Monroe Doctrine 1823

“We owe it, therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. …. with the Governments who have declared their independence and maintained it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.”  These were the brave words of the Monroe Doctrine, promulgated by the US on December 2, 1823, warning the European powers not to attempt to re-conquer the newly independent Spanish colonies. Considering that the US did not have a credible navy or army at that time, few European monarchs were worried.  Nonetheless, the 18th century South American revolutionaries who were struggling against European leaders were heartened by the declaration by James Monroe, the fifth President of the US. Later in history, the doctrine was used to justify invasions and interventions by the US, much to the consternation of South America’s political leaders. (Image of period political cartoon of Uncle Sam sleeping while European armies run amok in South America.)

Santos Benavides, Texas Cavalry Captain, 1823

Latinx soldiers fought on both sides in America’s bloody the Civil War (1861 – 1865).  Among the Confederate officers was Santos Benavides, born on November 1, 1823 in in Laredo, Texas.  Benavides was the great-great- grandson of the founder of Laredo.  Benavides was commissioned a captain in the Thirty-third Texas Cavalry and was the highest ranking Tejano (Texan-Mexican-American) in the Confederate Army.  After the war, Benavides continued to served his Texas homeland.  He was elected to three terms in the Texas State Legislature and twice as an alderman of Laredo.
Los soldados latinos lucharon en ambos lados en el mayor conflicto interno de Estados Unidos, la Guerra Civil (1861-1865). Entre los oficiales confederados se encontraba Santos Benavides, nacido el 1 de noviembre de 1823 en Laredo, Texas. Benavides era el tataranieto del fundador de Laredo. Benavides fue comisionado como capitán de la Trigésima Tercera Caballería de Texas y fue el tejano (tejano-mexicano-estadounidense) de más alto rango en el Ejército Confederado. Después de la guerra, Benavides continuó sirviendo a su tierra natal de Texas. Fue elegido para tres mandatos en la legislatura de Texas y dos veces como concejal de Laredo.