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The Monroe Doctrine: a Case Study of the Evolution of the American Foreign Policy

  • Date Submitted: 12/04/2010 09:14 PM
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The Monroe Doctrine:
A Case study of the Evolution of the American Foreign Policy

      By the early 1800s, America was becoming its own country and trying to separate itself from Europe. In 1823, to discourage European nations from colonization that would threaten America, President James Monroe issued his Monroe doctrine, which became a lasting cornerstone of American foreign policy, guiding and shaping both America’s role in international affairs, and her role in the affairs of the Western Hemisphere. By examining the implementation of this doctrine by different Presidents, one can observe the evolution of American foreign policy from a relatively self-contained stance, uninterested in entanglements in international affairs, to one focused on establishing hegemony in the western hemisphere, and ultimately to one aggressively invested in global politics and world influence. In the beginning, the Monroe Doctrine was a protective policy in keeping with the isolationist goals of the U.S government at the time. But as the doctrine began to be used to justify expansion and military intervention in Latin America, this approach signaled a change in America’s presence in international affairs from a passive spectator to a strong leader in diplomacy and world politics.
      When President Monroe first announced his doctrine in his seventh annual State of the Union Address to Congress on December 2, 1823, he attempted to define the fledgling country in terms of international recognition. His doctrine precluded further attempts at European Colonization in the Americas, considering any such attempt as an act of aggression and a threat to American security, requiring U.S intervention[1]. The doctrine asserted that the Western Hemisphere was the exclusive zone of influence of the United States. In return, America would not interfere with the affairs and conflicts of Europe and would leave established colonies in the Americas alone. In short, the doctrine enforced a...


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  1. Wonderful
    • Dec 12, 2011 - Evaluator: (readabook)
    • Excellent essay. Really helped me comprehend the Monroe Doctrine. Thank you.