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. This would
have caused Britain's trade with these new nations to decline. The United
States wanted to ensure that no European nations would attempt further
colonialization in the western hemisphere. The British foreign minister
George Canning suggested a joint venture with the United States to preserve
the interests of both nations. However, John Quincy Adams, the secretary
of state, convinced President Monroe that the United States should develop
its own policy which would safeguard U.S. interests independent of Britain.
Why, Adams asked, should the United States appear “as a cockboat in the
wake of a British man-of-war?”
It was made by President James Monroe in his seventh annual address to the Congress of the United States on December 2, 1823; it eventually became one of the foundations of U.S. policy in Latin America. As a component of foreign policy, the Monroe Doctrine has had considerable effect and has had strong support in the United States, in part because it has promoted U.S. interests. The doctrine has served other American nations, too, particularly because it asserts their right to independence.
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War of 1812
War of 1812, conflict between the United States and Britain that began in 1812 and lasted until early 1815. President James Madison requested a declaration of war to protect American ships on the high seas and to stop the British from impressing or seizing U.S. sailors. U.S. ships were being stopped and searched by both Great Britain and France, who were fighting each other in Europe. President Madison also wanted to prevent Britain from forming alliances with Native Americans on the American frontier. His decision was influenced by Americans in the West and South, who hoped to expand the United States by seizing control of both Canada and Florida. Critics called the War of 1812 “Mr. Madison’s War,” but others saw it as a “second war of independence,” an opportunity for Americans to defend their freedom and honor in the face of European disrespect. Neither Britain nor the United States was particularly well prepared to fight this war, and the conflict eventually ended in a stalemate.
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Key Events and Causes
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