The Monroe Doctrine was a United States’ foreign policy based on Latin American countries in the early 19th century. The doctrine outlined that further efforts by European nations for colonization of land or interference with states in the northern and southern parts of America would be viewed as aggressive acts that required the intervention of the United States of America. Besides, the policy also pointed out that the US would neither interfere with the existing colonies nor be informally involved in the internal affairs of European countries.
Even though the full document of the Monroe Doctrine is quite detailed and scripted in diplomatic language, its essence is expressed in the introductory statement that reads:
‘’The occasion has been judged proper for asserting, as a principle in which the rights and interest 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.’’
The Monroe Doctrine was issued in 1823 at a time when almost all the colonies of Latin America like Spain and Portugal had already got or at the point of gaining their independence from the Spanish and Portuguese empires. Just one year later, Peru was able to consolidate its independence with Bolivia following suit in 1825. This left only Cuba and Puerto Rico still under the rule of Spain. Britain, working in agreement with the United States had the desire of placing a guarantee that no European power would come in.
The Monroe Doctrine was first stated by President James Monroe during his seventh yearly State of the Union Address to Congress. The phrase Monroe Doctrine was coined in 1850. Towards late 19th century, the declaration was viewed by most people as a defining moment in the US foreign policy. Later on, it would be invoked by several US Statesmen and Presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Ulysses S. Grant and John F Kennedy among others.
For more than a century, the Monroe Doctrine persisted with just a few variations here and there. The primary objective of the policy was to ensure the freedom of newly independent colonies of Latin America from European intervention. Besides, it was also aimed at avoiding situations that could make foster the eruption of war from old world powers, so that America would be able to exert its influence without any interference. The order pointed out that the New World and the Old World would remain as distinct spheres of influence since they were comprised of nations that were entirely separate and independent.
On conclusion, it is important to note that the essence of the Monroe Doctrine was to foster three main concepts that included separate spheres of influence for Europe and the Americas, non-colonization and non-intervention. By the mid 1800s, the Monroe Doctrine, coupled with ideas of Manifest Destiny, offered precedent and support for United States expansion on the American continent.
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