"when the Monroe doctrine takes its true place as a political fable"
Newspaper cartoon from 1912 about the Monroe Doctrine
Public DomainNewspaper cartoon from 1912 about the Monroe Doctrine - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Monroe Doctrine is a United States policy introduced on December 2, 1823, which states that any efforts by European countries to colonize land or interfere with states in the Americas would be viewed as acts of aggression requiring U.S. intervention.

The doctrine was issued by President James Monroe at a time when many Latin American countries were on the verge of becoming independent from the Spanish Empire. Aiming to prevent European powers from taking over Spain’s colonies, the Monroe Doctrine prohibited further colonization of the Americas by European countries with the promise that the United States would refrain from interfering with existing European colonies or the internal concerns of European countries.

A defining moment in U.S. foreign policy, the Monroe Doctrine would be invoked by many of the nation’s statesmen and several presidents in the years to come, including Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and others.