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and happiness; nor can any one 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 indifference."
The Monroe administration, however, did not content itself with formulating a correct rule for the regulation of the relations between Europe and America. It aimed at also securing the practical benefits to result from the application of the rule. Hence the message just quoted declared that the American continents were fully occupied and were not the subjects for future colonization by European powers. To this spirit and this purpose also are to be attributed the passages of the same message which treat any infringement of the rule against interference in American affairs on the part of the powers of Europe as an act of unfriendliness to the United States. It was realized that it was futile to lay down such a rule unless its observance could be enforced. It was manifest that the United States was the only power in this hemisphere capable of enforcing it. It was therefore courageously declared not merely that Europe ought not to interfere in American affairs, but that any European power doing so would be regarded as antagonizing the interests and inviting the opposition of the United States.
The announcement of the Monroe Doctrine to the world brought speedy opportunity for its explanation, development and application. Gallatin applied it in his French diplomacy. Clay, as Secretary of State, thus instructed our Minister to Mexico respecting it in 1825: "The other principle asserted in the message is that while we do not desire to interfere in Europe with the political system of the allied powers, we should regard as dangerous to our jeace and safety any attempt on their part to extend ;heir system to any part of this hemisphere. The political systems of the two continents are essentially different. Each has an exclusive right to judge for itself tvhat is best suited to its own condition and most likely to promote its happiness, but neither has a right to enforce i upon the other the establishment of its peculiar system. This principle was declared in the face of the world at a moment when there was reason to apprehend that the allied powers were entertaining designs inimical to the freedom if not to the independence of the new Governments. There is a ground for believing that the declaration of it had considerable effect in preventing, if not in producing the abandonment of all such designs. Both principles were laid down after much and anxious deliberation on the part of the late administration. The President, who then formed a part of it, continues entirely to coincide in both. And you will urge upon the Government of Mexico the utility and expediency of asserting the same principles on all occasions."
The new doctrine passed through the fierce fires of partisan debate, when what was called the Panama Mission was up for discussion in the Congress in 1826. Columbia and Mexico had invited the United States to be represented at a Congress of Republics at Panama. One of the aims of this Congress, as stated in the invitation, was to consider " the means of making effectual the declarations of the President of the United States respecting any ulterior design of foreign power to colonize any portion of this continent, and also the means of resisting all interference from abroad with the domestic concerns of American Governments."
President Adams, Clay, Webster, and a host of powerful statesmen approved of sending commissioners. They were opposed by many able men, in a purely partisan spirit, among whom were Polk and Buchanan, both of whom lived to reverse their arguments and positions. The result of the debate was a resolution of the House practically affirming the Monroe Doctrine in two essen-' tials, (1) that the United States should form no alliance with any foreign nation, nor join it in any declaration concerning the interference of any European power in its affairs, and (2) that we act toward them in any crisis as our honor and policy may at the time dictate.
In the debates of 1826, Polk took the ground that Monroe's declaration was a " mere expression of executive opinion, designed to produce an effect on the Holy Alliance in relation to their supposed intention to interfere in the war between Spain and her former colonies. It had probably produced the designed effect, and therefore, performed its office. President Monroe had no power to bind the nation by his pledges." In 1845, when Mr. Polk was President and confronted with such momentous questionsas the Mexican war and trouble with England over the Oregon boundary, he said in his message to Congress :— "In the existing circumstances of the world, the present is deemed a proper occasion to reiterate and reaffirm the principle avowed by Mr. Monroe, and to state my cordial concurrence in its wisdom and sound policy. The reassertion of this principle, especially in reference to North America, is, at this day, but the promulgation of a policy which no European power should cherish the disposition to resist. Existing rights of every European nation should be respected, but it is due alike to our safety and our interests that the efficient protection of our laws, should be extended over our whole territorial limits, and that it should be distinctly announced to the world as our settled policy, that no future European colony or dominion, with our consent, be planted or established on any part of the North American Continent."
Again in 1848, when war was being waged in Yucatan, between the Indians and whites, and when the former had appealed to England and Spain for aid, President Polk sounded the following note of warning:—"While it is not our purpose to recommend the adoption of any measure with a view to the acquisition of dominion and sovereignty over Yucatan, yet according to our established policy we could not consent to a transfer of this dominion and sovereignty to either Spain, Great Britain or any other European power. In the language of President Monroe, in his message of December, 1823, 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."
And so Buchanan, during his presidential term, reversed his position in the debates of 1826, and stoutly adhered to the Monroe Doctrine. It was in 1859-60, when England, France and Spain had decided on armed intervention in the then distracted affairs of Mexico. In his message of 1859, President Buchanan advised the employment of a sufficient military force to penetrate into the interior of Mexico, if necessary. In his message of 1860, he deprecates the failure to thus employ force, by saying:
"European Governments would have been deprived of all pretext to interfere in the territorial and domestic concerns of Mexico. We should thus have been relieved from the obligation of resisting, even by force should this become necessary, any attempt by these Governments to deprive our neighboring republic of portions of her territory—a duty from which we could not shrink without abandoning the traditional and established policy of the American people."
In the debates of 1826, Mr. Webster thus replied to those who were contending that the Monroe Doctrine was a mere executive opinion, of transitory moment:
"Sir, I agree with those who maintain the proposition, and I contend against those who deny it, that the message did mean something; that it meant much; and I maintain against both that the declaration effected much good, answered the end designed by it, did great honor to the foresight and the spirit of the Government, and that it cannot now be taken back, retracted, or annulled without disgrace. It met, Sir, with the entire concurrence and the hearty approbation of the country. The tone which it uttered found a corresponding response in the breasts of the free people of the United States. That people saw, and they rejoiced to see, that on a fit occasion our weight had been thrown into the right scale, and that, without departing from our duty, we had done something useful and something effectual for the cause of civil liberty. One general glow of exultation, one universal feeling of the gratified love of liberty, one conscious and proud perfection of the considerations which the country possessed, and of the respect and honor which belonged to it, pervaded all bosoms."
Mr. Seward thus affirmed the doctrine in 1861:
"The Government of the United States would regard with grave concern and dissatisfaction movements in