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Monroe Doctrine Essay

1471 words - 6 pages

     The Monroe Doctrine was presented by President James Monroe in his annual address to Congress in 1823. Essentially its author, John Quincy Adams, who served as Monroe’s Secretary of State, wrote the Doctrine as a proclamation to the United States’ opposition of European colonialism. As of today the Doctrine has been re-interpreted and extended in a variety of ways to conform to the situation at hand, such as President Theodore Roosevelt’s Corollary.
     The end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 began the break up of the Spanish empires in the New World. From this point, many leaders guided their countries out of colonialism and led them into independence. These newly formed republics requested and expected diplomatic recognition from the United States and many Americans were in favor of the recognitions. Although, as previously identified, the United States had been warned that if it acknowledged the independence of these nations it would be seen as hostile actions towards Europe and both Monroe and Adams were unsure of going to war over countries that could not guarantee survival. Monroe and Adams were prepared to stay neutral as long as the other European powers did not interfere and let Spain and its colonies fight out their differences. The United States was in the process of obtaining East Florida from Spain after gaining West Florida in the Louisiana Purchase which the Spanish Minister Onis agreed to as long as the United States promised not to assist the revolutionaries nor recognize their independence. Once the Transcontinental Treaty was ratified, Monroe began to extend recognition to the new Latin American republics stretched out over a few years so not to gain a European response.
     In 1823, there was talk of Spain and France joining together for attacks on the new republics with the backing of Russia, Prussia, and Austria; fear of France becoming a power once again in the Americas encouraged the British to propose that the United States and Britain join together to warn off the two. Although Jefferson and Madison were in support of the offer, Adams was suspicious. In a cabinet meeting, Adams argued that it would be undignified to address Russia and France explicitly and fight in the shadows of the British, which won over the cabinet and Monroe delivered the Adams drawn independent policy in his address to Congress. In the address, the United States informed the European powers that any independent countries in the American continents were no longer subject to new European colonization. The United States was against European interference and intervention. The Doctrine implied that any effort to extend their political influence into the Western Hemisphere or occupation of armed forces would jeopardize our own peace and safety. With this said the United States clarified that it would not interfere in European affairs and expected Europe to do the same for...

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