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If we remain one people, under an efficient government, the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel… George Washington

Print shows Admiral George Dewey, full-length portrait, facing front, wearing military uniform, holding hat in right hand, standing before the goddess Clio who is sitting on a throne, holding a scroll labeled "History"; behind Dewey, a sailor holds an American flag and there are busts of George Washington and James Monroe against a wall.

Print shows Admiral George Dewey, full-length portrait, facing front, wearing military uniform, holding hat in right hand, standing before the goddess Clio who is sitting on a throne, holding a scroll labeled “History”; behind Dewey, a sailor holds an American flag and there are busts of George Washington and James Monroe against a wall.

The last Virginian to occupy the White House was true to the principles of the first as the following excerpts from President James Monroe’s seventh annual message to Congress of December 2, 1823 show and indeed the desire to be let alone is a theme throughout the founders and their successors all the way through Jefferson Davis famous statement, All we ask is to be left alone. After the United States ceased to be a union of States and became a Union that was a State this doctrine was reinterpreted to allow the hemispherical – and beyond –  expansion into empire as the illustrations for this posting demonstrate.

Print shows Uncle Sam helping four little girls labeled "Philippines, Ladrones, Porto Rico, [and] Cuba" onto a wagon filled with many other young children, including "Hawaii"; two horses harnessed to the wagon are labeled "Liberty" and "Union". An old man, wearing a hat labeled "Monroe Doctrine", is sitting on a log nearby and asks Sam if the wagon isn't getting too full. [1898]

Print shows Uncle Sam helping four little girls labeled “Philippines, Ladrones, Porto Rico, [and] Cuba” onto a wagon filled with many other young children, including “Hawaii”; two horses harnessed to the wagon are labeled “Liberty” and “Union”. An old man, wearing a hat labeled “Monroe Doctrine”, is sitting on a log nearby and asks Sam if the wagon isn’t getting too full. [1898]

At the proposal of the Russian Imperial Government, made through the minister of the Emperor residing here, a full power and instructions have been transmitted to the Minister of the United States at St. Petersburgh to arrange, by amicable negotiation, the respective rights and interests of the two nations on the northwest coast of this continent. A similar proposal has been made by His Imperial Majesty to the Government of Great Britain, which has likewise been acceded to. The Government of the United States has been desirous, by this friendly proceeding, of manifesting the great value which they have invariably attached to the friendship of the Emperor, and their solicitude to cultivate the best understanding with his Government. In the discussions to which this interest has given rise, and in the arrangements by which they may terminate the occasion has been judged proper for asserting, as a principle in which the rights and interests of the United States are involved, that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers….

Illustration shows Uncle Sam as a large rooster standing among several small free-ranging chicks labeled "Argentine Republic, Guatemala, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Salvador, Peru, [and] Hayti [sic]"; confined to a "European Coop" labeled "Monroe Doctrine" are five roosters labeled "Russia, England, France, Germany, [and] Italy." [1901]

Illustration shows Uncle Sam as a large rooster standing among several small free-ranging chicks labeled “Argentine Republic, Guatemala, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Salvador, Peru, [and] Hayti [sic]”; confined to a “European Coop” labeled “Monroe Doctrine” are five roosters labeled “Russia, England, France, Germany, [and] Italy.” [1901]

It was stated at the commencement of the last session that a great effort was then making in Spain and Portugal, to improve the condition of the people of those countries, and that it appeared to be conducted with extraordinary moderation. It need scarcely be remarked, that the result has been, so far, very different from what was then anticipated. Of events in that quarter of the globe, with which we have so much intercourse, and from which we derive our origin, we have always been anxious and interested spectators.

Illustration shows a young boy labeled "Venezuela" complaining to Uncle Sam about the presence of a German battleship; Uncle Sam explains to him that the Monroe Doctrine will protect him from violence, but that he still must pay his "honest debts." [1902]

Illustration shows a young boy labeled “Venezuela” complaining to Uncle Sam about the presence of a German battleship; Uncle Sam explains to him that the Monroe Doctrine will protect him from violence, but that he still must pay his “honest debts.” [1902]

The citizens of the United States cherish sentiments the most friendly, in favor of the liberty and happiness of their fellow men on that side of the Atlantic. In the wars of the European powers, in matters relating to themselves, we have never taken any part, nor does it comport with our policy to do so. It is only when our rights are invaded, or seriously menaced, that we resent injuries, or make preparation for our defence.

Illustration shows Cipriano Castro, President of Venezuela, hiding behind a large rock, hoping that the large claw-type animal trap labeled "Monroe Doctrine" he set will prove effective in preventing the British Lion, a cat labeled "Italy" with the face of Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy, and a boar labeled "Germany" with the face of William II, Emperor of Germany, from coming ashore to demand payment of international debts. [1903]

Illustration shows Cipriano Castro, President of Venezuela, hiding behind a large rock, hoping that the large claw-type animal trap labeled “Monroe Doctrine” he set will prove effective in preventing the British Lion, a cat labeled “Italy” with the face of Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy, and a boar labeled “Germany” with the face of William II, Emperor of Germany, from coming ashore to demand payment of international debts. [1903]

With the movements in this hemisphere, we are, of necessity, more immediately connected, and by causes which must be obvious to all enlightened and impartial observers. The political system of the allied powers is essentially different, in this respect, from that of America. This difference proceeds from that which exists in their respective governments. And to the defence of our own, which has been achieved by the loss of so much blood and treasure, and matured by the wisdom of their most enlightened citizens, and under which we have enjoyed unexampled felicity, this whole nation is devoted.

Illustration shows a resolute Uncle Sam as a soldier with rifle standing on a pile of money bags labeled "Financial Interests in South & Central America"; sleeping on the ground, using the bags as pillows, are men labeled "St. Petersburg, Wall St., Lombard St., Paris Bourse, Berlin, [and] Vienna". [1911]

Illustration shows a resolute Uncle Sam as a soldier with rifle standing on a pile of money bags labeled “Financial Interests in South & Central America”; sleeping on the ground, using the bags as pillows, are men labeled “St. Petersburg, Wall St., Lombard St., Paris Bourse, Berlin, [and] Vienna”. [1911]

We owe it, therefore, to candor, and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers, to declare, that 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. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered, and shall not interfere. But with the governments who have declared their independence, and maintained it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration, and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling, in any other manner, their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition towards the United States. In the war between those new governments and Spain we declared our neutrality at the time of their recognition, and to this we have adhered, and shall continue to adhere, provided no change shall occur, which, in the judgement of the competent authorities of this government, shall make a corresponding change, on the part of the United States, indispensable to their security.

Uncle Sam, having spotted a man wearing a wide-brimmed hat fishing in a prohibited area of the Mexican coast, confronts him. He lifts the hat off the head of a Japanese soldier who is fishing with a rifle and bayonet in Magdalena Bay. A can of bullets labelled bait are next to the fisherman. Uncle Sam orders the soldier to go. [1912]

Uncle Sam, having spotted a man wearing a wide-brimmed hat fishing in a prohibited area of the Mexican coast, confronts him. He lifts the hat off the head of a Japanese soldier who is fishing with a rifle and bayonet in Magdalena Bay. A can of bullets labelled bait are next to the fisherman. Uncle Sam orders the soldier to go. [1912]

The late events in Spain and Portugal, shew that Europe is still unsettled. Of this important fact, no stronger proof can be adduced than that the allied powers should have thought it proper, on any principle satisfactory to themselves, to have interposed, by force, in the internal concerns of Spain. To what extent such interposition may be carried, on the same principle, is a question, to which all independent powers, whose governments differ from theirs, are interested; even those most remote, and surely none more so than the United States.

Illustration shows a dog wearing a sombrero labeled "Mexican Revolution" jumping and barking, stirring up a cloud of dust; Uncle Sam approaches from the left drawing a gun from its holster labeled "Intervention", he is preparing to shoot the "mad dog". The rulers of "England, Germany, Spain, Austria, Italy, Russia, [and] Japan" are standing behind a wall labeled "Monroe Doctrine", some have rifles, others point toward the dog. [1912]

Illustration shows a dog wearing a sombrero labeled “Mexican Revolution” jumping and barking, stirring up a cloud of dust; Uncle Sam approaches from the left drawing a gun from its holster labeled “Intervention”, he is preparing to shoot the “mad dog”. The rulers of “England, Germany, Spain, Austria, Italy, Russia, [and] Japan” are standing behind a wall labeled “Monroe Doctrine”, some have rifles, others point toward the dog. [1912]

Our policy, in regard to Europe, which was adopted at an early stage of the wars which have so long agitated that quarter of the globe, nevertheless remains the same, which is, not to interfere in the internal concerns of any of its powers; to consider the government de facto as the legitimate government for us; to cultivate friendly relations with it, and to preserve those relations by a frank, firm, and manly policy; meeting, in all instances, the just claims of every power; submitting to injuries from none.

Illustration shows Uncle Sam, on the right, sitting with legs outstretched forming a magnet labeled "United States Protectorates", which he is using to draw Central and South American countries, represented by little figures labeled "Cuba, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Salvador, [and] Colombia" toward himself, a figure labeled "Panama" is already in his back pocket. On the left, in the background, are clouds of smoke labeled "Mexico", which are created by the ongoing Mexican Revolution. [1913]

Illustration shows Uncle Sam, on the right, sitting with legs outstretched forming a magnet labeled “United States Protectorates”, which he is using to draw Central and South American countries, represented by little figures labeled “Cuba, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Salvador, [and] Colombia” toward himself, a figure labeled “Panama” is already in his back pocket. On the left, in the background, are clouds of smoke labeled “Mexico”, which are created by the ongoing Mexican Revolution. [1913]

But, in regard to these continents, circumstances are eminently and conspicuously different. It is impossible that the allied powers should extend their political system to any portion of either continent, without endangering our peace 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. If we look to the comparative strength and resources of Spain and those new governments, and their distance from each other, it must be obvious that she can never subdue them. It is still the true policy of the United States to leave the parties to themselves, in the hope that other powers will pursue the same course.

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