Monroe Doctrine — December 2, 1823
Go here to take a look at the original
What in the World is a
A doctrine is a
statement of fundamental government policy especially in
The Monroe Doctrine referred to
principles outlined by U.S. President
James Monroe in his speech to
Congress on December 2, 1823.
And here you can
read the transcript of President Monroe's speech.
The Monroe Doctrine in
In a nutshell, the Monroe
Doctrine announced the following US foreign policy:
European nations should stay out of American affairs and in turn, America was
not going to meddle in European affairs.
Washington always thought that this was a good idea. When, back
in Washington's days, France had
problems with other European nations, Washington overruled his advisers — most
notably Secretary of the Treasury
Alexander Hamilton and
Secretary of State
Jefferson — and recommended political neutrality.
See more under
Back to the year 1823.
Mastermind behind the Monroe Doctrine was
John Quincy Adams, then
Secretary of State.
The Monroe Doctrine was never a ratified
law or anything of that sort. It was just a general
guideline according to which the US resolved to handle their foreign
At the time of this statement, nobody
outside of the United States really cared about the announcement. In
fact, it took at least 30 years after Monroe's speech until the
Monroe Doctrine was called Monroe Doctrine. But future U.S.
governmental officials kept referring to the proclamation and other nations
realized that the U.S. was serious about the Monroe
For example, the Monroe Doctrine was
in the spotlight when France tried to
make Mexico a French colony, see
In 1867 the French sailed back home.