What was the main point of the Monroe Doctrine?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The Monroe Doctrine had a very specific message to European countries. It told the Europeans that the Americas were off limits to them. It told the Europeans they could have no new colonies in the Americas. This occurred because many countries in Central and South America declared their independence from their European colonizers between 1800-1825. The Europeans were concerned their colonies in other parts of the world would try to also become independent based on what happened in Central and South America. As a result, the Europeans were planning to try to reenter Central and South America and take away the newly found independence of these countries. They thought this would discourage their other colonies from trying to gain independence. The United States didn’t want this to happen so we issued the Monroe Doctrine. However, because the United States was not strong enough to enforce this statement, the British said they would enforce it. Since Britain had few colonies in the region, they realized that by enforcing this policy, it would make their rivals less strong. Thus, the British were very willing to back us up on this policy statement. Without British help, the Monroe Doctrine probably would have been ineffective.

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