These were minor internal American spats of attrition on the continent and had little to do with foreign wars. Until The Monroe doctrine was implemented there was no foreign entanglements until the Cuban and Phillipines encounters. Don't forget, we're talking about foreign entanglements here.
The protests and disorder that broke out in the American colonies in 1765 marked the beginning not only of the American struggle for independence, but of over half a century of popular protest, revolution, and war across the western world. From the Ural Mountains in Russia to the Alleghenies and the Andes in the Americas, rioting, revolutions, and popular struggles against undemocratic rule took place in areas as diverse as France (in 1789), Geneva in Switzerland, Ireland, and Mexico.
Revolution took on an entirely new meaning in 1791, when civil war erupted in San Domingue (Haiti) and slaves in the French colony's northern province rose in revolt. In 1770, a French philosophe, the Abbé Raynal, had called for a "Black Spartacus" to overthrow slavery. Spartacus was a Thracian slave and gladiator who led a great slave revolt against the Romans, in southern Italy in 73-71 B.C.E. Under the leadership of a new Spartacus, Toussaint Louverture, Haiti's slaves defeated the armies of France, Spain, and Britain, and, in 1801, adopted a constitution prohibiting slavery forever. Haiti became independent in 1804 after expelling a second French expeditionary force sent by Napoleon.
The age of revolution culminated with the Latin American wars of independence. In 1790, five European countries--Britain, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain, controlled all of Latin America. But in 1821, Mexico won its independence from Spain, and two years later Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua broke away from Mexico. In South America during the 1820s, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela won their freedom from Spanish rule.
So, the American Revolution was not an isolated event. Despite many significant differences, the popular protests and upheavals of the age of revolution reflected certain common ideals and aspirations that had been unleashed by the American and French revolutions. Unifying all of these revolutions was a shared political language invoking such potent terms as constitutional rights, the sovereignty of the people, and the consent of the governed.
Beyond that, interpretations vary. At one end of the spectrum is the view that the American Revolution was not revolutionary at all, that it did not radically transform colonial society, but simply replaced a distant government with a local one. The opposite view is that the American Revolution was a unique and radical event, producing significant changes that had a profound impact on world history. Most current interpretations fall somewhere in between these two positions.
America was in no position to contest foreign countries after the revolution as they were debt strapped and cash poor, having printed money that inflated to near worthlessness in 1789. It was a time when the new country almost broke out into revolution against the new government.
It was important not to ruffle feathers abroad, so Washington made it known that they were not to engage in "foreign entanglements". When they made the Louisiana purchase from France, Jefferson commissioned Lewis and Clark quickly, to guage the size and lay claim to new areas of land. Hence, the claim up to the Russian panhandle was made, but no further. Of course Britain made a counterclaim to the 49th parallel and so the famous 54 - 40 dispute, but Britain was not a foreign power, as Britain had claims in America through the Hudsons Bay Company at the time, and was the ruling force in Upper and Lower Canada. The Northwest Territories were owned by the Hudson Bay Company through a lease with Britain, for fur trading.
AFTER ENCOURAGING PANAMA'S INDEPENDENCE FROM COLUMBIA, the U.S. signed a treaty in 1903 that gave it the rights to build and operate the canal for perpetuity. The agreement also gave the U.S. the right to govern the 10-mile wide, 40-mile long strip of land around the canal, called the Panama Canal Zone.
http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/fac ... rac/50.htm
The end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 marked the breakup of the Spanish empire in the New World. Between 1815 and 1822 Jose de San Martin led Argentina to independence, while Bernardo O'Higgins in Chile and Simon Bolivar in Venezuela guided their countries out of colonialism. The new republics sought -- and expected -- recognition by the United States, and many Americans endorsed that idea.
But President James Monroe and his secretary of state, John Quincy Adams, were not willing to risk war for nations they did not know would survive. From their point of view, as long as the other European powers did not intervene, the government of the United States could just let Spain and her rebellious colonies fight it out.
Great Britain was torn between monarchical principle and a desire for new markets; South America as a whole constituted, at the time, a much larger market for English goods than the United States. When Russia and France proposed that England join in helping Spain regain her New World colonies, Great Britain vetoed the idea.
The United States was also negotiating with Spain to purchase the Floridas, and once that treaty was ratified, the Monroe administration began to extend recognition to the new Latin American republics -- Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico were all recognized in 1822.
In 1823, France invited Spain to restore the Bourbon power, and there was talk of France and Spain warring upon the new republics with the backing of the Holy Alliance (Russia, Prussia and Austria). This news appalled the British government -- all the work of Wolfe, Chatham and other eighteenth-century British statesmen to get France out of the New World would be undone, and France would again be a power in the Americas.
George Canning, the British foreign minister, proposed that the United States and Great Britain join to warn off France and Spain from intervention. Both Jefferson and Madison urged Monroe to accept the offer, but John Quincy Adams was more suspicious. Adams also was quite concerned about Russia's efforts to extend its influence down the Pacific coast from Alaska south to California, then owned by Mexico.
At the Cabinet meeting of November 7, 1823, Adams argued against Canning's offer, and declared, "It would be more candid, as well as more dignified, to avow our principles explicitly to Russia and France, than to come in as a cockboat in the wake of the British man-of-war."
He argued and finally won over the Cabinet to an independent policy. In Monroe's message to Congress on December 2, 1823, he delivered what we have always called the Monroe Doctrine, although in truth it should have been called the Adams Doctrine. Essentially, the United States was informing the powers of the Old World that the American continents were no longer open to European colonization, and that any effort to extend European political influence into the New World would be considered by the United States "as dangerous to our peace and safety." The United States would not interfere in European wars or internal affairs, and expected Europe to stay out of American affairs.
So as you can see, America wasn't in the foreign entanglement game until their war with Spain over Cuba and their move into the far east in the Phillipines near the turn of the 19th century.
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