Monroe Doctrine of 1823
Monroe Doctrine History
Monroe Doctrine Definition
What is the Monroe Doctrine of 1823
The Monroe Doctrine was declared in a few paragraphs of President
James Monroe's seventh annual message to Congress on December 2, 1823. President Monroe (Fifth President of the United States) warned
European countries not to interfere in the Western Hemisphere, stating "that the American continents. . .are henceforth not
to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers." The Monroe Doctrine became a cornerstone of
future U.S. foreign policy.
In his December 2, 1823, address to Congress, President James Monroe articulated
United States' policy on the new political order developing in the rest of the Americas and the role of Europe in the Western
Hemisphere. The statement, known as the Monroe Doctrine, was little noted by the Great Powers of Europe, but eventually became
a longstanding tenet of U.S. foreign policy. Monroe and his Secretary of State John Quincy Adams drew upon a foundation of
American diplomatic ideals such as disentanglement from European affairs and defense of neutral rights as expressed in Washington's
Farewell Address and Madison's stated rationale for protecting American
interests during the War of 1812. The three main concepts of the doctrine--separate
spheres of influence for the Americas and Europe, non-colonization, and non-intervention--were designed to signify a clear
break between the New World and the autocratic realm of Europe. Monroe's administration forewarned the imperial European powers
against interfering in the affairs of the newly independent Latin American states or potential United States territories.
While Americans generally objected to European colonies in the New World, they also desired to increase United States influence
and trading ties throughout the region to their south. European mercantilism posed the greatest obstacle to economic expansion.
In particular, Americans feared that Spain and France might reassert colonialism over the Latin American peoples who had just
overthrown European rule. Signs that Russia was expanding its presence southward from Alaska toward the Oregon Territory were
Presidents Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan were staunch
adherents and zealous proponents of the Monroe Doctrine.
For their part, the British also had a strong interest in ensuring the
demise of Spanish colonialism, with all the trade restrictions mercantilism imposed. Earlier in 1823, British Foreign Minister
George Canning suggested to Americans that two nations issue a joint declaration to deter any other power from intervening
in Central and South America. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, however, vigorously opposed cooperation with Great Britain,
contending that a statement of bilateral nature could limit United States expansion in the future. He also argued that the
British were not committed to recognizing the Latin American republics and must have had imperial motivations themselves.
The bilateral statement proposed by the British thereby became a unilateral
declaration by the United States. As Monroe stated: "The American continents … are henceforth not to be considered as
subjects for future colonization by any European powers." Monroe outlined two separate spheres of influence: the Americas
and Europe. The independent lands of the Western Hemisphere would be solely the United States' domain. In exchange, the United
States pledged to avoid involvement in the political affairs of Europe, such as the ongoing Greek struggle for independence
from the Ottoman Empire, and not to interfere in the existing European colonies already in the Americas.
By the mid-1800s, Monroe's declaration, combined with Manifest Destiny, provided precedent and support for U.S. expansion on the American continent. In the late 1800s, U.S. economic and military
power enabled it to enforce the Monroe Doctrine.
The doctrine's greatest extension came with Theodore Roosevelt's Corollary,
which inverted the original meaning of the doctrine and came to justify unilateral U.S. broadened in Latin America.
In 1904, European creditors of a number of Latin American countries threatened
armed intervention to collect debts. President Theodore Roosevelt promptly proclaimed the right of the United States to exercise
an “international police power” to curb such “chronic wrongdoing.” As a result, U. S. Marines were
sent into Santo Domingo in 1904, Nicaragua in 1911, and Haiti in 1915, ostensibly to keep the Europeans out. Other Latin American
nations viewed these interventions with misgiving, and relations between the “great Colossus of the North” and
its southern neighbors remained strained for many years.
In 1962, the Monroe Doctrine was invoked symbolically when the Soviet
Union began to build missile-launching sites in Cuba. With the support of the Organization of American States, President John
F. Kennedy threw a naval and air quarantine around the island. After several tense days, the Soviet Union agreed to withdraw
the missiles and dismantle the sites. Subsequently, the United States dismantled several of its obsolete air and missile bases
Sources: U.S. State Department, Library of Congress, National Archives
Recommended Reading: What Hath
God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848
(Oxford History of the United States)
(Hardcover: 928 pages). Review: The newest volume in
the renowned Oxford History of the United States-- A brilliant portrait of an era that saw dramatic transformations in American
life The Oxford History of the United States
is by far the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. The series includes two Pulitzer Prize winners, two New York
Times bestsellers, and winners of the Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. Now, in What Hath God Wrought, historian Daniel Walker
Howe illuminates the period from the battle of New Orleans to the end of the Mexican-American
War, an era when the United States expanded
to the Pacific and won control over the richest part of the North American continent. Continued below...
narrative portrays revolutionary improvements in transportation and communications that accelerated the extension of the American
empire. Railroads, canals, newspapers, and the telegraph dramatically lowered travel times and spurred the spread of information.
These innovations prompted the emergence of mass political parties and stimulated America's economic development from
an overwhelmingly rural country to a diversified economy in which commerce and industry took their place alongside agriculture.
In his story, the author weaves together political and military events with social, economic, and cultural history. He examines
the rise of Andrew Jackson and his Democratic party, but contends that John Quincy Adams and other Whigs--advocates of public
education and economic integration, defenders of the rights of Indians, women, and African-Americans--were the true prophets
of America's future. He reveals the power
of religion to shape many aspects of American life during this period, including slavery and antislavery, women's rights and
other reform movements, politics, education, and literature. Howe's story of American expansion -- Manifest Destiny -- culminates
in the bitterly controversial but brilliantly executed war waged against Mexico
to gain California and Texas for the United States. By 1848, America had been transformed. What Hath God Wrought provides a monumental narrative
of this formative period in United States
Recommended Reading: Seizing
Destiny: The Relentless Expansion of American Territory. From Publishers Weekly: In an admirable and important addition to his distinguished oeuvre, Pulitzer Prize–winner
Kluger (Ashes to Ashes, a history of the tobacco wars) focuses on the darker side of America's rapid expansion westward. He
begins with European settlement of the so-called New World, explaining that Britain's
successful colonization depended not so much on conquest of or friendship with the Indians, but on encouraging emigration.
Kluger then fruitfully situates the American Revolution as part of the story of expansion: the Founding Fathers based their
bid for independence on assertions about the expanse of American virgin earth and after the war that very land became the
new country's main economic resource. Continued below...
The heart of
the book, not surprisingly, covers the 19th century, lingering in detail over such well-known episodes as the Louisiana Purchase
and William Seward's acquisition of Alaska. The final chapter looks at expansion in the 20th century. Kluger
provocatively suggests that, compared with western European powers, the United States
engaged in relatively little global colonization, because the closing of the western frontier sated America's expansionist hunger. Each chapter of this long, absorbing book is rewarding
as Kluger meets the high standard set by his earlier work. Includes 10 detailed maps.
Recommended Reading: A People's History of the United
States: 1492 to Present. Review: Consistently lauded for its lively, readable prose, this revised and updated edition of A People's History of the United States turns traditional textbook history on its head. Howard Zinn infuses
the often-submerged voices of blacks, women, American Indians, war resisters, and poor laborers of all nationalities into
this thorough narrative that spans American history from Christopher Columbus's arrival to an afterword on the Clinton presidency. Addressing his trademark reversals of perspective, Zinn--a teacher, historian,
and social activist for more than 20 years—explains: "My point is not that we must, in telling history, accuse, judge,
condemn Columbus in absentia. Continued below…
too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality. But the easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable
but necessary price to pay for progress (Hiroshima and Vietnam, to save Western civilization;
Kronstadt and Hungary, to save socialism;
nuclear proliferation, to save us all)--that is still with us. One reason these atrocities are still with us is that we have
learned to bury them in a mass of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers in the earth." If your last experience of American history was brought to you by
junior high school textbooks--or even if you're a specialist--get ready for the other side of stories you may not even have
heard. With its vivid descriptions of rarely noted events, A People's History of the United
States is required reading for anyone who wants to take a fresh look at the rich, rocky history of America. "Thought-provoking,
controversial, and never dull..."
Recommended Reading: The Radicalism of the American Revolution. From Library Journal: Historians have always
had problems explaining the revolutionary character of the American Revolution: its lack of class conflict, a reign of terror,
and indiscriminate violence make it seem positively sedate. In this beautifully written and persuasively argued book, one
of the most noted of U.S. historians restores
the radicalism to what he terms "one of the greatest revolutions the world has ever known." It was the American Revolution,
Wood argues, that unleashed the social forces that transformed American society in the years between 1760 and 1820. The change
from a deferential, monarchical, ordered, and static society to a liberal, democratic, and commercial one was astonishing,
all the more so because it took place without industrialization, urbanization, or the revolution in transportation. Continued
It was a revolution
of the mind, in which the concept of equality, democracy, and private interest grasped by hundreds of thousands of Americans
transformed a country nearly overnight. Exciting, compelling, and sure to provoke controversy, the book will be discussed
for years to come.
Recommended Viewing: The History Channel Presents The Presidents (A&E) (360 minutes). Review: THE PRESIDENTS is an unprecedented eight-part survey of the personal
lives and legacies of the remarkable men who have presided over the Oval Office. From George Washington to George W. Bush,
THE PRESIDENTS gathers together vivid snapshots of all 43 Commanders-in-Chief who have guided America
throughout its history--their powerful personalities, weaknesses, and major achievements or historical insignificance. Based
on the book To the Best of My Ability, edited by Pulitzer Prize-winner James McPherson, THE PRESIDENTS features rare and unseen
photographs and footage, unexpected insight and trivia from journalists, scholars, and politicians such as Walter Cronkite,
David Brinkley, Wesley Clark, Bob Dole, and former President Jimmy Carter. Continued below...
Viewed within the changing contexts of each administration, the Presidency
has never seemed more compelling and human. Narrated by Edward Herrmann (The Aviator), this three-DVD (6 HOURS) set is a proud
addition to the award-winning documentary tradition of THE HISTORY CHANNEL®. DVD Features: Feature-length Bonus Program "All
The Presidents' Wives"; Timeline of U.S. Presidents; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection.
(6 HOURS); Highly Recommended! Great for the home, family, and classroom…
Recommended Reading: The Impending Crisis, 1848-1861 (Paperback), by David M. Potter. Review: Professor Potter treats an incredibly complicated and misinterpreted
time period with unparalleled objectivity and insight. Potter masterfully explains the climatic events that led to Southern
secession – a greatly divided nation – and the Civil War: the social, political and ideological conflicts;
culture; American expansionism, sectionalism and popular sovereignty; economic and tariff systems; and slavery. In other words, Potter places under the microscope the root causes and origins of the Civil War.
He conveys the subjects in easy to understand language to edify the reader's understanding (it's
not like reading some dry old history book). Delving beyond surface meanings
and interpretations, this book analyzes not only the history, but the historiography of the time period as well. Continued
rejects the historian's tendency to review the period with all the benefits of hindsight. He simply traces the events, allowing
the reader a step-by-step walk through time, the various views, and contemplates the interpretations of contemporaries and
other historians. Potter then moves forward with his analysis. The Impending Crisis is the absolute gold-standard of historical
writing… This simply is the book by which, not only other antebellum era books, but all history books should be judged.