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 force of arms convert the whole Republic of Mexico into a European monarchy. The idea, if suggested at that time, would have been treated as absurd, more especially when we reflect that this is the richest and most populous of the Republics which more than fifty years ago had been saved from European domination by our Government, and that its territories extend for a thousand miles along our own frontiers. During the administration of President Polk, it became necessary that he should reaffirm the Monroe doctrine, in view of the designs of Great Britain to establish a protectorate over the Mosquito coast in the Republics of Nicaragua and Honduras. This he did, in decided terms, in his first annual message to Congress (2d December, 1845.)1 Great Britain, as we have already seen, through the interposition of the Government of the United States, eventually withdrew from the Mosquito protectorate, as well as from the colony of the Bay Islands, which she had afterwards established on the coast of Honduras. At the close of Mr. Buchanan's administration no European colony existed on the American continent, except such as had been established before the Monroe doctrine was announced, or had been formed out of territory then belonging to a European power. The President, having failed in obtaining authority from Congress to employ a military force in Mexico, as a last resort adopted the policy of concluding a treaty with the Constitutional Government. By this means he thought something might be accomplished, both to satisfy the long deferred claims of American citizens, and to prevent foreign interference with the internal government of Mexico. Accordingly Mr. McLane, on the 14th day of December, 1859, signed a ‘Treaty of Transits and Commerce’ with the Mexican Republic, and also a ‘Convention to enforce treaty stipulations, and to maintain order and security in the Territory of the Republics of Mexico and the United States.’ These treaties secured peculiar and highly valuable advantages to our trade and commerce, especially in articles the production of our agriculture and manufactures.
1 3 Statesman's Manual, p. 1458.
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