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During the early 1800’s, many Latin American countries began to win their independence from European countries. Most of them followed the U.S. model of democracy, even going so far as to copy our Declaration of Independence and Constitution for their own government. This gave many Americans a sense of pride....

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During the early 1800’s, many Latin American countries began to win their independence from European countries. Most of them followed the U.S. model of democracy, even going so far as to copy our Declaration of Independence and Constitution for their own government. This gave many Americans a sense of pride. When Congressmen Henry Clay said, “It is a glorious spectacle to see eighteen million people struggling to burst their chains and be free,” he echoed the feelings of many Americans who wanted to support the new democracies to the south.  

In Washington D.C., President Monroe responded to this desire by sharing his new plan for defending the developing governments in South and Central America. His idea, which was dubbed the Monroe Doctrine, stated that the U.S. would no longer tolerate European colonies in the western hemisphere. He went on to say that any attempt to colonize the lands of North and South America would be viewed as a threat to the security of the U.S.

Americans applauded the Monroe Doctrine, feeling proud that their nation was now the guardian of democracy in Latin America. Europeans denounced the message, going so far as to say that the U.S. had no right to tell the rest of the world what they could and couldn’t do in the “two Americas”

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This was a document concerned with foreign policy, basically telling Europe that "you stay out of our territory, we'll stay out of yours". It was meant to protect the territorial interests of the United States during this time period, which included parts of the Caribbean and South America. Even though it's named after the president at the time, James Monroe, the document was written by the Secretary of State.

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The Monroe Doctrine was the young United State's response to the turmoil caused by the Napoleonic Wars. After Napoleon conquered Spain in 1808, the Latin American countries under Spanish rule revolted, and by 1822 all of South America (except Guiana) was freed from foreign rule, as were most of the islands in the Caribbean. In North America, only Canada and Alaska were under foreign control. Great Britain supported the revolutions as they opened trade with the Americas. The Quadruple Alliance, consisting of Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Great Britain, attempted to keep order in Europe after Napoleon; when it began attempts at restoring Spanish colonies in the New World, Great Britain withdrew. In 1821, The Czar of Russia, having established trading posts in Northern California, forbid vessels to sail to the Oregon Coast. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams bluntly asserted American rights to sail in the Pacific, Congress recognized the independence of all the revolutionary governments in Latin America, and President Monroe announced the foreign policy that bears his name, which declared that the Western Hemisphere was no longer open to European colonization, that any attempt to establish colonies would be considered an unfriendly act towards the US, and that the US would not interfere with Latin American governments or European affairs. This Doctrine became a cornerstone of US foreign policy, and was expanded under President Theodore Roosevelt.

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The Monroe Doctrine was a policy set forth by President James Monroe in an 1823 address to Congress.  The Doctrine signified a clear break between the United States and European imperialistic powers.  In the Doctrine, Monroe emphasized the differences between the political systems of the Americas and Europe, and warned that the Americas were no longer open to colonization by European nations.  Any attempt to extend imperialistic influences to the these areas would be considered a threat to the national security of the United States.  In return, Monroe pledged that the United States would leave existing Western Hemisphere colonies alone, and would remain neutral in future European wars.

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