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date. No answers were given to his letters, although conferences were held with him, and the President declined to enter into any negotiations with Señor Aguirre, because the latter did not appear furnished with powers to negotiate and because he thought that the independence of the Provinces had not yet been established.
A short time after the declination of Aguirre's application, in May, 1818, David C. de Forrest renewed the consideration of the same claim, by soliciting this government to admit him as a consul general. The President did not grant the permission, because he thought it was not clear that the province eren claimed entire independence, Buenos Ayres having the intention at that time to offer special commercial favors to Spain as a consideration for the relinquishment of her claims to sovereignty.
But neither the commissioners sent by the United States to the American colonies of Spain nor those sent by those colonies to the United States influenced in any way the attitude of strict neutrality observed by the United States government in the war for independence of the Spanish colonies in America.
The United States Adhered to the Strictest Neutrality in the War of Independence.—The question of recognizing the independence of the American colonies of Spain was first brought up in the United States on March 24, 1818, by Henry Clay, who felt great sympathy for the struggling Spanish colonies, and sought to obtain their recognition through legislative action. He proposed an appropriation of $18,000 for the outfit and one year's salary of a minister to be deputed from the United States to the independent provinces of the River Plata in South America. This motion led to a discussion as to whether the power of recognizing foreign governments resided in the Executive or in Congress. The majority of the House seemed to be in favor of the Executive, and the motion was defeated on May 28, 1818, by a vote of 115 to 45.
On January 2, 1819, President Monroe's Cabinet considered the question of the recognition of Buenos Ayres. The Cabinet was divided on the question, Mr. Calhoun being of opinion that this country should act in concurrence with Great Britain, Mr. Crawford that it should send a minister to Buenos Ayres, and Mr. Adams thinking that the minister should come from Buenos Ayres seeking recognition.
Mr. Clay renewed his resolution, which was discussed by the House on May 10, 1820, asserting " that it was expedient to provide by law a suitable outfit for such minister or ministers as the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, may send to any of the governments of South America which have established and are maintaining their independence of Spain," and this resolution was carried by a vote of 80 to 75. On February 9, 1821, Mr. Clay again moved his $10,000 appropriation bill for a minister to any South American government “which has established and is maintaining its indepencence of Spain.” This was lost by a vote of 86 to 79. On the following day he introduced a resolution expressing “the interest of the people of the United States, which was shared by the House of Representatives, in the success of the Spanish provinces of South America struggling to establish their liberty and independence, and offering its constitutional support to the President of the United States, whenever he may deem it expedient to recognize the sovereignty and independence of any of said provinces.” The first clause of this resolution was carried by a vote of 134 to 12 and the second by a vote of 87 to 68. A committee of two members was appointed to lay these resolutions before the President, and Mr. Clay, one of those members, in his report of February 19, said “ that the President assured the committee that he felt a great interest in the success of the provinces of South America and that he would take the resolution into deliberate consideration with the most perfect respect for the distinguished body from which it had emanated.”
On January 31, 1822, Mr. Trimble, of Kentucky, introduced a joint resolution stating that the “President was authorized and requested to acknowledge the independence of the Republics of Colombia, and that the Spanish provinces of South America that had established and were maintaining their independence of Spain ought to be acknowledged.” Before this resolution was arted upon, Mr. Nelson, of Virginia, introduced another resolution asking the President to lay before the House the documents relating to the South American question, and in response to this resolution President Monroe sent to the House his message of March 8, 1822, in which he stated that, in his opinion, the time had come to recognize the South American provinces as independent countries. Thereupon Mr. Russell, of Massachusetts, in behalf of VOL. CLXV.-NO. 488.
the Committee on Foreign Affairs, introduced two resolutions. In the first the House “expressed its concurrence in the opinion contained in the message of the President, of March 8, 1822, that the late American provinces of Spain, which had declared their independence and were in the enjoyment of it, ought to be recognized by the United States as independent nations”; and the second “instructing the Committee on Ways and Means to prepare a bill appropriating a eum not to exceed $100,000 to enable the President to give due effect to such provision." Both resolutions were approved by the House.
The Monroe Doctrine.-President Munroe's famous message of December 2, 1823, in which he announced the American continental policy bearing his name, was of course issued almost two years after he had recognized, in his n. ssage of March 8, 1822, the independence of the American colonies of Spain. But that recognition was then only theoretical, as the United States neither sent to nor received from those countries any representative until some years later.
In that year, 1823, two specific dangers threatened the Western Hemisphere. The northwest boundary between the United States and Canada had not then been determined and the territory in dispute had not been occupied or even fully explored. Russia, by formal proclamation in 1821, had set up a claim to territory along the Pacific coast as far south as the fiftyfirst parallel, and had given unmistakable signs of her intention to plant a Russian colony within the disputed territory. The movement Was alarming to Great Britain as well as to the United States.
The other cause of alarm was that the Metternich-Bourbon reaction had set in, and there was good reason to fear that the attempt was about to be made to resubjugate the Spanish-American colonies. This fear found ample justification in the attitude of the “ Holy Alliance,” formed immediately after the downfall of Napoleon, by Russia, Austria, Prussia, and France, for the avowed object of protecting the Catholic religion and the Divine Right of Kings. This alliance was offered for signature to all the monarchs of Europe except the Pope and the Sultan. Of all the powers Great Britain alone declined to join in the Alliance, but under the leadership of Metternich this combination proceeded with its reactionary work. In 1821 it sent an Austrian
army into Italy to prevent the adoption of a constitution at Naples, and two years later it threw a French army into Spain to suppress a popular movement in behalf of the free constitution of 1812 and to reinstate the Bourbon dynasty. Having thus put under its heel all opposition in Europe, the Alliance proposed a congress to consider the subjugation of the revolted Spanish colonies in America, and the re-establishment of Spanish authority in the Western Hemisphere. Before matters were far advanced, the design became known to Great Britain, and word concerning it was at once sent by the British Minister to the government of the United States. President Monroe immediateiy consulted Jefferson and Madison, as well as his cabinet, of whom John Quincy Adams and Calhoun were the most prominent members. All agreed that the matter was of such momentous interest as to justify a formal remonstrance. John Quincy Adams, the Secretary of State, wrote a declaration of policy relating to colonization, and Jefferson a similar declaration in regard to interference. These two were tacked together by President Monroe and embodied in his message, which can be summarized in the following four propositions :
1. That the United States would not tolerate further colonization in the American continent by European powers.
2. That they would not permit the subjugation or subversion of any American government by the governments of Europe.
3. That they would not allow the extension to America of the monarchical system of the “Holy Alliance."
4. That the United States had not interfered and would not interfere with any of the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power on this continent.
The Spanish-American Republics and Cuba.-—There is one case in which the United States prevented the independence of two Spanish colonies in America.
When Bolivar had driven the Spanish from Colombia, he thought his task was not ended and that his republic was not safe as long as the enemy was in possession of the adjoining country. He, therefore, took an armed expedition to Peru with which he accomplished the independence of that country, decided at the battle of Ayacucho. How well grounded that fear was is shown by the fact that in 1829 the Spanish government sent to Mexico an armed expedition from Havana under General Barradas, which
landed at the port of Tampico, for the purpose of subduing again the colony of New Spain, as Mexico was then called. But the independence had gained such a foothold that it was easy for us to defeat that expedition.
After Bolivar had accomplished in 1824 the independence of the northern half of South America, he thought that his task was not finished before the Spanish were driven from Cuba and Puerto Rico, as the possession by them of those controlling islands—especially the former—would give Spain an important foothold on this continent, from which she could attack at any time her revolted colonies. This danger was of a great deal more consequence to Mexico on account of the proximity of Cuba to that country, and both the governments of Mexico and Colombia contemplated a plan of military operations, for the pnrpose of accomplishing the independence of the island of Cuba. This step was in accordance with the conduct followed by Colombia and Mexico before the accomplishment of their independence.
When the government of the United States heard of the scheme of the Mexican and Colombian governments for the liberation of Coba, Mr. Clay, Secretary of State of the United States, addressed a letter to the Mexican and Colombian Ministers at Washington, on December 20, 1825, requesting that their respective governments should suspend any expedition that they might be preparing against the islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico, on the ground that the United States could under no circumstances permit them to fall under the sovereignty of England and that they could not be indifferent to the islands passing to the possession of France, and that, therefore, the only solution of the question was to leave the islands in possession of Spain. A copy of this communication was sent by Mr. Clay to Mr. Everett, United States Minister at Madrid, with a despatch dated at Washington, April 13, 1826, from which I have borrowed this information. In that despatch Mr. Clay stated that the United States government thought that England was at the bottom of the scheme to liberate Cuba and that, if Cuba were once independent from Spain, she would finally become an English colony or a state under French protection.
It seems to me clear that the real reasons for Mr. Clay's official communication against the independence of Cuba, in 1825 and 1826, were not so much those stated in his despatches as the