The Monroe doctrine and its Roosevelt corollary Essay
The Monroe doctrine and its Roosevelt corollary were the principal foreign policy doctrines that would direct the U.S. behavior for the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Monroe doctrine was a policy in the U.S. introduced in the year 1823 by President James Monroe.
The main statement of the doctrine was that, any further attempts by the European nations to either colonize or interfere in any manner with the Northern or Southern American states would be perceived as an act of aggression, thus attracting the intervention of the U.S. into the matter (Ray 14).
However, this would not apply to those regions that were colonies at the time the doctrine was put forth, but only to the independent authorities in the Americas. According to the doctrine, it was not in the concern of the U.S. to interfere in any way with the already existing European colonies on the Northern and Southern American states. As it would be observed, the main objective of this doctrine was to bar the European powers from taking any further control of the independent Latin American states.
All Latin American colonies of Portugal and Spain had acquired freedom from the Spanish empire, by the time President Monroe first stated the doctrine on December 2, 1823. By doing so, Monroe collaborated with the Britain in an agreement that would ensure that the objectives of the doctrine were successfully achieved. As he stated the doctrine, the president had observed that America would not be in a position to take any effective measures against a full-scale solely, but with the backing of Britain.
The introduction of the doctrine would become a defining moment in America’s foreign policy and a long standing tenet that was invoked by many future American presidents and statesmen such as Theodore, Kennedy, and Reagan among others. However, the impact of the doctrine would persist for nearly two decades, with only minimal variations.
As the Spanish-American war broke out in 1898, some American icons would find an opportunity to establish the U.S. as the most superior Western country. With a rapid response, the Americans were able to neutralize Spain in Asia and the Caribbean. Following the ending of the war, America’s interest would finally be interwoven with the freedom of Latin America, through the unwavering efforts of President Theodore Roosevelt, who had perceived a point of view different from that of Monroe’s doctrine.
Roosevelt Corollary was added to the Monroe doctrine in the year 1904, after Roosevelt had become the 26th president of the U.S. Roosevelt corollary had asserted the right of the U.S. government to intervene whenever it was necessary, in an attempt to stabilize the northern and southern states of the Latin America. In other words, the main observation of Roosevelt in his doctrine was that the intervention of the U.S. to secure the Latin America from further colonization by the European nations would always be justified.
Roosevelt corollary however was observed to intervene militarily to curb the growth of European influence in the Latin American regions. This would attract many critics from the people who argued that, the previous doctrine by Monroe had the holy mission of putting a permanent hold to the European influence on the Americans (Ricard 23).
It was also argued that Roosevelt corollary only succeeded in asserting the U.S. domination in those regions as it would be opposed by the Monroe doctrine, something that would make them appear as ‘hemispheric policemen.’
As it would be observed, none of these two doctrines offered a means by which the U.S. could engage in the imperial expansion that typified most great powers of the time. One of the main reasons here was that, America’s main interest in the two doctrines was couched in diplomatic language of saving the Latin American from the incessant exploitation of the European nations and not for its own interests.
More importantly, the other main agenda behind the two doctrines was to prevent the Europeans from making any further entry into the Latin American region and this way, they would be limiting their power in the region. It was also clear that the two doctrines were meant to be part of the American foreign policy in the region and for that reason, there was no way they could have utilized this opportunity to engage in matters of imperial expansion in the region.
Baldwin, David. “Security Studies and the end of the Cold War.” World Politics 48. 1 (1995): 117-141. Print.
Dudziak, Mary. Cold war civil rights: Race and the image of American democracy. New York: Princeton University Press, 2002. Print.
Ray, James Lee. American Foreign Policy and Political Ambition, 1st Ed. New York: CQ Press. 2007. Print.
Ricard, Serge. “The Roosevelt Corollary.” Presidential Studies Quarterly 36. 1 (2006): 17-26.Print.
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