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The Monroe Doctrine, 1823

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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 ...

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During the early part of the 19th century, political situation in Latin America was ripe for revolution. Success of independent movements around the world encouraged the Latin Americans to revolt. By 1822, all the nations of the South and Central America won their independence from the Europeans. At that point, a group nation in Europe known as the Holy Alliance decided to intervene against the revolution. When the Alliance openly announced its intentions to restore the colonies to the monarchies, it annoyed United States. Britain also found its commercial interests in Latin America threatened. Britain urged the United States to issue a joint declaration, but James Monroe, the President of the United States in 1823, pronounced the Monroe Doctrine in his message to the congress. The tenets of the Monroe doctrine were the following:

* American continents henceforth were not opened to colonization

* Any extension of European political system to the Western Hemisphere was dangerous to the peace and safety of the
region.

* United States would consider any European interference in the Western Hemisphere as a threat to its security.

* United States would not participate in the wars of Europe and disturb the existing colonies in the Western Hemisphere.
The doctrine was successful in checking the intervention of the European powers in the affairs of the countries of Latin America. Latin American countries expressed their solidarity with United States eventhough later they resented the big brotherly attitude of United States.

During the early part of the 19th century, political situation in Latin America was ripe for revolution. The victory of the English colonies over Britain and the conquest of Spain by Napoleon in 1808 encouraged the Latin Americans to rise in revolt. By 1822, all the nations of the South and Central America won their independence from the Europeans. At that point, a group nation in Europe known as the Holy Alliance decided to intervene against the revolution. When the Alliance openly announced its intentions to restore the colonies to the monarchies, it annoyed United States. Britain also found its commercial interests in Latin America threatened. Britain urged the United States to issue a joint declaration protecting the newly independent Latin American countries, but United States acted independently. In 1823, James Monroe, the President of the United States in his message to the congress pronounced the Monroe Doctrine. The tenets of the Monroe doctrine were the following:

* American continents henceforth were not opened to colonization

* Any extension of European political system to the Western Hemisphere was dangerous to the peace and safety of the
region.

* United States would consider any European interference in the Western Hemisphere as a threat to its security.

* United States would not participate in the wars of Europe and disturb the existing colonies in the Western Hemisphere.
The doctrine was successful in checking the intervention of the European powers in the affairs of the countries of Latin America. Latin American countries expressed their solidarity with United States eventhough later they resented the big brotherly attitude of United States.

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