Foreign Policy and the Monroe Doctrine

Essay by pks_lossHigh School, 10th gradeB+, December 2007

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President James Monroe outline what is now known as the Monroe Doctrine in a speech to congress in 1828. The President warned European nations not to interfere in the affairs of America's neighbors – the nations of the Western Hemisphere. Monroe was responding to European threats to aid Spain in regaining its former Latin American colonies. By 1822 Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico had revolted and declared their independence.(1)Originally, the doctrine had been intended to support weak Latin American countries against European powers and discourage Russian interference along the Pacific Coast. The Monroe Doctrine proclaimed clearly that European powers would no longer colonize or interfere with the affairs of newly independent nations. The United States planned to stay neutral in the conflicts between European powers and their colonies.(2)In 1842, President John Tyler used this document to justify taking Texas from Mexico. Many nations to the south grew resentful, a Venezuelan newspaper warned other Latin American countries against the United states: “Beware, brothers, the wolf approaches the lambs.”(3)

Due to the growing hostilities of the Latin American countries, and increasing concern in Great Britain and France, the United states decided on a new approach. In 1920 the United States policy became more of a offering of economic assistance, and cooperation with its Latin American neighbors.

In my opinion, the United States does not follow this policy anymore. I do believe that it is possible to still follow the Monroe Doctrine, at least in the spirit of which it was written.

It is easy to see that the United states relationship with South America is in great need of repair. The newspapers, and special addition news shows on television all point out the hostility against United States policies.

In Michael Shifters report to the House committee on Foreign Affairs, he outlines how...