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Monroe Doctrine - Essay Example

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The Monroe Doctrine is probably one of most long-living political documents in history of world international politics. For more that 150 years it was the core of U.S. Foreign policy and analysts believe that is still has serious influence of international policies of the U.S. …
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Monroe Doctrine
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Monroe Doctrine

Download file to see previous pages... The Monroe Doctrine was expressed by President James Monroe in 1823 within his annual address to the Congress. The main idea of Monroe’s message was the following: until European powers doest not interfere with the U.S. interests in Western Hemisphere, the United States would not interfere with European spheres of interest in Eastern Hemisphere. In a nut shell the Doctrine stated that, “The United States would not interfere in European wars or internal affairs, and expected Europe to stay out of American affairs.” Authors of the Doctrine emphasized that the document must be viewed as anti-colonialist proclamation intended to prevent further colonization of South and Latin American countries by European states, such as Spain, France and Russian Empire. In its turn, the U.S. planned to maintain neutral position in any clash taking place in Europe or European colonies in Eastern Hemisphere. Consequently, any military conflict taking place between a European country and its former colony in Americas would be viewed as action hostile toward the U.S.: “But with the Governments who have declared their independence and maintain it, and whose independence we have … acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling … by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States”." (Monroe Doctrine, 1823).
Apparently, the Doctrine was an adequate response to the political situation in Western Hemisphere. In 1815 the Spanish Empire in the New World collapsed. During only 7 years, from 1815 to 1822, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Argentina fought their independence. These newly emerged states sought for the U.S. recognition of their independence, and public opinion in the U.S. was mainly positive on this issue (Dent, 1999).
At the same time the U.S. had negotiations with Spain trying to purchase Florida. The negotiations were successful, and once Florida was purchased the Monroe administration recognized Chile, Argentina, Peru, Mexico and Colombia. Apparently, this step may be considered as the first sign of new U.S. policy in Western Hemisphere.
Europe immediately reacted to the U.S. behaviour. France and Spain joined together in an effort to restore their lost influence on American colonies. This effort was opposed by the UK government which was not willing to allow France regain its former influence in America: "All the work of Wolfe, Chatham and other eighteenth-century British statesmen to get France out of the New World would be undone, and France would again be a power in the Americas"(Monroe Doctrine, 2005).
Yet, support of the Holy Alliance (Prussia, Austria and Russia) was strong enough for the U.S. and UK to seriously consider the threat. Seeking support in its attempts to keep France out of Americas - the result of nearly century of UK efforts - British government proposed to the U.S to ally and warn off both Spain and France from new interventions in the New World.
However, the attitude of U.S. government toward the UK proposal was ambiguous with T. Jefferson and J. Madison, Monroe's renowned predecessors, supporting it and John Q. Adams, Secretary of the State, opposing it mostly due to concern that Mexico intended to extend its influence to Oregon and also due to recent diplomatic conflict with the Russian Empire (over the northwest coast of North America). During the meeting of Cabinet that took place on November 7, 1823, Adams convinced the other statesmen to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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