Introduction to the Monroe Doctrine

The Monroe Doctrine was first introduced in 1823 by President James Monroe in his annual message to Congress. The Doctrine became the United States’ primary foreign policy document, declaring the Western Hemisphere closed from European colonization or intervention. Any breach of the Monroe Doctrine would be a threat to the United States. The Monroe Doctrine deeply effected the United States’ foreign policy relationship with Latin American countries. In Latin American countries such as Spain, it had a positive effect because the U.S. demanded Spain to leave the U.S. alone based on the isolationist position. However, it caused a negative effect on Spain because America would no longer be helping or aiding them with troops during wars with other countries. Paradoxically, the Monroe docrtine also justified the expansionist ideas that the United States had at the time, as well as the conflicts over land that were often a result of these ideas. Although the Monroe Doctrine was created to protect Latin America from Europe, it also served America’s best interests. The Monroe doctrine was in a sense a doctrine reastablishing American independence, but also including Latin American countries interests. The way in which the United States chose to intervene in Latin America, especially in Cuba, Mexico, Gran Colombia, and the Falkland Islands, was greatly influenced by the benefits and interests of the nation at the time. It is meant that the reason the United States chose to intervene in these countries were so that the United States could recieve other entities in return. The entities being protected and fulfiled through the interests of the Monroe Doctrine were land, economic prosperity, and the ideologies of the United States.

Portrait of James Monroe

Portrait of President James Monroe

Introduction to the Monroe Doctrine