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The Adams Doctrine is a core set of political principles, primarily in regards to the slavery debate, that were based heavily on the already established platform of the National Party in regards to the power of the federal government and its role in determining the business of individual states. The Adams Doctrine, which at its core advocated an economically centralized federal government with a strong army with which "to protect the Union, even from itself" and a deference on the legality of slavery to the states and territories, is credited with helping assuage the sectional debates raging in the United States during the 1850's, building off of Henry Clay's legacy of being a compromiser and William Clark's vision of a "benign power." The Adams Doctrine also often refers to the federal government's encouragement of worldwide trade and an expansion of the American merchant marine. The endorsement of the "Grand Army of the Americas," however, is also credited with helping usher in the military culture that would eventually lead directly to the Alaskan War.