Lead: On December 2, 1823, James Monroe, President of the United States, asserted one of the most important and audacious foreign policy propositions in modern diplomatic history.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1724 the work of Danish navigator Vitus Joanssen Behring, long in the employ of Czar Peter the Great of Russia, began to pay rich dividends. He sailed through the strait that was to bear his name and laid claim to Russian-America, Alaska. All during the next century Russians traders and settlers established outposts and influence all down western North America. By 1812 they had reached Spanish owned Bodega Bay just north of San Francisco. When Czar Alexander I issued a renewal of imperial claims in 1821 and asserted exclusive trading rights to the northwestern coastline, alarm began to grip Washington City, capital of the infant United States, which had enjoyed independent sovereignty only about four decades.

 

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