The Basics

Artist
Materials
Oil on Canvas

Responding to Russian territorial claims along the northern Pacific coast, and concerned that European nations would attempt to seize recently independent Latin American states, President James Monroe announced a new national policy. No new colonies would be allowed in the Americas, and European powers were not to interfere in the affairs of the Western Hemisphere. This mural depicts a discussion among the president and members of his cabinet; from left to right are President James Monroe, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, Attorney General William Wirt, Secretary of War John Calhoun, and Secretary of the Navy Samuel L. Southard.

Left: Simón Bolívar, who fought for the independence of many Spanish colonies in South America, represents a commitment to liberty.

Right: Greek freedom fighters, who were aided by Russia, Britain, and France in gaining autonomy from the Ottoman Empire, symbolize the struggle for freedom around the globe.

About the Cox Corridors Murals

The first floor of the U.S. Capitol's House wing is elaborately decorated with wall and ceiling murals by artist Allyn Cox. The central east-west corridor is referred to as the Great Experiment Hall because it chronicles in 16 murals the legislative milestones of three centuries, from the signing of the Mayflower Compact in 1629 to the enactment of women's suffrage in 1920.