The Monroe Doctrine

Essay by lmnopCollege, Undergraduate May 2005

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The Monroe Doctrine

The 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 Doctrine

The 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.

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