Constitution had been abolished while the ordinary

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constitution had been abolished, while the ordinary soldiers simply didn’t want to get killed on some wild goose chase in America. Thus the army joined with civilians who were also against the king’s actions, and, in what was called the Revolution of 1820, they forced King Ferdinand to restore the constitution and abandon his American plans.King Ferdinand, of course, was not happy with any of this, and he appealed for help to conservative European powers, who disliked a king being forced to do anything by his people. Austria, Prussia, and Russia, all absolute monarchies, were on Ferdinand’s side, as was, eventually, the more limited monarchy of France, which in 1822 provided the military support that allowed Ferdinand once again to rid himself of parliament and constitution and revive his “take back the colonies” project, this time with promises of assistance from the great European powers.The United States was, obviously, concerned about all this; the last thing the U.S. needed was for Europe to start messing around again in the Americas. Less obviously, Great Britain was concerned as well, for the simple reason that, when Latin American countries had been colonies they were restricted with whom they could trade but now, as independent, sovereign states, they could trade with whomever they wished, and guess who, as already the number one overseas trading power in the world, was making a fortune? Yep, Great Britain.So, in 1823, the British Foreign Minister (their equivalent of our Secretary of State), George Canning, proposed that the United States and Great Britain issue a joint declaration warning European powers to stay out of the western hemisphere, the Americas. But James Monroe’s Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, resisted the idea of a joint declaration. Monroe’s second term was coming to an end, Adams was his Secretary of State and seemingly heir apparent to the presidency, but Adams did have to get elected to become president, and there was enough anti-British sentiment still remaining in the U.S. to make Adams reluctant to do anything that could be perceived as “Brit-friendly.” So Adams convinced Monroe that the declaration should be made by the United States alone.Thus it was that, in December, 1823, the United States announced the Monroe Doctrine, solemnly proclaiming itself opposed to any European colonization or intervention in the western hemisphere – in other words, Europe stay out of the Americas! To be fair, the U.S. pledged it would not interfere in European affairs.Truth be told, in 1823 the United States was not any sort of world power, and no great European nation considered it capable of being anything more than an annoying gnat. The ponderous admonition made by the U.S. in the Monroe Doctrine caused nothing but smirks and outright laughter in every court in Europe – until the British quietly said, “yes, and we back it with our navy,” which only happened to be the number one navy in the world then. That had to be taken seriously, and so the United States enjoyed its first great foreign-policy success – with a little help from our erstwhile mother country.

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