Quotation by Rutherford Birchard Hayes

The policy of this country is a canal under American control. The United States cannot consent to the surrender of this control to any European power.... The capital invested by corporations or citizens of other countries in such an enterprise must in a great degree look for protection to one or more of the great powers of the world. No European power can intervene for such protection without adopting measures on this continent which the United States would deem wholly inadmissible. If the protection of the United States is relied upon, The United States must exercise such control as will enable this country to protect its national interests.... An interoceanic canal across the American Isthmus ... would be the great ocean thoroughfare between our Atlantic and our Pacific shores, and virtually a part of the coastline of the United States. Our merely commercial interest in it is greater than that of all other countries, while its relations to our power and prosperity as a nation, to our means of defense, our unity, peace, and safety, are matters of paramount concern to the people of the United States.
Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822–1893), U.S. president. Messages and Papers of the Presidents, vol. X, pp. 4537-4538, ed. James D. Richardson, Bureau of National Literature, 20 vols. (1897-1918), Special Message (8 March 1880).

Reacting to Ferdinand De Lesseps's dream of a Panama Canal, Hayes anticipated Theodore Roosevelt's corollary of the Monroe Doctrine.
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