The Monroe Doctrine was proclaimed at a time when the “allied powers” of Europe, whose representatives, assembled at Vienna, took to themselves the name of the “Holy Alliance,” were attempting to give renewed prominence to the idea that kings govern by divine right. “It was intended to teach the people that all the liberties they were entitled to possess were such only as the governing monarchs deemed expedient to grant them; that they were entitled to none whatsoever by virtue of the natural law; that the attempt to establish representative and liberal government, like that of the United States, was an unpardonable sin against God; and that the highest duty of citizenship was obedience to monarchical authority.” 1 PRUS 168.1
Such were the principles of the Holy Alliance of the crowned heads of Europe; its specific object was to re-establish the despotism of Spain upon her revolted colonies in South America and in Mexico. On the other hand, the essence of the Monroe Doctrine as then understood by all the world was that “while we forbid the establishment of despotic governments upon the American continent, we recognize the corresponding obligation to refrain from any attempt to force our political system upon any part of the Old World.” 2 PRUS 168.2
Now we have abandoned the Monroe Doctrine, and entered into the arena for foreign possessions, and this, of course, naturally calls for a large increase of the army and the navy. If the American nation persists in this policy, the time is past and gone forever when she can look down with condescending pity upon the nations of Europe groaning beneath the weight of tremendous military establishments. It is now seriously urged that the United States requires an army of at least 100,000 fighting men. This would mean an annual cost of about $150,000,000. It must also be remembered that to-day the nation is carrying a pension roll of most enormous proportions. Last year there was paid to the pensioners of the Civil war the gigantic sum of $145,000,000. This is an amount larger than the cost per annum of the entire peace establishment of Germany, including her pension roll.