After the War of 1812, the British flooded the American market with manufactured goods. The British had a head start in the Industrial Revolution, so they were able to manufacture and sell their products cheaper than the Americans.
Congress passed the protective tariff to protect the American manufacturers from foreign competition
Higher tariffs led to angry protests from Southerners because the South bought products cheaply from the British
Southerners complained that Tariffs made northerners rich at the expense of the South
Sectionalism is loyalty to one’s state or region rather than to the nation as a whole.
Americans began to identify themselves as Southerners, Northerners, or Westerners.
The American System
To promote economic growth in all sections of the nation, Henry Clay developed a program called the American System
The American System called for high tariffs on imported goods which would help the northern factories
The North would then use the extra money to buy products from the South and West.
High tariffs would also reduce America’s dependence on foreign goods
Clay urged Congress to use the money from these tariffs to build improvements in transportation.
However, Secretary of State Adams and President Monroe were concerned about European response.
European countries like Prussia, France, Spain, and Austria seemed ready to try and take back some of the colonies that Spain had lost.
Russia was also in the mix claiming lands on the Pacific coast of North America.
The Monroe Doctrine
The British, also concerned wanted to issue a joint statement with the United States, but President Monroe acted on his own.
The President issued the Monroe Doctrine
The Monroe Doctrine declared that the United States would not interfere in the affairs of European nations, or existing colonies of Europe.
At the Same time it warns that the United States will not tolerate any further colonization by Europe in the Western Hemisphere.
It also warns against any attempt to regain lost colonies
The message of the Monroe Doctrine showed that the United States was determined to keep European powers out of the Western Hemisphere
In the early years of the Monroe Doctrine, the United States did not have the military strength to back up the doctrine, but Great Britain who had supported the doctrine helped enforce it with their superior navy.
As the United States became stronger over the years, it could back up the Monroe Doctrine on its own.
On several occasions the United States successfully backed up the Doctrine against European challengers
The Monroe Doctrine shaped American foreign policy for more than 100 years