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HOME   -   HISTORIC DOCUMENTS   -   MONROE DOCTRINE 1823

 
   



MONROE DOCTRINE

 

Monroe Doctrine — December 2, 1823

 


 

Go here to take a look at the original document.

 

What in the World is a Doctrine?

A doctrine is a statement of fundamental government policy especially in international relations.

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 a Nutshell

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.


Sounds familiar?

Exactly. George 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 Thomas Jefferson and recommended political neutrality.

See more under French Revolutionary Wars.


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 affairs.

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 Doctrine.

For example, the Monroe Doctrine was in the spotlight when France tried to make Mexico a French colony, see French-Mexican War.

In 1867 the French sailed back home.

 

 

See also American Timeline.

     
 
    
 

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