Describe how the Monroe Doctrine set a precedent for later foreign policies to follow. 

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Monroe Doctrine was issued by the United States in 1823. It told the Europeans that they could have no new colonies in the Americas. We were concerned some of the European countries might try to reestablish control after their American colonies became independent in the first few decades of the 1800s. The Monroe Doctrine was enforced by the British navy. Great Britain saw this as an opportunity to weaken their rivals. The Monroe Doctrine set the stage for other, proactive foreign policy statements by the United States.

The United States had a desire to trade in China. As other countries established spheres of influence in China in the late 1800s, the United States was concerned it would lose the ability to trade there. In 1899, the United States issued the Open Door Policy. This policy stated that all nations should have equal trading rights in China. It also said China should remain independent. We expected other countries to follow this policy after we issued it.

The Platt Amendment was another example of a proactive United States foreign policy, at least from our point of view. Cuba wasn’t allowed to make any treaties that could threaten their status as an independent country. This amendment also allowed the United States to intervene in Cuban affairs if we felt Cuba’s independence was in danger.

Another example was when the United States issued the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine in 1904. It told the European countries that if they had an issue with a country in the Americas, they should approach the United States. Then United States would then intervene to take care of the problem. The United States didn’t want the European countries coming into the Americas. In 1905, the United States intervened in the Dominican Republic when they fell behind on paying their debts to some of the European countries.

All of these policies reflected the precedent set by the Monroe Doctrine in 1823.

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