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A. War of 1812
Reading 1:
British cruisers have been in the continued practice of violating the American flag on the great highway of
nations, and of seizing and carrying off persons sailing under it, not in the exercise of a belligerent right
founded on the law of nations against an enemy, but of a municipal prerogative over British
subjects....Under pretended blockades, without the presence of an adequate force and sometimes without
the practicability of applying one, our commerce has been plundered in every sea, the great staples of our
country have been cut off from their legitimate markets, and a destructive blow aimed at our agricultural
and maritime interests....
In reviewing the conduct of Great Britain toward the United States our attention is necessarily drawn to the
warfare just renewed by the savages on one of our extensive frontiers--a warfare which is known to spare
neither age nor sex and to be distinguished by features peculiarly shocking to humanity.
President Madison's war message, 1812
Reading 2:
First. Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be
included within this union, according to their respective numbers of free persons....
Second. No new state shall be admitted into the Union...without the concurrence of two thirds of both
houses.
Third. Congress shall not have power to lay any embargo on the ships or vessels of the citizens of the
United States...for more than sixty days.
Fifth. Congress shall not make or declare war...without concurrence of two thirds of both houses....
Seventh. The same person shall not be elected president of the United States a second time; nor shall the
president be elected form the same state two terms in succession.
Hartford Convention
1. Why did the United States declare war on Great Britain in 1812?
2. Why did New England Federalists oppose the war? What revisions did they seek in the
Constitution?
B. Monroe, James
1758-1831. The fifth President of the United States (1817-1825) during the era of Good Feelings. His
administration was marked by the acquisition of Florida (1819), the Missouri Compromise (1820), in which
Missouri was declared a slave state, and the profession of the Monroe Doctrine (1823), which declared U.S.
opposition to European interference in the Americas.
1823- The Monroe Doctrine
In this 1823 statement of American foreign policy, President James Monroe declared that the United States
would not allow European powers to create new colonies in the Western Hemisphere or to expand the
boundaries of existing colonies.
Why was a Monroe Doctrine Needed?
European intervention in the Pacific Northwest and Latin America threatened to become a new source of anxiety
for American leaders. In 1821, Russia claimed control of the entire Pacific coast from Alaska to Oregon and
closed the area to foreign shipping. This development coincided with rumors that Spain, with the help of its
European allies, was planning to re-conquer its former colonies in Latin America. European intervention
threatened British as well as American interests. Not only did Britain have a flourishing trade with Latin America,
which would decline if Spain regained its New World colonies, but it also occupied the Oregon region jointly
with the United States. In 1823, British Foreign Minister George Canning proposed that the United States and
Britain jointly announce their opposition to further European intervention in the Americas.
Monroe initially regarded the British proposal favorably. But his secretary of state, John Quincy Adams, opposed
a joint Anglo-American declaration. Secure in the knowledge that the British would use their fleet to support the
American position, Adams convinced President Monroe to make an independent declaration of American policy.
In his annual message to Congress in 1823, Monroe outlined the principles that have become known as the
Monroe Doctrine. He announced that the Western Hemisphere was henceforth closed to any further European
colonization, declaring that the United States would regard any attempt by European nations "to extend their
system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety." European countries with
possessions in the hemisphere--Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Spain--were warned not to attempt
expansion. Monroe also said that the United States would not interfere in internal European affairs.
For the American people, the Monroe Doctrine was the proud symbol of American hegemony (power) in the
Western Hemisphere. Unilaterally, the United States had defined its rights and interests in the New World. It is
true that during the first half of the nineteenth century the United States lacked the military power to enforce the
Monroe Doctrine and depended on the British navy to deter European intervention in the Americas, but the nation
had clearly warned the European powers that any threat to American security would provoke American
retaliation.
Questions:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
How was Europe intervening in America?
Where was Europe intervening?
How and why was Britain involved in the publication of the Monroe Doctrine?
What are the 4 principles of the Monroe Doctrine?
What did the Monroe Doctrine symbolize?
Was the Monroe Doctrine an empty promise or not?