The Monroe Doctrine
In 1823 the Doctrine was issued and had the support of Great Britain. Britain supported the doctrine because the Grand Alliance in Europe had given France permission to install the Bourbon Dynasty in Spain. This would have put Spanish lands in French control thus creating a French Empire. Britain had no love for this and put their weight behind the doctrine. The Monroe Doctrine was developed because the United States and Britain were concerned over the possibility of European colonial expansion in the Americas. Britain feared that Spain would attempt to reclaim its former colonies, which had recently gained independence.
After Napoleon went down, the Spain’s’ monarchy gained power. The Spanish felt embarrassed because of losing their colonies to independence. Thereafter, Spain demanded for the return of their colonies of the new world. However, the Great Britain refused to let Spanish take back their independence colonies. It was believed that as free countries, the combination of Spanish-American nation could trade more goods with the Great Britain. This was seen as a factor that could decrease the level of trade between Spain and the great Britain.
Polk added European attempts to create a “balance of power” (qtd. in Sexton 106) to the prohibited acts of colonization and intervention. Guizot, a French statesman, allegedly said that France did not want one power to control all of North America. Like Monroe, Polk avoided detailing exactly what constituted creating a “balance of power.” Polk kept his interpretation flexible enough to support his active foreign policy (Sexton 106).
McNamara (n.d.) explained that through the Monroe Doctrine, there was no intervention made in South American matters by Europe and when President Roosevelt enforced it in 1900, it helped Cuba achieve independence from Spain’s rule as well as secure the Venezuelan borders during a dispute with Great Britain. McNamara also cited that the Monroe Doctrine expressed US’ dominance in the Western hemisphere, as the said doctrine became an internationally recognized US foreign policy that is both legal and enforceable. This demonstrated the strong influence the US had over international affairs. The Monroe Doctrine also gave the image of US as a world defender. The world has accepted US as a world power but at its current state, the country has to struggle hard to maintain that historical image because other ‘powers’ are starting to emerge, like China for instance. This is a challenge for the present and future presidents of the US, in which they should be able to uphold and continue this dominance for as long as they can.