What is the historical significance of the Monroe Doctrine?
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There are two main significances of the Monroe Doctrine.
The first significance was felt immediately. This was the improvement of relations between the United States and Great Britain. The two countries had had a very tense relationship after the Revolutionary War. This tension included the War of 1812. However, the US and Britain cooperated on the formulation of the Monroe Doctrine, thus improving their relations. This was important for the United States as it was a relatively weak country and Britain was a superpower.
The second significance did not come until much later. As the US became more powerful, the Monroe Doctrine established its “right” to exercise its influence over all of the Americas. This allowed it to do such things as threatening to invade Mexico to drive out the government of Emperor Maximilian. It allowed the US in the early 1900s to have a basis for occupying countries like Haiti and the Dominican Republic. In short, it gave the US a foundation that allowed it to exert a great deal of control over many of the countries of Latin America.
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