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United States

As has been shown in the last chapter, the attitude of portions of the south towards strict construction was not inveterate upon measures which promised advantages to that section. But the tariff struggle revealed the spirit which arose when powers were asserted unfavorable to any section. The failure of the tariff bill of 1820 [Footnote: See above, chap. ix.] was followed by other unsuccessful attempts to induce a majority of Congress to revive the subject.

In many previous volumes of the series, the region beyond the Alleghenies has been recognized as an influence and a potentiality in American history.

As we have seen, [Footnote: See above, chap. x.] the dissensions in Monroe's cabinet approached the point of rupture by the spring and summer of 1822, when the spectacle was presented of the friends of the secretary of the treasury making war upon the measures of the secretary of war, and even antagonizing the president himself. Crawford's followers gained the name of the "radicals," and declared as their principles, democracy, economy, and reform. [Footnote: Adams, Memoirs, VI., 56; Mass. Hist.

During the half century that intervened between John Quincy Adams and James G. Blaine, the Monroe Doctrine, it was commonly believed, had prevented the expansion of the territories of European powers in the Americas. It had also relieved the United States both of the necessity of continual preparation for war and of that constant tension in which the perpetual shifting of the European balance of power held the nations of that continent. But the Monroe Doctrine was not solely responsible for these results.

Long before the westward march of Americans had brought their flag to the Pacific, that ocean was familiar to their mariners. >From Cape Horn to Canton and the ports of India, there ploughed the stately merchantmen of Salem, Providence, and Newburyport, exchanging furs and ginseng for teas, silks, the "Canton blue" which is today so cherished a link with the past, and for the lacquer cabinets and carved ivory which give distinction to many a New England home.

Probably no President ever received so much personal abuse in his own day as did Grover Cleveland. In time, however, his sterling integrity and fundamental courage, his firm grasp of the higher administrative duties of his office, won the approval of his countrymen, and a repentant public sentiment has possibly gone too far in the other direction of acclaiming his statesmanship.

Before the nineteenth century ended, the Samoan, Hawaiian, and Venezuelan episodes had done much to quicken a national consciousness in the people of the United States and at the same time to break down their sense of isolation from the rest of the world. Commerce and trade were also important factors in overcoming this traditional isolation. Not only was American trade growing, but it was changing in character.

War had begun, but the majority of the American people had hardly considered seriously how they were to fight. Fortunately their navy already existed, and it was upon it that they had to rely in the opening moments of hostility. Ton for ton, gun for gun, it stood on fairly even terms with that of Spain. Captain, later Admiral, Mahan, considered that the loss of the Maine shifted a slight paper advantage from the United States to Spain.

While the first victory of the war was in the Far East and the possibility of events of world-wide significance hung upon the level-headedness of Commodore Dewey at Manila, it was realized that the war must really be fought in the West. Both President McKinley and the Queen Regent of Spain had issued proclamations stating that they would adhere to the rules of the Declaration of Paris and not resort to the use of privateers. The naval contest, therefore, was confined to the regular navies.

When one compares the conditions under which the Spanish American War was fought with those of the Great War, he feels himself living in a different age. Twenty years ago hysteria and sudden panics swept the nation. Cheers and waving handkerchiefs and laughing girls sped the troops on their way. It cannot be denied that the most popular song of the war time was "There'll be a hot time in the old town to-night," though it may be believed that the energy and swing of the music rather than the words made it so.

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