The Monroe Doctrine causes and effects
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The Monroe Doctrine can be considered as the United States first major declaration to the world as a fairly new nation. The Monroe Doctrine was a statement of United States policy on the activity and rights of powers in the Western Hemisphere during the early to mid 1800?s. It was expressed during President Monroe’s seventh annual message to Congress on December 2nd 1823. The Monroe Doctrine deterred European imperialist powers from encroaching upon the boundaries of the United States and established America as an independent nation that did not want neither to involve itself in European internal affairs nor for European imperialists to colonize America.
Around the time of the Napoleonic Wars in the 1820s some of Spain?s colonies gained their independence. The United States was the first nation to recognize their independence from Spain. After Napoleon was defeated, the monarchy in Spain regained power once again. The Spanish felt embarrassed and ashamed after losing their colonies. In 1815 Tsar Alexander I of Russia and the monarchies of Austria and Prussia formed the Holy Alliance. This alliance was a group set out to maintain autocracy throughout the world. Spain then demanded the return of its colonies of the New World. With the possibility of help from the Holy Alliance and France, Spain?s goal was looking realistic. [Bibliography: R. Rush, Esqr, Pg: 234,235]
The Americans feared that if the Spanish colonies were recaptured the United States might be their next target. Great Britain refused to let the Spanish take back their new independent colonies. As free countries the new independent nations could trade more goods with Great Britain. However, if Spain regains control of their former colonies then the trade with Great Britain would decrease dramatically. The Russian Tsar attempted to extend his interest of expansion in North America. In 1821 Russia had claims on parts of the Oregon territory. On September 14th of the same year, Tsar Alexander I issued an Imperial Ukase, appealing that no foreign vessels could come within Russian territory.
Although the decree was never enforced, John Quincy Adams, the Secretary of State during this period, strongly opposed it. Adams felt that many regions of North America were still unexplored such as Alaska and North Western Canada. On July 17th, 1823 John Q Adams declared that the United States should challenge Russia?s Imperial Ukase on the North American continent. President James Monroe agreed with John Q Adams? statement and was wiling to use it in his second annual message to the congress. The Americans and the British had selfish reasons to keep the Holy Alliance out of the New World. [Bibliography: R. Rush, Esqr, Pg: 234, 235.]
George Canning, a British Foreign Minister and a representative of British trading interests, sent a message to the United States on August 20th, 1823. He said that Spain would never recover their colonies and that England did not want the colonies nor wanted to see anyone else take control of them. Richard Rush, an American Minister, was asked the question, by George Canning, that if they could make a joint declaration between the United States and the Great Britain. Rush was shocked by Canning?s proposition because it had been only 40 years since the American Revolution and the War of 1812 was just awhile back. At first without consulting John Q. Adams he had agreed to the proposition. President Monroe favored this idea along with the former presidents Jefferson and Madison [Bibliography: Thomas Jefferson, Pg: 1, 2]. Although Great Britain and the United States were on the same track, they had their differences.
The United States had recognized the colonies as new nations while Great Britain had not. George Canning said that Great Britain would use their powerful Royal Navy to stop European intervention whether or not they had a joint declaration. Then on October 12th, 1823 Canning had a number of meetings with Prince Jules de Polignac who was a French ambassador in London. Their meetings ended with the Polignac Memorandum, expressing that France would not help Spain regain its lost colonies. John Q. Adams opposed the issue of a joint statement with the British. Adams did not want United States to appear as weak while the British armies fight for them. With the guaranteed backing of the British Royal Navy and the Polignac Memorandum the United States had no desire to include British in the statement. [Bibliography: George Canning, PG: 1, 2 and 3]
Monroe, convinced by Adams arguments, agreed to go on their own. On December 2nd 1823 President James Monroe on his seventh annual message to Congress presented his Monroe Doctrine to the world. It was mainly aimed at the nations of Spain and Russia. The first section of the Monroe Doctrine states mainly about the agreements that were made with Russia and Britain. According to this first section by James Monroe the United States and Russia negotiated boundaries on the North West Coast. The point that was made in this section was that the United States could no longer let Europe colonize America or the remaining independent nations in the Western Hemisphere. The second section of the Monroe doctrine started with a statement about how the Spanish and Portuguese mistreat their people both in their country and in other settlements. According to the Monroe Doctrine the United States will not interfere with the Spanish and Portuguese’s internal affairs. The Monroe Doctrine clearly states in its third part that it will not interfere with existing European colonies.
“With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered and shall not interfere.” [Bibliography: James Monroe, pg: 236] This document also acknowledges that the United States will not try to control independent or declared-independent colonies or governments. It also states that America is neutral in the war between Spain and Portugal and will stay neutral unless the government has reason to think otherwise because of something that affects the United State’s security. The final section of the Monroe Doctrine explains the non-interference with the internal affairs of Europe and the United States Policy with internal concerns. “Our policy in regard to Europe, which was adopted at an early stage of the wars which has so long agitated that quarter of the globe, nevertheless remains the same, which is, not to interfere in the internal concerns of any of its powers; to consider the government de facto as the legitimate government for us; to cultivate friendly relations by frank, firm, and manly policy, meeting in all instances the just claims of every power, submitting to injuries from none.”[Bibliography: James Monroe, Pg: 236]
The Monroe Doctrine’s final words were “It is still the true policy of the United States to leave the parties to themselves, in the hope that other powers will assume the same course…” [Bibliography: James Monroe, Pg: 237]. It mentioned that the United States will leave Spain and Portugal to settle their arguments themselves and hope that they will leave the United States alone as well. In 1823 the United States was no where near the military strength and economic power needed to support such a powerful statement.
The European Powers were kept out of the New World due to the Powerful British Navy. By the twentieth century the United States had enough power to enforce the doctrine without any support. The Monroe Doctrine has been used and referred on many occasions from when it was written up to present times and it has become a much greater significance to our country since 1823. It was due to the Monroe Doctrine that Russians had to give up the Oregon territory in 1824. In December of 1904 a corollary was added to the Monroe Doctrine by President Theodore Roosevelt. The corollary appealed that not only were the nations of the Western Hemisphere not open to colonization by European nations, but that the United States had the obligation to preserve order and protect life and property in those countries.[Bibliography: : Theodore Roosevelt, Pg: 1] In 1930 President Hoover created the Clark Memorandum that contradicted the Roosevelt Corollary. This renounced any right of the United States to intervene in Latin American affairs.
It claimed that the Monroe Doctrine will only be applied solely to fulfill its original intention which was to protect Latin America from European interference. [: unknown, Pg: 2] The Monroe Doctrine also set up further protection to United States interest. The Carter Doctrine, by President Jimmy Carter, was modeled after the Monroe Doctrine. It was aimed to protect United States claim in the Persian Gulf. ?An attempt by an outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.?[: Jimmy Carter pg: 2]. It was in response to the Soviet Union?s attempt to obtain a water port in the Persian Gulf area. The United States desired to protect this area from the Soviet Union due to the fact that the Persian Gulf was rich in oil deposits and that it was crucial to the American economy. The Americans felt secure, optimistic, and nationalistic about their future in the early 1820s, thanks to the Monroe Doctrine.
James Monroe ?Article 127: The Monroe Doctrine?. Documents of American History, nineteenth edition. Englewood cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall
Inc, 1973. Pg: 255, 236, 237. Written: October 23 1823, Visited: 1/15/04
Thomas Jefferson ?The letter of Thomas Jefferson: 1746-1826? ?The Monroe Doctrine?, Written: October 24, 1823, Visited: 1/15/04.
R.Rush,Esqr. ?Article 126: The English Background of ?The Monroe Doctrine??. Documents of American History 19th edition. Englewood cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc, Published: 1973, Visited: 1/15/04
?The Carter Doctine? by Jimmy Carter. Pg: 1, Last-Edited: October 20, 2003, Visited: 1/15/2004.
George Canning, Pg: 1, 2, and 3
, unknown, Pg: 1, 2, 3, Published: unknown, Visited: 3/19/04
, ?A Consistent voice for non-intervention?, unknown, pg: 2, Published: Unknown, Visited: 1/15/04
< http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=56 >
Theodore Roosevelt, Pg: 1, Published: 1905, Visited: 3/20/04