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Monroe Doctrine Essay

1034 words - 4 pages

Some of the most important achievements during James Monroe’s presidency were accomplished in the field of international affairs and foreign policies. A significant proclamation called “The Principles of 1823” when it was first addressed, had an ever-lasting effect on America’s foreign policies. It was merely a statement, because it did not get the United States any lands but rather got on the nerves of European colonizers. Yet a mere statement would never possess the immense political power to clear the obstacles for the United States for further domination down the road, and to establish the belief of “Americas for the Americans” (Hart, 101). The Monroe Doctrine, as President Polk coined this phrase some decades later, was definitely a legitimate response to international pressures at the time.

First of all, the Monroe Doctrine further clarified the position of the United States, and gave a more legit response when the problem came about settlements within North America. Ever since 1821, President Monroe had been following Russian and Britain movements closely along the American Pacific, and found the United States in the situation of being both the territorial and the commercial competitor with the other two nations (Hart, 99). It would be fair to say that this alarming situation was one of the main reasons why President Monroe drew the conclusion that a non-interference, “hands-off” principle or policy must be followed through. Evidently, the United States adapted an even more aggressive approach when responding to the Russian colonial settlements in the West, since the American government made the exception of respecting and recognizing the British colonies in Canada (Hart, 100). An agreement between the States and Russia was finally reached in April 1824 to restrict Russian settlements south of 50°40′ latitude (Hart, 100). The said policies for Russian establishments might be even more difficult to enforce if not for the Monroe Doctrine, which was announced just a few months prior to the agreement. This just demonstrated how effective the Monroe Doctrine was when issues arose around territorial disputes. It provided a strong back-up for the American government in diplomatic measures.

Secondly, the Monroe Doctrine was a straight-forward response to the European Powers’ (represented by the Holy Allies) ambition of regaining colonizing control of South American lands. The Monroe Doctrine’s most important intention is to protect and support newly-formed republics in South America. As one of the nine principle points of the Monroe Doctrine highlighted, any attempt to extend the European political systems to the Western Hemisphere shall be considered dangerous to North and South America’s peace and safety (Wilson, 24). Adams even went out on a limb to state to Britain that “modern colonization was an abuse of government, and it should come to an end” (Hart, 100). This quote should be, in turn, put in contrast with the Russian czar’s...

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