elapsed after this defiance to England when Adams met the claims of Russia likewise with a similar challenge. On September 4, 1821, the Russian czar issued a ukase announcing the claim of Russia on the Pacific coast north of the fifty-first degree, and interdicting to the commercial vessels of other powers the approach on the high seas within one hundred Italian miles of this claim. [Footnote: U. S. Foreign Relations (1890), 439.] This assertion of Russian monopoly, which would, in effect, have closed Bering Sea, met with peremptory refusal by Adams, and on July 17, 1823, having in mind Russia's posts in California, he informed the minister, Baron Tuyl, "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 subjects for any new European colonial establishments." [Footnote: Adams, Memoirs, VI., 163.] After negotiations, Russia concluded the treaty of April 17, 1824, by which she agreed to form no establishments on the northwest coast south of latitude 54 degrees 40', and the United States reciprocally agreed to make no establishments north of that line. At the same time Russia abandoned her extreme claim of maritime jurisdiction.

While the Russian claims were under consideration, the question of the future of Cuba was also giving great concern. The Pearl of the Antilles remained in the possession of Spain when she lost her main- land colonies. By its position, commanding both the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, it was of the highest importance to the United States as well as to the West Indian powers, England and France. From a party in Cuba itself, in September, 1822, advances were made to the United States for annexation, and Monroe sent an agent to investigate, meanwhile refraining from encouraging the movement. [Footnote: Adams, Memoirs, VI., 69, 72.]

George Canning, who became premier of England in September, 1822, was convinced that no questions relating to continental Europe could be more immediately and vitally important to Great Britain than those which related to America. [Footnote: Stapleton, Official Corresp. of George Canning, I., 48.] Alarmed lest the United States should occupy Cuba, Canning, in a memorandum to the cabinet in November, questioned whether any blow that could be struck by any foreign power in any part of the world would more affect the interests of England. [Footnote: Ibid., 52; Royal Hist. Soc., Transactions (new series), XVIII., 89] He contented himself, however, with sending a naval force to the waters of Cuba and Puerto Rico, with the double purpose of checking American aggressions and protecting English commerce. This action created suspicion on the part of the United States, and Adams issued instructions (April 28, 1823) to the American minister at Madrid, declaring that, within a half-century, the annexation of Cuba to the United States would be indispensable to the continuance and integrity of the Union itself. The laws of political gravitation would, in his opinion, ultimately bring Cuba to this country, if, in the mean time, it were not acquired by some other power. Adams's immediate policy, therefore, favored the retention of Cuba and Puerto Rico by Spain, but he refused to commit the United States to a guarantee of the independence of Cuba against all the world except that power. [Footnote: Wharton, Digest of Am. Int. Law, I., 361-366; Latane, Diplomatic Relations with Lat. Am., chap. iii.]

The mutual jealousies of the nations with respect to the destiny of Cuba became, at this time, entangled with the greater question of the intervention of the Holy Alliance in the New World. At the Congress of Verona, in November, 1822, Austria, France, Russia, and Prussia signed a revision of the treaty of the Holy Alliance, [Footnote: Snow, Treaties and Topics; Seignobos, Pol. Hist. of Europe since 1814, 762.] which had for its objects the promotion of the doctrine of legitimacy in support of the divine right of rulers, and the doctrine of intervention, for the purpose of restoring to their thrones those monarchs who had been deposed by popular uprisings, and of rehabilitating those who had been limited by written constitutions. At Verona, the allies agreed to use their efforts to put an end to the system of representative government in Europe, and to prevent its further introduction. Having already suppressed uprisings in Naples and Piedmont, the Alliance empowered France to send troops into the Spanish peninsula to restore the authority of the king of Spain and to put down the revolutionary constitution of 1820. Chateaubriand, the French representative, desired the congress to go further and intervene in Spanish America, but this question was postponed.

Alarmed by the prospect of French power in Spain and by the proposed extension of the system of the allies to the New World, Canning protested against the doctrine of intervention, and determined that, if France was to become the mistress of Spain, she should at least not control the old Spanish empire. In the spring of 1823 he made an unsuccessful effort to secure a pledge from France not to acquire any Spanish-American possessions, either by conquest or by cession from Spain. But the French government maintained its reserve, even after England disclaimed for herself the intention of acquiring Spanish-American territory. [Footnote: Stapleton, Political Life of Canning, I., 19.]

Having broken with the concert of the European powers, it was natural that England should turn to the United States, and it is very likely that the next step of Canning was influenced by the dispatches of the British minister to the United States, who reported a conversation with Adams, in June, 1823, in which the secretary strongly set forth his belief that, in view of the virtual dissolution of the European alliance, England and the United States had much in common in their policy. "With respect to the vast continent of the West," said he, "the United States must necessarily take a warm and decided interest in whatever determined the fate or affected the welfare of its component members." But he disclaimed any wish on the part of this country to obtain exclusive advantages there. He urged that England ought to recognize the independence of the revolted provinces, and he deprecated the conquest or cession of any part of them. [Footnote: Stratford Canning to George Canning, June 6, 1823, MSS. Foreign Office, America, CLXXVI; Adams, Memoirs, VI., 151; cf. Reddaway, Monroe Doctrine, 83.]

The first impression of the British minister, on hearing Adams's emphasis on the community of interests between the two nations, was that the secretary was suggesting an alliance; and it may well have been that Canning was encouraged by the American attitude to make overtures to Rush, the American minister, shortly after these dispatches must have reached him. On August 16, 1823, and three times thereafter, Canning proposed a joint declaration by England and the United States against any project by a European power of "a forcible enterprise for reducing the colonies to subjugation, on the behalf or in the name of Spain; or which meditates the acquisition of any part of them to itself, by cession or by conquest." [Footnote: Stapleton, Political Life of Canning, II., 24; W. C. Ford, in Mass. Hist. Soc. Proceedings (2d series), XV., 415.] Canning was willing to make public announcement that the recovery of the colonies by Spain was hopeless; that the matter of recognition was only a question of time; and that Great Britain did not aim at the possession of any portion of them, but that it "could not see any part of them transferred to any other power with indifference." These professions Canning desired that the United States and England should mutually confide to each other and declare "in the face of the world."

Confronted with Canning's important proposition, Rush, who doubted the disinterestedness of England, prudently attempted to exact a preliminary recognition of the Spanish-American republics; if Canning would agree to take this action, he would accept the responsibility of engaging in such a declaration. [Footnote: Ford, in Mass. Hist. Soc. Proceedings (2d series), XV., 420, 423.] Having failed in four successive efforts to persuade Rush to join in an immediate declaration, irrespective of prior recognition by England, Canning proceeded alone, and, in an interview with Polignac, the French minister in London, on October 9, 1823, he announced substantially the principles which he had expressed to the American minister. [Footnote: Stapleton, Political Life of Canning, II., 26.] Polignac thereupon disclaimed for France any intention to appropriate Spanish possessions in America, and abjured any design, on the part of his country, of acting against the colonies by force; but he significantly added that the future relations between Spain and her colonies ought to form a subject of discussion between the European powers. Acting on this idea, and in opposition to England's wishes, an invitation was sent to Russia, Prussia, and Austria to confer at Paris on the relations of Spain and her revolted provinces.

Rush's despatches relating the overtures of Canning reached President Monroe [Footnote: Ford, in Am. Hist. Rev., VII., 684.] October 9, 1823, on the same day that Canning was interviewing Polignac. Adams was absent from Washington at the time, and Monroe, returning to Virginia, consulted ex-Presidents Jefferson and Madison. He clearly intimated his own belief that the present case might be an exception to the general maxim against entanglement in European politics, and was evidently willing to accept the proposal of the British government. [Footnote: Monroe, Writings, VI., 323.]

To Jefferson [Footnote: Ibid., VI., 394.] the question seemed the most momentous since the Declaration of Independence. One nation, most of all, he thought, could disturb America in its efforts to have an independent system, and that nation, England, now offered "to lead, aid, and accompany us in it." He believed that by acceding to her proposition her mighty weight would be brought into the scale of free government, and "emancipate a continent at one stroke." Construing the English proposition to be a maintenance of our own principle of "keeping out of our land all foreign-powers," he was ready to accept Canning's invitation. He was even ready to yield his desire for the annexation or independence of Cuba, in order to obtain England's co-operation. Madison, [Footnote: Madison, Writings (ed. of 1865), III., 339-341.] also, was prepared to accept the English proposal, and to invite that government to join in disapproval of the campaign of France in Spain and in a declaration in behalf of the Greeks.

Thus, by a strange operation of fate, members of the "Virginia dynasty," the traditional antagonists of England, were now willing to accept her leadership in American affairs, and were inclined to mingle in European concerns in opposition to the Holy Alliance. By an equally strange chance, it was a statesman from New England, the section traditionally friendly to British leadership, who prevented the United States from casting itself into the arms of England at this crisis, and who summoned his country to stand forth independently as the protector of an American system.

When John Quincy Adams learned of Canning's proposals, he had just been engaged in a discussion with the representative of the czar, who informed him of the refusal of Russia to recognize the Spanish- American republics, and expressed the hope that America would continue her policy of neutrality.

While the cabinet had Rush's dispatches under consideration, Adams received a second communication from the Russian minister, expounding the reactionary ideas of the Holy Alliance. [Footnote: Ford, in Mass. Hist. Soc. Proceedings (2d series), XV., 378, 395, 402-408.] To the secretary of state this was a challenge to defend the American ideas of liberty. Convinces that his Country ought to decline the overture of Great Britain and avow its principles explicitly to Russia and France, "rather than to come in as a cock- boat in the wake of the British man-of-war," Adams informed the president that the reply to Russia and the instructions to Rush in England must be part of a combined system of policy. "The ground that I wish to take," he said, "is that of earnest remonstrance against the interference of European powers by force with South America, but to disclaim all interference on our part with Europe; to make an American cause and adhere inflexibly to that." [Footnote: Adams, Memoirs, VI., 178, 194, 197, 199-212.]

In the cabinet he stood firmly against giving guarantees to England with respect to Cuba. He heartened up his colleagues, who were alarmed at the possibility of the spread of war to the United States; but at the same time that he dismissed this danger as remote he pictured to the cabinet the alarming alternatives in case the allies subjugated Spanish America: California, Peru, and Chili might fall to Russia; Cuba, to England; and Mexico, to France. The danger was even at our doors, he declared, for within a few days the minister of France had openly threatened to recover Louisiana. [Footnote: Ibid., VI., 207; cf. Reeves, in Johns Hopkins Univ. Studies, XXIII, Nos. 9, 10.] Such suggestions exhibit the real significance of the problem, which in truth involved the question of whether America should lie open to seizure by rival European nations, each fearful lest the other gain an undue advantage. It was time for the United States to take its stand against intervention in this hemisphere.

Monroe was persuaded by Adams to change the first draught of his message, in which the president criticized the invasion of Spain by France and recommended the acknowledgment of the independence of the Greeks, in terms which seemed to threaten war with Europe on European questions. Even Webster and Clay, in fervent orations, showed themselves ready to go far towards committing the United States to an unwise support of the cause of the Greeks, which at this time was deeply stirring the sympathy of the United States. On the other hand, Adams stood firmly on the well-established doctrine of isolation from Europe, and of an independent utterance, by the United States, as the leader in the New World, of the principles of a purely American system. In the final draught, these ideas were all accepted, as well as the principles affirmed by Adams in his conferences with the Russian minister.

When sent to Congress, on December 2, 1823, Monroe's message asserted "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." This was in effect the proclamation of the end of a process that began with Columbus, Cabot, and Cartier - the rivalry of the nations of the Old World in the discovery, occupation, and political control of the wild lands of the western hemisphere. The interpretation by the next administration left the enforcement of this general principle to the various American states according to their interests. [Footnote: See chap. xvi. below]

The message further dealt with the determination of the United States not to meddle with European affairs. "It is only when our rights are invaded or seriously menaced," said Monroe, "that we resent injuries or make preparation for our defense. With the movements in this hemisphere we are of necessity more immediately connected, and by causes which must be obvious to all enlightened and impartial observers. The political system of the allied powers is essentially different in this respect from that of America." This declaration expressed the consciousness that there was a real American system contrasted with that of Europe and capable of separate existence.

Finally, the message met the immediate crisis by a bold assertion of the policy of the United States: "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 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 toward the United States." [Footnote: Richardson, Messages and Papers, II., 207-218; cf. Hart, Foundations of Am. Foreign Policy, chap. vii.] Herein was the assertion of the well- established opposition of the United States to the doctrine of intervention as violating the equality of nations. It was the affirmation also of the equality of the Old and the New World in diplomatic relations, and the announcement of the paramount interest of the United States in American affairs. [Footnote: Moore, "Non- Intervention and the Monroe Doctrine," in Harper's Mag., CIX., 857.]

This classic statement of the position of the United States in the New World, therefore, applied an old tendency on the part of this country to a particular exigency. Its authorship can hardly be attributed to any single individual, but its peculiar significance at this juncture lay in the fact that the United States came forward, unconnected with Europe, as the champion of the autonomy and freedom of America, and declared that the era of European colonization in the New World had passed away. The idea of an American system, under the leadership of the United States, unhampered by dependence upon European diplomacy, had been eloquently and clearly voiced by Henry Clay in 1820. But John Quincy Adams also reached the conception of an independent American system, and to him belongs the credit for the doctrine that the two Americas were closed to future political colonization. His office of secretary of state placed him where he was able to insist upon a consistent, clear-cut, and independent expression of the doctrine of an American system. Monroe's was the honor of taking the responsibility for these utterances. [Footnote: Cf. Reddaway, Monroe Doctrine, chap, v.; and Ford, in Am. Hist. Rev., VII., 676, VIII., 28.]

Canning afterwards boasted, "I called the New World into existence to redress the balance of the Old." [Footnote: Stapleton, Political Life of Canning, III., 227.] Unquestionably his determination that "if France had Spain it should not be Spain with the Indies," materially contributed to make effective the protest of the United States, and he recognized the value of the president's message in putting an end to the proposal of a European congress. "It was broken," said he, "in all its limbs before, but the president's message gives it the coup de grace." [Footnote: Stapleton, George Canning and His Times, 395.]

Nevertheless, the assertion by the United States of an American system independent of Europe, and the proposed exclusion of Europe from further colonization were, in truth, as obnoxious to England as they were to France. [Footnote: Reddaway, Monroe Doctrine, 98.] "The great danger of the time," declared Canning in 1825, shortly after the British recognition of Mexico, " - a danger which the policy of the European system would have fostered - was a division of the world into European and American, republican and monarchical; a league of worn-out governments on the one hand and of youthful and stirring nations, with the United States at their head, on the other. WE slip in between, and plant ourselves in Mexico. The United States have gotten the start of us in vain, and we link once more America to Europe." On December 17, 1824, Canning wrote: "Spanish America is free; and if we do not mismanage our matters sadly, she is English, and novus saeclorum nascitur ordo." [Footnote: Festing, J.H. Frere and His Friends, 267, quoted by E.M. Lloyd, in Royal Hist. Soc. Transactions (new series), XVIII., 77, 93.]

Later events were to reveal how unsubstantial were the hopes of the British minister. For the present, his hands were tied by the fact that England and the United States had a common interest in safeguarding Spanish America; and the form of Monroe's declaration seemed less important than its effectiveness in promoting this result. In the United States the message was received with approbation. Although Clay, from considerations of policy, withdrew a resolution which he presented to Congress (January 20,1824), giving legislative endorsement to the doctrine, [Footnote: Annals of Cong., 18 Cong., 1 Sess., I., 1104, II., 2763.] there was no doubt of the sympathy of the American people with its fundamental principles. Together with the attitude of England, it put an end to the menace of the Holy Alliance on this side of the ocean, and it began a new chapter, yet unfinished, in the history of the predominance of the United States in the New World.