The Monroe Doctrine – An Important Part of American Diplomacy

James Monroe gave fifty years of service to the nation as a member of the Virginia Assembly, delegate to the Confederate Congress, United States Senator, governor of Virginia, minister to France, Great Britain, and Spain, Secretary of State, Secretary of War, and the fifth President of the United States.

In his eight years as President, a period that the Federalist had been defeated forever and Whigs had not yet risen, Monroe accomplish much in American policy. During this period, population and wealth grew rapidly, and a flourishing country flexed its muscle as it recognized its strength.

Monroe’s two terms sparkled with diplomatic achievements, the Rush-Bagot Agreement in 1817, providing for the practical disarmament of the Great Lakes; agreement with Spain in 1819 and with Russia in 1824 whereby they renounced any claim to the Territory of Oregon; an agreement with Great Britain in 1818 to a boundary line between the United States and Canada. But the most important of all Monroe’s diplomacy roofers monroe la  was the one bearing his name, The Monroe Doctrine.

The Monroe Doctrine was the declaration in December 1823, buried in President Monroe’s annual message to Congress, that the United States would not tolerate a European nation colonizing an independent nation in North or South America. Any such intervention in the western hemisphere would be considered a hostile act by the United States, though the United States would respect existing European colonies. It was a declaration of separation of the New World from the Old, which exercised a powerful influence on policy for many generations, and did much to shape the diplomatic action of the United States in its early years.

The Monroe Doctrine, although named for President James Monroe, was really the idea of John Quincy Adams, the future president who was serving as Monroe’s Secretary of State. And while it wasn’t thought to be terribly important at the time, it was later invoked by other presidents. And the idea that European powers should not interfere in the western hemisphere became an important part of American foreign policy.

The Monroe Doctrine was invoked in 1865 when the U.S. government exerted diplomatic and military pressure in support of the Mexican President Benito Juárez. This support enabled Juárez to lead a successful revolt against the Emperor Maximilian, who had been placed on the throne by the French government.

Almost 40 years later, in 1904, European creditors of a number of Latin American countries threatened armed intervention to collect debts. President Theodore Roosevelt promptly proclaimed the right of the United States to exercise an “international police power” to curb such “chronic wrongdoing.” As a result, U. S. Marines were sent into Santo Domingo in 1904, Nicaragua in 1911, and Haiti in 1915, which strained relations between Latin America and North America for many years

In 1962, the Monroe Doctrine was invoked symbolically by President Kennedy, when the Soviet Union began to build missile-launching sites in Cuba, throwing a naval and air quarantine around the island.

 

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