The Monroe Doctrine and Our Foreign Policy

By Payton Huckleberry | USA

The Monroe Doctrine, written by President James Monroe, set the precedent of both non-interventionism and a strong national defense. This precedent has stood throughout most of American history, seen during World War II, the Cold War, and numerous conflicts in the late 19th century.

The Monroe Doctrine popularized the idea of non-interventionism by separating New and Old World conflicts and citizens. The Doctrine states, “…the American continents… are henceforth not to be considered as subjects… by any European powers.” Old World countries could no longer attempt to, in any way, colonize the Americas. This included military action on the continents, as seen with the Soviet Union during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

By separating Europe and the Americas, Monroe effectively created an environment of non-interventionism, meaning the US would stay out of foreign wars. This was seen most prominently during World War II with FDR’s administration citing the document as the precedent set to excuse America’s lack of involvement in “Europe’s problem.”

The Doctrine also set the precedent of having a strong national defense. Ronald Reagan, with his famous “peace through strength” ideology, was a huge proponent of the Doctrine. By making the Americas a sovereign entity, Monroe effectively, albeit indirectly, supported a strong national defense. After all, one could not enforce such a document without having a position of power.

The Monroe Doctrine has held influence over our foreign policy for the last 200 years since its inception. It created a strong national defense and the idea of non-interventionism in the country and has been directly cited by numerous political administrations as the reasoning behind their foreign policy.


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