What is the difference between the Roosevelt Corollary and the Monroe Doctrine?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The difference between these two is that the Roosevelt Corollary was a much more aggressive policy than the Monroe Doctrine.  

The Monroe Doctrine was basically a negative document.  It simply set out something that should not be done.  It told European countries that they should not try to colonize in the Americas or to interfere in the domestic affairs of countries in the region.

The Roosevelt Corollary was a positive doctrine.  Instead of saying "here's what you can't do," it set out a course of action that the US would take.  It said "here's what I will do..."  It said that the US would actively intervene in the affairs of countries in the Americas if they were mismanaging their affairs.  The US would do so to avoid a situation in which the Europeans would try to come in and intervene.

As the first example of this policy, the US took over aspects of the government of the Dominican Republic.  That country had been failing to pay its foreign debts.  To prevent the Europeans from coming in and forcing it to pay, the US went in to the Dominican Republic and took over so as to ensure the debts would be paid.

In this way, the Roosevelt Corollary was aggressive and positive whereas the Monroe Doctrine was a bit more defensive and negative.

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