Please describe in detail why the Monroe Doctrine was significant in shaping the relationship between Latin America and the United States?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Monroe Doctrine was a statement that told European countries that they could not establish new colonies in the Americas. This was issued because the Europeans, who had recently lost many of their colonies when they became independent, were thinking of coming back into Latin America to re-establish their colonies. The United States wanted to be the dominant country in the Americas. As time passed, we used the Monroe Doctrine and additions to it to intervene in Latin American affairs.

The Monroe Doctrine impacted our relationship with Latin America. It cast us into the role of being the protector of Latin American countries. With the help of the British navy, we prevented any European country from returning to recolonize Latin America. We also used the Monroe Doctrine to settle a dispute between the British and Venezuela in the 1890s. When the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine was issued, it intensified that role. We used the Roosevelt Corollary to maintain some control over Cuban independence with the development of the Platt Amendment. We also intervened in the Dominican Republic to help them pay their debts to Europe.

The Latin American countries haven’t always welcomed our intervention. They often refer to the United States as a “big brother” in a negative way. They believe we are more interested in protecting our interests than in protecting Latin American interests.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial