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The Monroe Doctrine

During the early 19th century, the inhabitants of Spain's colonies in Latin America revolted and began a series of wars for independence.

In 1823, President Monroe was faced with two threats of foreign intervention in the Western Hemisphere. Both threats were organized from several of the great European powers such as Austria, France, Prussia and Russia. To combat such foreign intervention, President Monroe issued the following policy now known as the Monroe Doctrine. It included the following points:

1. The Western Hemisphere was closed to further European colonization.

2. U.S. would not interfere with the existing colonies of Europeans.

3. The U.S. would not interfere in the internal affairs of any Europeans.

4. Any attempt by the European powers to intervene in the Western Hemisphere would be regarded as "dangerous to our (U.S..) peace and safety.


U.S. Latin American Relations (1845-1933)

1. Since 1900, U.S. invades Cuba 4 times. It proclaims it has the right to go into Cuba to preserve Cuban independence. The US justified it's actions because it had inserted the "Platt Amendment" into the the Cuban Constitution after the Spanish American War.

2. President Theodore Roosevelt convinces Great Britain, Germany and Italy not to invade Venezuela in 1902, to collect debts owed to them by the Venezuelan government. Instead they submit the matter for international settlement. This was part of America's "Dollar Diplomacy."

3. 1903--the U.S. provokes Panama to revolt against Colombia, and the U.S. warships blockade Colombia to prevent the country from putting down the revolution. As a result the US gained the Panama Canal Zone.

4. 1904--T. Roosevelt claims the U.S. is the "Policeman of the Western Hemisphere" and can intervene in the affairs of any nation in the hemisphere if it affects the U.S. THIS BECAME KNOWN AS THE ROOSEVELT COROLLARY (ADDITION) TO THE MONROE DOCTRINE. Roosevelt says the US should "Speak softly but carry a big stick." He then sends the US "Great White Fleet" on an around the world cruise to show of its power.

5. 1905-1933--American Marines maintain order and control over Nicaragua, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. They also protect U.S. investments in most of Latin America. This was also part of America's "Dollar Diplomacy."

6. Good Neighbor Policy 1933

President Franklin Roosevelt and his Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, labored to win Latin American good will by a following policy that included the following objectives:

Friendship--respecting the rights of others. Americans hoped to overcome the hostility that many Latin Americans felt toward the U.S.

Trade--with the U.S. in the midst of the Great Depression, American hoped to increase trade with Latin American and spur economic recovery.



1853 - Commodore Matthew Perry leads an armed expedition to Japan. The Japanese, a xenophobic nation, has traditionally been isolated and closed to foreigners. It is Perry's goal to "open" Japan.

1905 - Newly industrialized Japan takes on and defeats Russian in the Russo Japanese War thus signaling the arrival of Japan as a world power. President Theodore Roosevelt successfully mediates the end to the Russo Japanese War. He wins the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1906 for his efforts


1838 - 1842 - After China fails in the Opium Wars to end European sale of opium (drugs) to its citizens they are forced to open ports to foreign trade and extend special rights to the citizens of other nations that they would not ordinarily offer. Each nation received these extra rights in an area they would control known as a sphere of influence. America received these rights along with other nations.

1899 - America suggests an Open Door Policy for China. The effect of the Open Door Policy was to open China up for trade and end the policy of spheres of influence allowing competition.

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