Front Matter The Beginning of the U.S Franklin's Return Troubles After the War The Constitution The First President Washington's Troubles A Wonderful Invention Death of Washington The U.S. Buys Land War With African Pirates Death of Somers The First Steamboat The Gerrymander The War of 1812 "Don't Give Up the Ship" The Star-Spangled Banner Clinton's "Big Ditch" More Land Bought Jackson Stories Jackson's Presidency New Inventions Whitman's Ride The Mormons The First Telegraph The Mexican War The Slavery Quarrel Daniel Webster's Youth Webster's Speeches Early Times in California Discovery of El Dorado Rush to California The Underground Railroad The First World's Fair John Brown's Raid Lincoln's Youth The First Shot The Call to Arms The President's Decision Admiral Farragut The Monitor and Merrimac The Penninsular Campaign Barbara Frietchie Lincoln's Vow The Battle of Gettysburg The Taking of Vicksburg Riots, Raids, and Battles The Burning of Atlanta The March to the Sea Sheridan's Ride The Doings of the Fleet Lee's Surrender Decoration Day Lincoln Stories Lincoln's Rebukes A President's Son A Noble Southerner Hard Times in the South The Atlantic Cable Best Way to Settle Quarrels Our One Hundredth Birthday Gold for Greenbacks A Clever Engineer Death of Garfield The Celebration at Yorktown The Great Statue A Terrible Flood Lynch Law The Great White City The Explosion of the Maine The Battle of Manila Hobson's Brave Deed Surrender of Santiago The Hawaiian Islands The Annexation of Hawaii The Philippine War Assassination of McKinley The Panama Canal Roosevelt's Administration Two Presidents German Views The World War Since the World War

Story of the Great Republic - Helene Guerber

More Land Bought

Monroe was so good a man that Jefferson once said in speaking of him: "If his soul were turned inside out, not a spot would be found on it." Still, you must not imagine that he was a weak man. Before his time as President was ended, he had to show that, while he was gentle and genial, he could also be very firm.

The Creek Indians, whom Tecumseh had roused to war, had been driven into Florida by Jackson. But they fancied that as they had made war to please the British, the latter would arrange, in the treaty of Ghent, that their lands in Alabama should be given back to them. Great Britain did nothing of the kind, however, and when the Creeks saw that they had been forgotten, they came over the border to take their lands by force.

The Creeks and their allies, the Seminoles, murdered some white settlers, so Monroe sent troops southward to bring them to order. The leader of this force, General Jackson, was such a hard fighter that he soon drove the Indians back into Florida. There, finding the Spaniards had helped them, he burned a few small towns, and killed two English traders, who had also helped the Indians.

This might have made trouble, for the United State, was just then trying to agree with Great Britain about our frontiers. Still, the work went smoothly on, until part of the northern boundary of the United States (that is, of the Louisiana purchase) was fixed as the 49th parallel of latitude, from the Lake of the Woods to the top of the Rocky Mountains, It was also decided that the Oregon country, then a large tract of wild woodland reaching from these mountains to the Pacific, should be jointly occupied by Americans and British for the next ten years.

The following year, the United States made a treaty with Spain; which, for the sum of five millions, sold us East and West Florida (1819). Then our eastern sea-coast extended from the St. Croix River, in Maine, all along the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico to the Sabine River. The same treaty decided that the boundary- between Mexico and our country should be formed by parts of the Sabine, Red; and. Arkansas rivers, and the 42nd parallel to the Pacific Ocean.

Spain was very glad to secure five million dollars just then, because the South American colonies had revolted and ceased to supply her with funds. Some of the principal European kings were so afraid that their states would soon follow the example of South America and set up republics too, that they made an agreement to help each other, and even to force the South American republics to submit again to Spain.

When Monroe heard of this agreement, or Holy Alliance, he said that, while the United States did not mean to meddle in European quarrels, we should no longer allow any European power to meddle in American affairs. The American continent was for Americans only, and no part of it could ever be seized by any one else.

When the Holy Alliance heard of this statement, which is known in our history as the "Monroe Doctrine"(1823), it no longer dared carry out its plans; for Great Britain sided with us against it. The Emperor of Russia, who had been trying to secure more land along the Pacific coast, felt so sure that the Monroe Doctrine would be upheld, that he consented to sign a treaty, whereby he promised never to claim anything on this continent but Alaska, or Russian America, as it was then called.

The United States had changed greatly during these years. Before the Revolution, negro slaves had been owned in all the states. As slaves were not needed in the North, where every one worked, and as many people thought that the colored race had as much right as the white to be free, one Northern state after another abolished or put an end to slavery within its limits.

But it was different in the South. The climate there was so warm, and often so moist, that it was thought negroes only could thrive as laborers. The planters, therefore, bought many slaves to cultivate their rice, cotton, indigo, sugar, and tobacco plantations. As white men refused to work side by side with the slaves, the latter soon came to form the whole working class in the South.

When the Constitution was signed, both slave and free states formed part of our Union, so it was settled that the western land north of the Ohio should be cut up into free states, while that south of the river should form slave states.

When Jefferson bought the Louisiana territory, both parties wanted to have their own way in the new land. But as the people at New Orleans were slaveholders, the first state formed, called Louisiana, asked and was allowed to come into the Union as a slave state, in 1812.

Later on, when our Union consisted of eleven free and eleven slave states, Missouri asked to join the Union as a slave state, too. To please both parties, and end quarrels in Congress which every day became more bitter, it was finally agreed that Maine should be separated from Massachusetts and come into the Union as a free state, while Missouri entered as a slave state. But, at the same time, it was also decided that in all the rest of the Louisiana territory north of the parallel 36 30', slavery should never be allowed. This law is called the "Missouri Compromise "(1820), and was favored by Henry Clay, a great Southern orator.

While the Missouri Compromise did not exactly suit any one, it stopped serious trouble on the subject of slavery for about thirty years. Still, the Southerners thought they had been unfairly treated, and they found fault with Clay for supporting the Compromise. Indeed, some were so angry that they even refused to vote for him when he became a candidate for the presidency. Of course this was a disappointment for him, but he rightly felt that his nickname of the "Great Pacificator"(peacemaker) was far nobler than any other, and once said: "I would rather be right than be President."