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Jefferson (March 1793) had clearly intimated the distinction between American political interests and European political interests, and the dangers which might ensue in transfers of American territory from one power to another; Washington (September 1796) in his farewell address emphasized the necessity of nonpolitical connection with Europe, that with Europe's primary interest we had a remote relation, that we should not entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice;

Adams (May 1797) urged the necessity of our keeping clear of the political system of Europe;

King (January 1798) reported suggestions that South America should be separated from Spain and that in this operation England and the United States should cooperate;

A month later (February 1798) King reported Lord Grenville as stating that should Spain come under the control of France, England would commence a negotiation with the United States to see that the Spanish colonies did not go to France.

In September of the same year (1798) King announced to Hawkesbury that we should be unwilling to see Louisiana "pass into the hands of new proprietors";

King (June 1801) speaking to Lord Hawkesbury regarding the Floridas, declared that we should be " unwilling to see them transferred except to ourselves";

Madison (June 1801), instructing our representative at Madrid, declared that "the United States never have favored, nor, so long as they are guided by the clearest policy, ever can favor the acquisition of the Spanish possessions on the Mississippi by Great Britain, and he called attention to the danger of collisions between France and the United States from the contacts of their territories: these views had the assent of Jefferson;


Madison (September 1801) instructing our Minister to France, stressed the danger to which the United States would be exposed from the neighborhood of France on the Mississippi; King (January 1802) writing to Livingston (Paris) spoke of the mischiefs which would be incident to the transfer of the Louisiana territory from Spain to France; Jefferson (April 1802) declared that the possessor of New natural and habitual enemy Orleans was our 99 and that France by placing herself there "assumed to us the attitude of defiance," and (by Madison) that "mere neighborhood could not be friendly to the harmony which both countries have so much an interest in cherishing"; Lord Hawkesbury (May 1802) speaking of the transfer of Louisiana by Spain to France, expressed the necessity that as between Great Britain and the United States there should be "that spirit of confidence which has become so essential to the security of their respective territories and possessions";

Livingston (August 1802) in a mémoire delivered to French officers again emphasized the dangers of mere neighborhood, particularly where the colonies of one great power lay alongside another power;

King (April 1803) reported Addington as stating that England did not desire Louisiana, that if she took it it would be merely to prevent France from getting it, and that the prevention of this undesirable end would be best attained by the United States taking it;

King (April 1803) writing to Livingston spoke of the duty which "we owe to ourselves and posterity to exclude France forever from east of the Mississippi River

Livingston (April 1803) reported Marbois as saying that France was willing to enable us to secure the Floridas;

Lord Hawkesbury (May 1803) expressed the pleasure of the British Government at our acquisition of Louisiana; Jefferson (October 1803) spoke to Congress of the different political interests between the United States and Europe and of their interests not to assail us and our interests not to disturb them.


This period bears a close relationship to the Monroe Doctrine, first because it marked renewed difficulties between Europe and the United States on account of Napoleon's invention of the "continental system "; next because it embraced the War of 1812 between ourselves and England; next, because it covered the growth of the ideas behind the Holy Alliance, the implementing in Europe of the final development of which was the immediate threat which lead to the declaration by President Monroe; and finally it was the period which marked the revolt of Spanish American colonies.

The peace of Amiens (25-27 March 1802) between France on the one side and England, Spain, and Holland on the other, was broken by the French declaration of war against England on May 18, 1803. Thus the suspicions were realized which had been entertained by the American negotiators of the treaty of April 30, 1803, for the purchase of Louisiana by the United States from France-Napoleon had felt himself in urgent need of money which was of more immediate importance to him than a vast empire across the ocean.

Napoleon, who was made Consul for life on August 2, 1802, was proclaimed Emperor on May 18, 1804, and crowned himself as Emperor in the presence of the Pope on December 2 of the same year.

On August 9, 1805, the Third Coalition against France was formed by Great Britain, Austria, Russia, and Sweden, for the purpose of overthrowing Napoleon.



Hayes, A Political and Social History of Modern Europe, vol. 1, p. 537.

On October 20, 1805, Napoleon, having moved with his accustomed rapidity, defeated the Austrian commander at Ulm in Württemburg.87

On the day following Ulm, Nelson, leading the allied British and Spanish fleets, fought and won the great naval battle of Trafalgar which gave to Britain a supremacy of the high seas which was not seriously challenged for more than a century.

On December 2, 1805, Napoleon defeated the Allies at Austerlitz, inflicting upon them such an overwhelming defeat that Pitt, almost dying, declared as he looked at a map of Europe: "Roll up that map; it will not be wanted these ten years." 88

On October 14, 1806, the Prussians were defeated at Jena.89

In June of the following year, 1807, at Friedland, Napoleon administered to Alexander of Russia a defeat as decisive as that which he had inflicted upon the Prussians at Jena, with the result that, on July 7, 1807, Napoleon and Alexander met on a raft moored in the middle of the river Niemen, and arranged the terms of peace for France, Russia, and Prussia, known as the treaty of Tilsit.00 Concerning this treaty of Tilsit which in effect dissolved the Third Coalition, Phillips says:

Under these circumstances the disastrous route of Friedland, and the politic generosity of Napoleon at Tilsit, were enough to turn Alexander's mind from his dream of becoming the arbiter of the peace of Europe to that other dream-which the unhappy Paul I had already cherished-of dividing with Napoleon the empire of the world. A vision so dazzling awakened in him the purely personal ambition, latent in his very blood, of which he had hitherto been unconscious. In the contemplation of his new greatness the interests of Europe were forgotten. "What is Europe?" he said to Savary, the French ambassador: what is it, if it be not you and we?" 91


Of Napoleon in Europe at this time, Hayes says:

The year that followed Tilsit may be taken as marking the height of Napoleon's career. The Corsican adventurer was emperor of a France that extended from the Po to the North Sea, from the Pyrenees and the Papal States to the Rhine, a France united, patriotic, and in enjoyment of many of the fruits of the Revolution. He was king of an Italy that embraced the fertile valley of the Po and the ancient possessions of Venice; and that was administered by a viceroy, his stepson and heir-apparent, Eugène Beauharnais. The pope was his friend and ally. His brother Joseph governed the kingdom of Naples. His brother Louis and his stepdaughter Hortense were king and queen of Holland. His sister Elise was princess of the diminutive state of Lucca. The kings of Spain and Denmark were his admirers, and the tsar of Russia now called him friend and brother. A restored Poland


Ibid., p. 538.

88 Earl Stanhope's Life of William Pitt, vol. iv. p. 369.


Hayes, ibid., p. 539.

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was a recruiting station for his army. Prussia and Austria had become second- or third-rate powers, and French influence once more predominated in the Germanies.92

Under these circumstances, with only Great Britain standing as a threat against France and his ambitions, Napoleon conceived what was known as the "continental system "-a war against British manufacturing and commerce. Its purpose was to shut out British goods from all Europe, his theory being that:

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If he could prevent the importation of British goods into the Continent, he would deprive his rivals of the chief markets for their products, ruin British manufactures, throw thousands of British workingmen out of employment, create such hard times in the British Islands that the mass of the people would rise against their government and compel it to make peace with him on his own terms; in a word, he would ruin British commerce and industry and then secure an advantageous peace."


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Portugal, having refused adherence to the "continental system," Napoleon invaded the country through Spain. On December 1, 1807, he occupied Lisbon and proclaimed the "continental system in force. He then continued pouring French troops across the Pyrenees until he occupied the whole peninsula.

Under pressure from Napoleon, Charles IV of Spain abdicated on March 17, 1808, and in July of the same year, under the protection of French troops, Joseph Bonaparte was crowned King of Spain at Madrid.

On August 1, 1808, Sir Arthur Wellesley, subsequently the Duke of Wellington, landed with a British force in Portugal and proceeded to cooperate with Portuguese and Spanish troops against the French. This was the beginning of the Peninsular War which continued for the next five years, or until 1813.oa

It was this occupation of Spain by the French and the placing of Joseph Bonaparte on the throne at Madrid that was the immediate cause of the revolution in Spanish America.95

Revolution in the Spanish Americas

News of the enthronement of Joseph Bonaparte was immediately sent to Spanish America. All over Spain juntas or local councils were organized against French domination, news of which action was also communicated to the Spanish Americas. At Mexico City, Caracas, Bogotá, Chuquisaca (later Sucre), and Buenos Aires action was taken towards formally recognizing Ferdinand. There appears,


Hayes, A Political and Social History of Modern Europe, vol. 1, p. 541. 93 Ibid., p. 547.



Ibid., pp. 550–553.

'William Spencer Robertson, History of the Latin American Nations (rev. ed.), p. 153.

however, to have been, even at this stage, far-sighted persons in America who saw that the deposing of Ferdinand had broken the link between Spain and the Americas.

There were incipient separatist movements in 1809 at Chuquisaca, La Paz, Quito, Bogotá, Caracas, and Valladolid (in Mexico).

In January 1810, the Central Junta in Spain created a regency which addressed a proclamation to the inhabitants of Spanish America, inviting them to send members to a national Cortes. "The Regency announced that Spanish Americans were now elevated to the dignity of freemen; that they would no longer be viewed with indifference, vexed by cupidity, and destroyed by ignorance; and that their destinies did not depend upon ministers, governors, or viceroys, but upon themselves. Such statements naturally stimulatel the liberal spirit that was spreading among educated creoles in Spanish America." 96

In 1810, juntas were formed in Caracas, Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Quito, Santiago, and Mexico, as also a junta at La Plata which, while ostensibly rendering service to the cause of Ferdinand VII, nevertheless seemed to have been permeated with the revolutionary idea.

This movement of 1810 found its fruition in certain Spanish American areas, and in 1811 on July 5, Venezuela declared its independence from Spain, being the first " of the revolted Spanish colonies formally to declare through delegates assembled in a Congress that she was independent of the motherland.” 97

A few days following, the provisional junta in Paraguay indicated its unwillingness to support the Spanish patriots in Spain. In November of 1811, New Granada made a declaration of independence. During the same year Chile overthrew the loyal government.

In May 1812, the constitution of Spain was adopted and a call was made upon the Spanish colonies for allegiance to Spain. Chile recognized Ferdinand.

In 1813 (July) Bogotá declared its independence. In November, Mexican independence was declared. The same year saw Uruguay declaring its independence of Spain.

Through British assistance Ferdinand VII was restored to his throne in 1814. He reestablished the old régime and power. At first he neglected the American colonies; but later, when revolt became serious, he attempted to subjugate them. In October 1814, Mexico adopted a provisional constitution. In 1816, in July, the "United Provinces of South America" or, as sometimes called, "The United Provinces of La Plata" declared their independence not only of Ferdinand but of all foreign domination.

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