... 1845 (165 years ago today), in his 1st speech to Congress, available in full here, newly elected U.S. President James K. Polk "belligerently" reaffirmed "that all European influence should be removed from the neighborhood of the United States for reasons of national security." Polk's speech came 22 years to the day after the one that established this contention -- the 1823 Monroe Doctrine. Prompting the reassertion of the doctrine by Polk (depicted at top in the campaign ribbon at left) was his "aggressive expansionist program," which "created the outline of the modern American nation." (image credit) The speech came the same month that Texas would become a state in the United States. In the words of this website,
Polk felt that such expansion was part of America's 'manifest destiny.'
(Prior December 2 posts are here, here, and here.)