The year was 1823 and following the recent recognition of the independent republics of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico, United States President James Monroe, under the advisement of Secretary John Quincy Adams, went a step further with a policy that we now know as the Monroe Doctrine. This policy asserted that the Western Hemisphere was no longer open to colonization and interference by European nations. The U.S. would now “consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety.” Nor would the U.S. interfere in European affairs. The legacy of the Monroe Doctrine can be seen in a number of events throughout U.S. history.Â
The world was still searching for a northwest passage to the East and in 1823, an expedition by Sir John Franklin, an experienced explorer who had begun mapping the North American Polar regions in 1818, ran into trouble on a return overland trip. Out of food, ten men succumbed to starvation and cold temperatures, and Sir Franklin narrowly escaped death himself on that trip. He would not be so lucky on a future expeditionâ€”his ship set out in 1845 and was never seen again. It is thought that poor food planning and canned meats contaminated with lead contributed to the demise of the crews on that expedition.Â
Hunger was an ongoing problem in Ireland in 1823 as it suffered through several years of food shortages.
The completion of the Champlain Canal in 1823 ultimately joined the Hudson River with Lake Champlain, opening the region to development and commerce. Agricultural surpluses could now easily be sent to market from the Champlain Valley and timber and mining industries took advantage of the new route as well.