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Their great purpose was to free Cuba and Porto Rico from Spain; but as this plan was directly opposed to our wishes, our ministers were instructed not to discuss it. Canning, quick to see his advantage, wrote, March 18, 1826, that, while Great Britain also preferred the existing state of things, “So far from denying the right of the new states of America to make a hostile attack upon Cuba . . . we have uniformly refused to join the United States in remonstrating with Mexico against the supposed intention. ... We should indeed regret it, but we arrogate to ourselves no right to control the operations of one belligerent against another. The government of the United States, however, professes itself of a different opinion, ...” He adds: “Neither England nor France, could see with indifference the United States in occupation of Cuba.” On October 15, 1826, he wrote: "The general influence of the United States is not, in my opinion, to be feared. It certainly exists in Colombia, but it has been very much weakened even there by their protests against the attack on Cuba.”
It was still farther weakened among the racially mixed population of Spanish America, which was marching under the banner of universal emancipation, by the Influence of widespread publication which the debate over
slavery the Panama congress gave to our racial prejudices, notably the opposition of a strong element among us to negro emancipation, particularly in Cuba, and our unwillingness to sit in the congress with delegates from the negro states of Hayti and the Dominican Republic.
The plan for a United States hegemony of the American continent, therefore, fell before the greater resources of England, and because of our divided policies.
Idealization of England continued until the present genera- the Monroe tion to enjoy commercial predominance and a certain political leadership. Those policies, however, to which Monroe's message was confined—the separation of the American and European spheres of influence, and the
closing of the era of colonization-were grounded on facts, permanent interests, and the waxing strength of the United States. Although not incorporated in law, either national or international, they have stood. Europe has actually respected the territorial integrity and political independence of the Americas, and our people have until to-day embraced as one of their most cherished ideals the statement of Monroe's policy, founded as it was on their fundamental desire to pursue untrammelled the course of their own development and to hold Europe at ocean's length. Possibly its association with the venerable and non-contentious figure of Monroe gave it quicker and more general hold on the public mind than if it had taken its name from its real author, the belligerent Adams. From time to time the mantle of the Monroe Doctrine has been spread over additions and interpretations, till the name now stands for much that was not imagined at its announcement. It is possible that, by tending to crystallize our ideas, it has in the long run hampered our adjustment to conditions; for national interests are only relatively permanent, and their relationship with one another changes constantly. There can be no doubt, however, of the advantage that it was to us, in the period of untutored democracy upon which we were just entering, to have out a sheet anchor of fixed and respected policy.
In the fifteen years between 1815 and 1830 our territory had been further consolidated by the acquisition of Florida,
great reaches of our boundary had been deAccomplishments, 1815 to fined, and our claims to a Pacific coast line had
been vastly strengthened. We had opened the world so far as it interested us to our exports and, with the exception of the British West Indies, to our shipping. We had passed the crisis of the Spanish-American revolution in such a way that the probability of European interference in our affairs was diminished rather than increased, as it had at one time seemed likely to be. Russia was eliminated