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The Monroe Doctrine Essay

881 words - 4 pages

The Monroe DoctrineThe following essay is a brief narrative of the Monroe Doctrine including the contents of the doctrine, the purpose and cause of the doctrine as well as its results.The DoctrineThe Monroe Doctrine was a message delivered to Congress by President James Monroe on December 2nd, 1823. It was a declaration of the United States' foreign policy, and was intended to advise European nations to keep out of America's affairs. The doctrine was not only considered a warning to European powers, but it was also carefully worded to eventually justify American control of the entire Western Hemisphere. However, this motive was not entirely apparent at first. As the republics to the south of the United States were just gaining their freedom from Spanish control, Monroe used their new independence as a means to mask his true intentions. Instead, he referred to these southern republics as neighbors who were vulnerable to European intervention. In his address he stated,"It is impossible that the allied powers should extend their political system to any portion of either continent without endangering our peace and happiness; nor can anyone believe that our southern brethren, if left to themselves, would adopt it of their own accord" (The Avalon Project documents).Not only did the doctrine warn against Europe colonizing any part of the Unites States, Monroe spoke of the Western continents in a way that suggested they were all under one watchful command. He states,"as a principle in which the rights and interests of the United States are involved, that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers. . ." (President Monroe's seventh annual message to the U. S. Congress).Further, by facilitating commercial expansion into Latin America and landed expansion across the North American continent Monroe essentially fenced in the Western Hemisphere (Paterson et al, 100).Purpose and CausesThe Monroe Doctrine stemmed from two diplomatic problems. First was the dispute with Russia over territory on the Northwest coast of the United States. John Quincy Adams announced that there were to be no more interventions or colonization by European powers in America. Adams' statement was again reiterated in the Monroe Doctrine. Second, the United States feared re-colonization in newly independent southern nations by the "Holy Alliance" (Russia, Austria, and Prussia). Great Britain wished to continue open commerce with Latin American countries as well and so favored their independence. For this reason, British foreign minister, George Canning suggested that they, along with the United States, should send two notes to...

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