Spanish American Turmoil

November 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm Leave a comment

Sam Operchuck

11-16-13

The Monroe Doctrine.

BEFORE THE MONROE DOCTRINE

           

            Before the time of the Monroe doctrine, a revolutionary uprising had been taking place in the Spanish American colonies from the period of 1810 through 1822. By the time of 1822, the majority of Spanish America had fought their way to independence. At this time in Europe, four powers met at the Congress of Verona to discuss the possibility of intervening and reconquering the colonies for Spain (this was primarily sought for by King Louis XVIII of France). Austria, France, Prussia and Russia were all included in this congress, however England opposed the movement for two primary concerns: for one, England had already built upon a strong trade base with the freed Spanish colonies and stood to lose profit. Secondly, France spoke of sending a strong army to Spanish America, which England feared would also give France opportunity to establish colonies. With all this at stake, England (via foreign secretary George Canning) offered an alliance to ward off Spain and France. John Quincy Adams warned against alliance with England as possibly hindering future westward expansion, and Monroe  heeded his suggestion.

 

THE MONROE DOCTRINE IS PRESENTED

 

Thus at his annual congressional address, President Monroe produced a speech declaring that 1) The United States would avoid interference with existing European colonies, 2) “The United States would not get involved in European affairs”, 3) External nations were prohibited from forming colonies within the Western Hemisphere and 4) if a European country attempted to “control or interfere with a nation in the Western Hemisphere, the United States would view it as a hostile act against this nation”. Many of these arguments were aimed directly at France for her edging towards invasion of Spanish America to develop a monarchy.

 

SIGNIFICANCE

 

Unfortunately and interestingly, the United States did not really hold the power to enforce such a declaration. For a time, the doctrine “went mostly unnoticed”. Europe refrained from entering Latin America mainly from fear of England. Yet the doctrine indeed held more weight than what was realized at the time of its authorship. It would go on to develop and influence American Foreign policy, as well as play key roles in many presidencies in the future.

 

 

CITATIONS

 

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/626367/Congress-of-Verona

 

http://www.americaslibrary.gov/aa/monroe/aa_monroe_doctrine_2.html

 

http://www.history.com/topics/monroe-doctrine

 

http://www.expat-chronicles.com/2011/10/monroe-doctrine-an-overview/

 

 

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The Monroe Doctrine

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