The Monroe Doctrine Essay Research Paper The

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The Monroe Doctrine Essay, Research Paper The Monroe Doctrine: Monroe’s gift to mankind On December 2, 1823, Monroe went to Congress and delivered one of the most important speeches of his life indeed one of the most important speeches in the history of the United States. The contents of this speech became known as the Monroe Doctrine. During this period of time many Americans believed that there should be enough land for every American citizen, what was known as the Manifest Destiny, and the only method in which the United States was to acquire more lands was through expansion. Another justification for land expansion was that the people of the United States were superior to other people and should therefore extend their boundaries in order to elevate the other people to

the American level of superiority. This was known as the “City on a Hill principle.” At the time of the presentation of the Monroe Doctrine, many countries in Central and South America were declaring their independence or achieved independence from their European colonizers. The European powers were reluctant to give up their territory in the Americas and were prepared to use force to keep them. This led Monroe to state: “. . . The Government of the United States has been desirous by this friendly proceeding … for asserting, as a principle in which the rights and interests of the United States are involved, that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future

colonisation by any European powers. . .” 1 This declaration was meant to keep the Europeans out of American affairs and in return America would stay out of European affairs. He also described under what conditions the United States would feel threatened when he stated ” … We owe it, therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered and shall not interfere. But with the Governments who have declared their independence and maintain it, and whose acknowledged, we could not view any

interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly United States.” 2 In essence the Monroe Doctrine divided parts of the globe into areas of influence and did not want Europeans to establish new colonies in the Americas resulting the United States as the only powerful nation in the Western Hemisphere while the Europeans were left to fight among themselves in determining the most powerful in Europe. It also mentioned that the United States would take it as an unfriendly act if any European were to control any country in the Americas. The original intent was to keep the powerful Europeans from the Western Hemisphere, but it ended up being much, much

more. It ended up extending America’s desire for self-preservation, into a mandate for expansion first into Latin America, then into the Pacific and eventually around the world. This mandate has since been called into question during the conflicts in Cuba, Korea, Vietnam, Panama, and Grenada. Ironically, all of these interventions were influenced by the Monroe Doctrine an ostensible defensive policy and one can also see applications of the Monroe Doctrine today. The first time when the Monroe Doctrine was really put to the test was in 1861. Mexico had announced that it would repudiate its foreign debts. 3 The ramification of such an act was to anger the British, Spanish, and the French so much that they decided to occupy the country in order to force Mexico to pay its debts.