President James Monroe, in an effort to stop the interference of European powers in the affairs of the Americas, proclaimed that any further incursion by those countries would be considered aggression against the United States.
‘The American continents … are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.’ --Monroe Doctrine, 1823
Here are some important facts about the Monroe Doctrine.
- Monroe first presented the doctrine to Congress in his yearly address to Congress in 1823.
- The policy was not necessarily meant to endure, but was rather something that Monroe thought needed to be addressed during his presidency.
- John Tyler was the first to invoke the Monroe Doctrine in the annexation of Texas.
- The Monroe Doctrine was used in 1865 when the United States interfered in Mexico by supporting Benito Juárez.
- Not surprisingly, Teddy Roosevelt was a fierce advocate of the Monroe Doctrine. He sent troops to a variety of Caribbean countries to stop European countries from using force to collect debts.
- Latin American countries view the use of the Monroe Doctrine by the United States as imperialism and a significant threat to their sovereignty.
- John Quincy Adams, serving as the Secretary of State, was instrumental in the language of the declaration.
- The British wanted to be partners with the United States as spheres of influence in the Americas. Monroe's cabinet convinced him that the United States should go at it alone or risk being seen as Britain's little brother.
- Since World War II, the United States, when interfering in the affairs of sovereign Latin American nations has attempted to make it appear that it is acting in the best interests of all of the countries in the region.
- In the 1980's, over a century and a half after the doctrine was delivered, President Ronald Reagan invoked it in an effort to stop communist influences in Latin America.
That should provide you with a good understanding of what the Monroe Doctrine is and how it has been used by generations of foreign policy makers in the United States. Further information can be found in the links that I have provided.