Beginning with 1810, the Spanish colonies of Mexico and South America (Chile, Peru, Buenos Ayres, Colombia) rebelled, formed republics, and in 1822 were acknowledged as free and independent powers by the United States. Spain, after vainly attempting to subdue them, appealed for help to the powers of Europe, which in 1815 had formed a Holy Alliance for the purpose of maintaining monarchical government. For a while these powers (Russia, Prussia, Austria, France) held aloof. But in 1823 they decided to help Spain to get back her old colonies, and invited Great Britain to attend a Congress before which the matter was to be discussed. But Great Britain had no desire to see the little republics destroyed, and in the summer of 1823, the British Prime Minister asked the American minister in London if the United States would join with England in a declaration warning the Holy Allies not to meddle with the South American republics. Thus, just at the time when Adams was protesting against European colonization in the Northwest, England suggested a protest against European meddling in the affairs of Spanish America. The opportunity was too good to be lost, and Adams succeeded in persuading President Monroe to make a protest in behalf of the nation against both forms of European interference in American affairs. Monroe thought it best to make the declaration independent of Great Britain, and in his annual message to Congress, December 2, 1823, he announced three great guiding principles now known as the
%300. Monroe Doctrine.%—
1. Taking up the matter in dispute with Russia, he declared that the American continents were no longer open to colonization by European nations.
Referring to the conduct of the Holy Allies, he said,
2. That the United States would not meddle in the political affairs of Europe.
3. That European governments must not extend their system to any part of North or South America, nor oppress, nor in any other manner seek to control the destiny of any of the nations of this hemisphere.
[Footnote 1: McMaster’s With the Fathers, pp. 1-54; Tucker’s Monroe Doctrine.]
The protest was effectual. The Holy Allies did not meddle in South American affairs, and the next year (1824) Russia agreed to make no settlement south of 54 deg. 40’.
1. At the presidential election of 1816 the Federalist party, for the last time, voted for a presidential candidate. Party politics were dead, and the “era of good feeling” opened.
2. Many important matters which were not settled by the Treaty of Ghent were disposed of:
A. The forty-ninth parallel
was made the boundary from a
point south of the Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains.
B. Oregon was held in joint occupation.
C. The line 54 deg. 40’ was established.