The Monroe Doctrine – probably the most long-lasting declaration in American diplomatic history – was issued in 1824, when the U.S. were still not a very strong nation.

Why did President Monroe issue this doctrine when he did? In other words, what "caused" the Monroe Doctrine?

  • Hubris; Monroe & his mentor felt that Republics were the coming thing and the old nations of Europe would not be able to stand before the awesome power of the people.
    – MCW
    Jun 8, 2017 at 17:26
  • "the most long-lasting declaration in American diplomatic history" : wouldn't that be the declaration of independance ?
    – Evargalo
    Jan 17, 2018 at 8:46

2 Answers 2


By 1824, Spain had lost all of its mainland colonies in America. When the powers of Europe proposed to use the recently created Congress System to help Spain regain control of her lost American colonies, Great Britain balked.

In addition to being sympathetic to the Latin American nations’ desire for independence, Great Britain had developed a thriving trade with them and had no desire to see them return to their status as Spanish colonies.

In her support of continued Latin American independence, Britain was joined by the United States. In 1823, President James Monroe issued a statement which became known as the Monroe Doctrine, warning the European powers that intervention in Latin America would be looked upon by the United States as an unfriendly act.

  • 1
    Just to reiterate, the doctorine was actually the UK's idea as a joint statement, so that's why it came up when it did. The US's main contribution was to realize that they could make the announcement entirely on their own behalf, safe in the assumption that it would be in the UK's self-interest to help enforce it with their navy, even without anything in writing to that effect.
    – T.E.D.
    Jan 5, 2017 at 22:14

By 1823, most of South America had become independent, under the leadership of Venezuela's Simon Bolivar (and Argentina's Jose de San Martin, and Brazil's Dom Pedro I freed two more, large countries). All of a sudden, there was a lot more for the Monroe Doctrine to defend, in the "Americas."

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