Monroe Doctrine: The best known U.S. policy toward the Western Hemisphere

circa 1902: A caricature of England and Germany responding to the Venezuelan Blockade. Punch - pub. 1902 Original Artist: By Bernard Partridge. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

December 2, is a notable date in the history of the United States and the world. On this date, 1823, the United States initiated its policy to act as a defender against colonialism and human values.

When the European Colonial powers were on the peak and expanding their territories all across the globe and American continents as well, US President James Monroe came up with the speech in his seventh annual State of Union address to Congress, which later become the Monore’s Declaration, stating that further efforts by various European states to take control of any independent state in North or South America would be viewed as “the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.”

Its stated objective was to free the newly independent Latin American colonies from further European expansionism and avoid situations which could make the ‘New World’ a battleground for the Old World colonial powers so that the United States could exert its own influence undisturbed.

The Doctrine also stated that the United States would recognize and not interfere with existing colonies in the Americas nor meddle in the internal concerns of European states.

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By the end of the 19th century, Monroe’s declaration was seen as a defining moment in the United States’ foreign policy and one of its longest-standing tenets.

The U.S. government feared the victorious European powers that emerged from the Congress of Vienna would stress on reviving Monarchial government. It was at the time when France had already agreed to restore the Spanish Monarchy in exchange for Cuba.

As the revolutionary Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) ended, Prussia, Russia and Austria formed the Holy Alliance to defend monarchism in Europe and their colonies.

Great Britain shared the general objectives of the Monroe Doctrine, albeit from an opposite standpoint and ultimate aim, and even wanted to declare a joint statement to keep other European powers from further colonizing the New World – Americas

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Keshava Parthasarthy

Keshava Parthasarthy is the Managing Editor at The Kootneeti

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