The Monroe Doctrine: Document Analysis.
The Monroe doctrine originates from President James Monroe’s annual address to Congress on December 2nd 1823 . The address was a response to Great Britain’s offer a joint declaration, against European intervention to restore Spanish rule in South America. Monroe stated that the Western hemisphere was no longer open to European colonisation, that the Old World (Europe) was so different to the New World (Americas) the United States (US) would abstain from European conflict and that European powers should not intervene in the Americas. It therefore appears isolationist and unilateral in both origin and content. However the foundations and motivations of the Monroe doctrine are subject to much debate, it can be interpreted as a defensive response to the actions of Europeans and defence of US ideals as well as being commercially expansionist. Whilst few would dispute the doctrine has had immense long term significance, it was largely irrelevant until the US had the power to enforce it and it has been subject to conflicting interpretations ever since .
Monroe stated the Western hemisphere was no longer open to European colonisation; “the occasion has been judged proper for asserting, as a principle in which the rights and interests of the United States are involved that the American continents, are henceforth no longer to be considered subjects for future colonisation” . Monroe stated European powers should not intervene in the Americas. “We should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace” . Monroe declared that the Old World was so different to the New World the United States would abstain from European conflict; “of the events in that quarter of the globe we have always been anxious spectators . the political system of the allied powers is essential different with the movements in this hemisphere we of necessity more.