The Monroe Doctrine, 1823
Oil on Canvas
Great Experiment Hall
Responding to Russian territorial claims along the northern Pacific coast, and concerned that European nations would attempt to seize recently independent Latin American states, President James Monroe announced a new national policy. No new colonies would be allowed in the Americas, and European powers were not to interfere in the affairs of the Western Hemisphere. This mural depicts a discussion among the president and members of his cabinet; from left to right are President James Monroe, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, Attorney General William Wirt, Secretary of War John Calhoun, and Secretary of the Navy Samuel L. Southard.
Left: Simón Bolívar, who fought for the independence of many Spanish colonies in South America, represents a commitment to liberty.
Right: Greek freedom fighters, who were aided by Russia, Britain, and France in gaining autonomy from the Ottoman Empire, symbolize the struggle for freedom around the globe.
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