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James Monroe
 
John Quincy Adams
Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, author of the Monroe Doctrine.

The Monroe Doctrine is a United States policy that was introduced on December 2, 1823, which stated that further efforts by European countries to colonize land or interfere with states in the Americas would be viewed by the United States of America as acts of aggression requiring US intervention.[1] The Monroe Doctrine asserted that the Western Hemisphere was not to be further colonized by European countries, and that the United States would not interfere with existing European colonies nor in the internal concerns of European countries. The Doctrine was issued at the time when many Latin American countries were on the verge of becoming independent from Spain, and the United States, reflecting concerns echoed by Great Britain, hoped to avoid having any European power take Spain's colonies.[2] However, the immediate provocation was the Russian Ukase of 1821 asserting rights to the Northwest and forbidding non-Russian ships from approaching the coast.[3][4]

US President James Monroe first stated the doctrine during his seventh annual State of the Union Address to Congress. It became a defining moment in the foreign policy of the United States and one of its longest-standing tenets, invoked by U.S. presidents, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, John F. Kennedy, and others.

The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine (added during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt) was invoked to intervene militarily in Latin America to stop the spread of European influence[5].

It would have been nearly impossible for Monroe to envision that its intent and impact would persist with only minor variations for almost two centuries. Its primary objective was to free the newly independent colonies of Latin America from European intervention and control. The doctrine put forward that the New World and the Old World were to remain distinctly separate spheres of influence, for they were composed of entirely separate and independent nations.[6]

President Monroe claimed the United States of America, although only a fledgling nation at the time, would not interfere in European wars or internal dealings, and in turn, expected Europe to stay out of the affairs of the New World. The Western Hemisphere was never to be colonized again and any attempt by a European power to oppress or control any nation in the Western Hemisphere would be perceived as a direct threat to the U.S.[7]. This quid pro quo was presumptuous on its face, yet has stood the test of time.

The formalized document known as the Monroe Doctrine essentially served to inform the powers of the Old World that the Americas were no longer open to European colonization, and that any effort to extend European political influence into the New World would be considered by the United States "as dangerous to our peace and safety." Basically, the doctrine warned the European powers “to leave America for the Americans.” It also created a sphere of influence that would grow stronger with the addition of the Roosevelt Corollary.

Because the U.S. lacked both a credible navy and army at the time, the doctrine was largely disregarded internationally.[6] However, the Doctrine met with tacit British approval, and the Royal Navy mostly enforced it tacitly, as part of the wider Pax Britannica, which enforced the neutrality of the seas. This was in line with the developing British policy of laissez-faire free trade against mercantilism: the fast-growing British industry was ever seeking outlets for its manufactured goods, and were the newly independent Latin American states to become Spanish colonies once more, British access to these markets would be cut off by Spanish mercantilist policy.[8]

Contents

The Doctrine in the 19th century

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Latin American reactions in the 1820s

The reaction in Latin America to the Monroe Doctrine was undeniably upbeat. John Crow, author of The Epic of Latin America, states, “[Simón] Bolivar himself, still in the midst of his last campaign against the Spaniards, Santander in Colombia, Rivadavia in Argentina, Victoria in Mexico—leaders of the emancipation movement everywhere— received Monroe's words with sincerest gratitude” [9]. Crow argues that the leaders of Latin America were realists. They knew that the President of the United States wielded very little power at the time, particularly without the backing of the British forces. Furthermore, they figured that the Monroe Doctrine was powerless if it stood alone against the Triple Alliance[9]. While they appreciated and praised their support in the north they knew that their future of independence was in the hands of the powerful Great Britain. In 1826, Bolivar called upon his Congress of Panama to host the first “Pan-American” meeting. In the eyes of Bolivar and his men, the Monroe Doctrine was to become nothing more than a tool of national policy. According to Crow, “It was not meant to be, and was never intended to be a charter for concerted hemispheric action”[9].

During the first half of the nineteenth century, it was Great Britain’s preoccupation with exerting its power on the rest of the world that led it to decide to support the Monroe Doctrine. At the time, South America as a whole constituted a much larger market for British goods than the United States. Crow argues that it was ultimately the support of Great Britain, not the Monroe Doctrine, which protected the sovereignty of Latin America’s newly independent nations[9].

Post-Bolivar

In 1836, the United States government objected to Britain's alliance with the newly created Republic of Texas on the principle of the Monroe Doctrine. On December 2, 1845, U.S. President James Polk announced to Congress that the principle of the Monroe Doctrine should be strictly enforced and that the United States should aggressively expand into the West, often termed as Manifest Destiny.

In 1842, U.S. President John Tyler applied the Monroe Doctrine to Hawaii, told Britain not to interfere there, and began the process of annexing Hawaii to the United States.

In 1852, some politicians used the principle of the Monroe Doctrine to argue for forcefully removing the Spanish from Cuba. In 1898, following the Spanish-American War, the United States obtained Puerto Rico and the Philippines from Spain and began an occupation of Cuba that lasted until 1902.

The doctrine's authors, chiefly future-President and then secretary-of-state John Quincy Adams, saw it as a proclamation by the United States of moral opposition to colonialism, but it has subsequently been re-interpreted and applied in a variety of instances. President Theodore Roosevelt asserted the right of the United States to intervene to stabilize the economic affairs of small nations in the Caribbean and Central America if they were unable to pay their international debts. This interpretation, intended to forestall intervention by European powers that had lent money to those countries, has been termed the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine.[10]

In 1863, French forces under Napoleon III invaded and conquered Mexico, giving the country to Austrian-born Emperor Maximilian. Americans proclaimed this as a violation of "The Doctrine," but were unable to intervene because of the American Civil War. This marked the first time the Monroe Doctrine was widely referred to as a "Doctrine." After the civil war came to an end, the U.S. brought troops down to the Rio Grande in hopes of pressuring the French government to end its occupation. Mexican nationalists eventually captured the Emperor and executed him, reasserting Mexico's independence.

In the 1870s, President Ulysses S. Grant and his Secretary of State Hamilton Fish endeavored to replace European influence in Latin America with that of the United States. Part of their efforts involved expanding the Monroe Doctrine by stating "hereafter no territory on this continent [referring to Central and South America] shall be regarded as subject to transfer to a European power."[11]

President Grover Cleveland through his Secretary of State, Richard Olney cited the Doctrine in 1895, threatening strong action against the United Kingdom if the British failed to arbitrate their dispute with Venezuela. In a July 20, 1895 note to Britain, Olney stated, “The United States is practically sovereign on this continent, and its fiat is law upon the subjects to which it confines its interposition.”[12] British Prime Minister Lord Salisbury took strong exception to the American language. The United States objected to a British proposal for a joint meeting to clarify the scope of the Monroe Doctrine. Historian George Herring wrote that by failing to pursue the issue further the British “tacitly conceded the U. S. definition of the Monroe Doctrine and its hegemony in the hemisphere.”[13]

The Drago Doctrine was announced on December 29, 1902 by the Foreign Minister of Argentina, Luis María Drago. Drago set forth the policy that no European power could use force against an American nation to collect debt. President Theodore Roosevelt rejected this as an extension of the Monroe Doctrine, declaring "We do not guarantee any state against punishment if it misconducts itself" [14]

In the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, President John F. Kennedy cited the Monroe Doctrine as a basis for America's "eyeball-to-eyeball" confrontation with the Soviet Union that had embarked on a provocative campaign to install ballistic missiles on Cuban soil.[15]

The "Big Sister"

The "Big Sister" policy was an extension of the Monroe Doctrine formulated by James G. Blaine in the 1880s that aimed to rally Latin American nations behind US leadership and to open their markets to US traders. Blaine served as Secretary of State in 1881 in the cabinet of President James A. Garfield and again from 1889 to 1892 in the cabinet of President Benjamin Harrison. As a part of the policy, Blaine arranged and led the First International Conference of American States in 1889.[16]

The Doctrine in the 20th century

The "Roosevelt Corollary"

As the United States emerged as a world superpower, the Monroe Doctrine came to define a recognized sphere of control that few dared to challenge.[6] In 1904, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, added the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, which asserted the right of the United States to intervene in Latin America in cases of “flagrant and chronic wrongdoing by a Latin American Nation”[5]. This was the most significant amendment to the original doctrine and was widely opposed by critics, who argued that the Monroe Doctrine was originally meant to stop European influence in the Western Hemisphere[6]. This amendment was designed to preclude violation of the doctrine by European powers that would ultimately argue that the independent nations were “mismanaged or unruly”.[6]

Critics, however, argued that the Corollary simply asserted U.S. domination in that area, essentially making them a "hemispheric policeman[17]To this day, it is hard to argue that the Western Hemisphere is not entirely a United States sphere of influence.[6]

The Clark Memorandum

In 1928, the Clark Memorandum was released, concluding that the United States need not invoke the Monroe Doctrine as a defense of its interventions in Latin America. The Memorandum argued that the United States had a self-evident right of self-defense, and that this was all that was needed to justify certain actions. The policy was announced to the public in 1930.

In 1954, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles invoked the Monroe Doctrine at the Tenth Pan-American Conference, denouncing the intervention of Soviet Communism in Guatemala. This was used to justify Operation PBSUCCESS. U.S. President John F. Kennedy said at an August 29, 1962 news conference:

The Monroe Doctrine means what it has meant since President Monroe and John Quincy Adams enunciated it, and that is that we would oppose a foreign power extending its power to the Western Hemisphere, and that is why we oppose what is happening in Cuba today. That is why we have cut off our trade. That is why we worked in the OAS and in other ways to isolate the Communist menace in Cuba. That is why we will continue to give a good deal of our effort and attention to it.[18]

The Cold War

During the Cold War, the Monroe Doctrine was applied to Latin America by the framers of U.S. foreign policy. When the Cuban Revolution established a socialist government with ties to the Soviet Union, after trying to establish fruitful relations with the U.S., it was argued that the spirit of the Monroe Doctrine should be again invoked, this time to prevent the further spreading of Soviet-backed Communism in Latin America.[citation needed] During the Cold War, the United States thus often provided intelligence and military aid to Latin and South American governments that claimed or appeared to be threatened by Communist subversion. This, in turn, led to some domestic controversy within the United States, especially among some members of the left who argued that the Communist threat and Soviet influence in Latin America was greatly exaggerated.

The debate over this new spirit of the Monroe Doctrine came to a head in the 1980s, as part of the Iran-Contra affair. Among other things, it was revealed that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency had been covertly training "Contra" guerrilla soldiers in Honduras in an attempt to destabilize and overthrow the Sandinista revolutionary government of Nicaragua and its President, Daniel Ortega. CIA director Robert Gates vigorously defended the Contra operation, arguing that avoiding U.S. intervention in Nicaragua would be "totally to abandon the Monroe doctrine".[citation needed] In a case brought before the International Court of Justice by Nicaragua, however, the court ruled that the United States had exercised "unlawful use of force." The U.S. ignored the verdict. The Carter and Reagan administrations embroiled themselves in the Salvadoran Civil War, again citing the Monroe Doctrine as justification. The conflict was marked by large scale human rights abuses and the 1980 assassination of Archbishop Óscar Romero by right-wing death squads.[citation needed] The Monroe Doctrine was also cited during the U.S. intervention in Guatemala and the invasion of Grenada. Critics of the Reagan administration's support for Britain in the Falklands War charge that the U.S. ignored the Monroe Doctrine in that instance.[citation needed]

Recent criticisms

Critics of the Monroe Doctrine, such as Noam Chomsky,[19] argue that in practice the Monroe Doctrine has functioned as a declaration of hegemony and a right of unilateral intervention over the Western Hemisphere – limited only by prudence, as in the case of British military. Chomsky points to the work of filibusters, most notably William Walker, who tried to conquer and annex various countries in Latin America.[20]

Many Latin American popular movements have come to resent the "Monroe Doctrine", which has been summarized there in the phrase: "America for the Americans".[citation needed] At the turn of the 21st century, popular resentment in Latin America gave rise to a series of far left leaders who questioned America's sincerity.

References

  1. ^ Rodrigue Tremblay. The New American Empire (pp 133-134). http://books.google.com/books?id=LzaDM-f9e08C&pg=PA296&dq=noam+chomsky+hegemony+or+survival+monroe+doctrine#PPA133,M1. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  2. ^ Herring, George C., From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776, (2008) pp. 153-155
  3. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=gwP8bQsT908C&pg=PT267&lpg=PT267
  4. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=FL_G_WdsCX0C&pg=PA136&lpg=PA136
  5. ^ a b Theodore Roosevelt (1904-12-06). "State of the Union Address". TeachingAmericanHistory.org. http://www.teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=1311. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Encyclopaedia Britannica, inc. "Volume 8". New Encyclopædia Britannica, Fifteenth Ed.. pp. 269. ISBN 1593392923. 
  7. ^ Richardson, James D. (2004-02-01). "A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Volume 2, part 1: James Monroe". Project Gutemberg. http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/10919. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  8. ^ Hobson, Rolf. Imperialism at Sea, Volume 163, page: 63 - further citations in footnotes. Brill Academic Publishers Inc.. http://books.google.com/books?id=sbo3f1VmDFoC&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63&dq=pax+britannica+neutrality+seas&source=bl&ots=Z4wFMbujP5&sig=mwBVM8Id4G5K1rwR489jzi1punM&hl=en&ei=S53TSqCkEpCUtgey2oDiCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=pax%20britannica%20neutrality%20seas&f=false. Retrieved 2009-10-12. 
  9. ^ a b c d John A. Crow. "Areil and Caliban". The Epic of Latin America, Fourth Ed.. pp. 676. ISBN 0520077237. 
  10. ^ Herring, George C., From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776, (2008) p. 371
  11. ^ Herring, George C., From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776, (2008) p. 259
  12. ^ Herring, George C., From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776, (2008) p. 307
  13. ^ Herring, George C., From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776, (2008) pp. 307-308
  14. ^ Herring, George C., From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776, (2008) p. 370
  15. ^ “The Durable Doctrine”, Time Magazine (September 21, 1962), [1] accessed July 15, 2009.
  16. ^ Lens, Sidney; Howard Zinn (2003). illustrated. ed. The forging of the American empire: from the revolution to Vietnam, a history of U.S. imperialism. Human Security Series. Pluto Press. pp. 464. ISBN 0745321003. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=qvLfIHqkOOAC&pg=PA161&dq=%22Big+sister+policy%22+%22latin+america%22+blaine&client=firefox-a#v=onepage&q=%22Big%20sister%20policy%22%20%22latin%20america%22%20blaine&f=false. 
  17. ^ http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3406400597.html
  18. ^ News Conference 42 from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum & Library
  19. ^ Noam Chomsky. Hegemony Or Survival. pp. 63–64. http://books.google.com/books?id=tzAC75P9sscC&pg=PA64&dq=noam+chomsky+hegemony+or+survival+doctrine+declaration+of+hegemony#PPA63,M1. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  20. ^ Noam Chomsky. "Assessing Humanitarian Intent". The New Military Humanism: Lessons from Kosovo, 1999. pp. 41. ISBN 0745316336. 

Further reading

  • Samuel Flagg Bemis. John Quincy Adams and the Foundations of American Foreign Policy. 1949.
  • Donald Dozer. The Monroe Doctrine: Its Modern Significance. New York: Knopf, 1965.
  • Leonard Axel Lawson. The Relation of British Policy to the Declaration of the Monroe Doctrine, Columbia University, 1922.
  • Ernest R. May. The Making of the Monroe Doctrine. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1975.
  • Meiertöns, Heiko. The Doctrines of US Security Policy - An Evaluation under International Law, Cambridge University Press, 2010, ISBN-13: 9780521766487.
  • Mellander, Gustavo A.(1971) The United States in Panamanian Politics: The Intriguing Formative Years. Daville,Ill.:Interstate Publishers. OCLC 138568.
  • Mellander, Gustavo A.; Nelly Maldonado Mellander (1999). Charles Edward Magoon: The Panama Years. Río Piedras, Puerto Rico: Editorial Plaza Mayor. ISBN 1563281554. OCLC 42970390.
  • Frederick Merk. The Monroe Doctrine and American Expansionism, 1843–1849. New York: Knopf, 1966.
  • Gretchen Murphy. Hemispheric Imaginings: The Monroe Doctrine and Narratives of U.S. Empire. Duke University Press, 2005. Examines the cultural context of the doctrine.
  • Dexter Perkins. The Monroe Doctrine, 1823–1826. 3 vols. 1927.
  • (it) Nico Perrone. Il manifesto dell'imperialismo americano nelle borse di Londra e Parigi, in Belfagor (an Italian review), 1977, iii. Examines the reactions of the European stock exchange markets.
  • Joel S. Poetker. The Monroe Doctrine. Columbus, Ohio: Charles E. Merrill Books, Inc, 1967.
  • Gaddis Smith. The Last Years of the Monroe Doctrine, 1945–1993. New York: Hill and Wang, 1994. Argues that the Monroe Doctrine became irrelevant after the end of the Cold War. ISBN 978-0809015689
  • Grahame, Leopold. "The Latin American View of the Monroe Dotrine." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 54 (1914): 57–62. A view of what Latin America thinks of the Monroe Doctrine, according to an American. Interesting, viewed somewhat skewed.

Bibliography

  • America.gov on Monroe Doctrine – most of the material (as of this writing on 2-Dec-2002) was copied from this public domain source.
  • The Encyclopedia Britannica 15th Edition:1974 and The Columbia Encyclopedia Sixth Edition:2008
  • “Monroe Doctrine.” The New Encyclopedia Britannica (volume 8) 15th Edition: 1993.

External links


Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
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From Wikisource

The Monroe Doctrine
by James Monroe
The statement of the doctrine was included in James Monroe's Seventh State of the Union Address.
It is believed that the relevance and scope of this work could be greatly improved if a user took the time to wikify it using wiki codes and adding links to relevant Wikipedia or Wiktionary articles


December 2, 1823

At the proposal of the Russian Imperial Government, made through the minister of the Emperor residing here, a full power and instructions have been transmitted to the minister of the United States at St. Petersburg to arrange by amicable negotiation the respective rights and interests of the two nations on the northwest coast of this continent. A similar proposal has been made by His Imperial Majesty to the Government of Great Britain, which has likewise been acceded to. The Government of the United States has been desirous by this friendly proceeding of manifesting the great value which they have invariably attached to the friendship of the Emperor and their solicitude to cultivate the best understanding with his Government. In the discussions to which this interest has given rise and in the arrangements by which they may terminate the occasion has been judged proper for asserting, 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. . .

It was stated at the commencement of the last session that a great effort was then making in Spain and Portugal to improve the condition of the people of those countries, and that it appeared to be conducted with extraordinary moderation. It need scarcely be remarked that the results have been so far very different from what was then anticipated. Of events in that quarter of the globe, with which we have so much intercourse and from which we derive our origin, we have always been anxious and interested spectators. The citizens of the United States cherish sentiments the most friendly in favor of the liberty and happiness of their fellow-men on that side of the Atlantic. In the wars of the European powers in matters relating to themselves we have never taken any part, nor does it comport with our policy to do so. It is only when our rights are invaded or seriously menaced that we resent injuries or make preparation for our defense. With the movements in this hemisphere we are of necessity more immediately connected, and by causes which must be obvious to all enlightened and impartial observers. The political system of the allied powers is essentially different in this respect from that of America. This difference proceeds from that which exists in their respective Governments; and to the defense of our own, which has been achieved by the loss of so much blood and treasure, and matured by the wisdom of their most enlightened citizens, and under which we have enjoyed unexampled felicity, this whole nation is devoted. We owe it, therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered and shall not interfere. But with the Governments who have declared their independence and maintain it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States. In the war between those new Governments and Spain we declared our neutrality at the time of their recognition, and to this we have adhered, and shall continue to adhere, provided no change shall occur which, in the judgement of the competent authorities of this Government, shall make a corresponding change on the part of the United States indispensable to their security.

The late events in Spain and Portugal shew that Europe is still unsettled. Of this important fact no stronger proof can be adduced than that the allied powers should have thought it proper, on any principle satisfactory to themselves, to have interposed by force in the internal concerns of Spain. To what extent such interposition may be carried, on the same principle, is a question in which all independent powers whose governments differ from theirs are interested, even those most remote, and surely none of them more so than the United States. Our policy in regard to Europe, which was adopted at an early stage of the wars which have so long agitated that quarter of the globe, nevertheless remains the same, which is, not to interfere in the internal concerns of any of its powers; to consider the government de facto as the legitimate government for us; to cultivate friendly relations with it, and to preserve those relations by a frank, firm, and manly policy, meeting in all instances the just claims of every power, submitting to injuries from none. But in regard to those continents circumstances are eminently and conspicuously different. 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. It is equally impossible, therefore, that we should behold such interposition in any form with indifference. If we look to the comparative strength and resources of Spain and those new Governments, and their distance from each other, it must be obvious that she can never subdue them. It is still the true policy of the United States to leave the parties to themselves, in hope that other powers will pursue the same course. . . .


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MONROE DOCTRINE. That the United States should avoid entangling itself in the politics of Europe was a policy recommended by Washington. The counterpart of this, that European powers should be prevented from taking a controlling share in the politics of the American continent, grew gradually as the importance and influence of the United States increased. This American attitude towards the European powers became crystallized in what is known as the Monroe Doctrine, since it was first announced officially in a concrete form, though not originated, by President Monroe. His declaration was the result of American apprehension that the combination of European powers known as the Holy Alliance would interfere in South America to restore the Spanish colonies, which had asserted their independence, to the crown of Spain. To meet and check this movement, in his message to Congress on the 2nd of December 1823, Monroe made the following pronouncement: In the wars of the European powers in matters relating to themselves we have never taken any part, nor does it comport with our policy so to do. It is only when our rights are invaded or seriously menaced that we resent injuries or make preparations for our defence. With the movements in this hemisphere we are of necessity more immediately connected, and by causes which must be obvious to all enlightened and impartial observers. The political system of the allied powers is essentially different in this, respect from that of America.. .. We owe it, therefore, to candour, and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers, to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered and shall not interfere. But with the governments who have declared their independence and maintained it, and whose independence we have on great consideration and on just principles acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them or controlling in any other manner their destiny by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition towards the United States.. 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 any one believe that our Southern brethren, if left to themselves, would adopt it of their own accord. It is equally impossible, therefore, that we should behold such interposition in any form with indifference.

Earlier in the same message, while discussing negotiations for the settlement of the respective claims of Russia, Great Britain, and the United States in the north-west, Monroe also said: - In the discussion to which this interest has given rise and the arrangements by which they may terminate, the occasion has been judged proper for asserting 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.

With this message Great Britain was in hearty agreement. Indeed it was Canning's policy, summed up three years later by his famous reference to the necessity of calling the New World into existence to restore the balance of the Old.

This announcement of policy, it will be noticed, involved, firstly, a declaration aimed at foreign intervention in the political affairs of independent American states; secondly, a warning against future European colonization on the American continents. The first was avowedly based on the right of self-defence; it was a policy, not a law; it was not to constrain the minor republics, but to protect them. The second, as explained by John Quincy Adams, was intended to state the fact that the American continent was occupied by contiguous states, leaving no room for further colonization and introduction of foreign sovereignty. No legislative sanction was given to Monroe's statement of policy at the time, and in fact none was needed, for the mere announcement served to prevent foreign action in South America. It has never formed part of the body of International Law, being unilateral. Nor has the United States bound itself by compact with the other republics of the American continent to protect them from European aggression. Thus it hesitated to send delegates to the Panama Congress in 1826, and took no part in any congress with the Latin American states until 1889.

Nevertheless, on several occasions since its conception the Monroe Doctrine has been enforced. Its spirit permeated the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, in which Great Britain and the United States, in 1850, mutually renounced the right of colonizing, fortifying or occupying any porton of Central America. It was enforced against Maximilian, who, by French intervention in Mexico, had been made emperor, and until the close of the American Civil War had perforce been left undisturbed. Its applicability was urged when de Lesseps's Panama Canal was thought possible of completion. Both Cuba and the Hawaiian Islands at various periods have felt its influence, the general, though not consistent policy of the United States being, while disclaiming the desire of annexation itself, to deny the right of any European power (except Spain in Cuba's case, until 1898) to control them. And it was applied to the claims of British Guiana to Venezuelan territory by President Cleveland's message in 1895, which proposed a commission to settle the boundary and threatened war if its line were not accepted. This commission never reported, but the disputants finally agreed to arbitrate, and the British claim was in the main upheld.

Between 1823 and 1895 the development and enlargement of this policy on the part of the United States was very striking. To prevent the overthrow of an independent republic is one thing; to interfere in the settlement of a boundary dispute between two states, also on the ground of self-defence, is quite another. Yet Cleveland's doctrine met with general acceptance, and in fact it had been in a sense anticipated by President Grant, who, in urging the annexation of San Domingo upon the United States Senate in 1870, used this language: - The Doctrine promulgated by President Monroe has been adhered to by all political parties, and I now deem it proper to assert the equally important principle that hereafter no territory on this continent shall be regarded as subject of transfer to a European power.

Never having been formulated as law or in exact language, the Monroe Doctrine has meant different things to different persons at different times. It has become deeply rooted in the American heart, and a permanent part of the foreign policy of the United States. It tends to change into the principle that every portion of the American continent must be free from European control. It is still coupled, however, with the converse principle that America takes no part in European politics, as the disclaimer of the American delegates to the first Peace Conference at the Hague proved.

See Tucker's Monroe Doctrine; Gilman's Life of Monroe; Wharton's International Law Digest (title, "Monroe Doctrine"); Snow's American Diplomacy; also an article by Sir Frederick Pollock in the Nineteenth Century and After (1902). (T. S. W.)


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Simple English

The Monroe Doctrine is Foreign policy of the United States that European powers do not belong in The Americas. For example, it is against the Monroe Doctrine for the UK to be in the Falkland Islands which historically belongs to Argentina which is in South America. It was proclaimed by President James Monroe.

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