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The Monroe Doctrine, 1823

What was the purpose of the Monroe Doctrine enacted in 1823? What events in the European political atmosphere led to its creation? Which were the main points of the Monroe Doctrine?

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The Monroe Doctrine became one of the most significant principles of American foreign policy. At the time of its enactment, the Monroe Doctrine was not considered that important, but European powers looked at it with contempt. John Quincy Adams originally conceived that ideology behind it, but President James Monroe announced the doctrine during his annual address to Congress in 1823. A series of events in the European political atmosphere led to its creation. These events are the following:

1. France helped the thirteen American colonies achieve its independence from Britain, but this was an uneasy alliance since the beginning. During the peace negotiations that took place in Paris, a conversation between John Quincy Adams and the British emissary Richard Oswald showed that the Americans worried about European interventions in their soil. Oswald said: "You are afraid of being made tools of the powers of Europe." Adams responded: "Indeed I am. It is obvious that all the powers of Europe will be continually maneuvering with us, to work us into their real or imaginary balances of power." (Quoted in Robert H. Ferrell, American Diplomacy: The Twentieth Century. New York: W.W. Norton, 1988. P.14)

2. In 1793, President George Washington declared American neutrality at the outburst of conflicts of the French Revolution. In 1801, President Thomas Jefferson maintained American neutrality ...