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Monroe Doctrine: Primary Documents in American History

Issued on December 2, 1823, the Monroe Doctrine warned European countries against interfering in the affairs of the Western Hemisphere. This guide provides access to digital collections at the Library of Congress, external websites, and print materials.

Introduction

The Monroe Doctrine was declared in a few paragraphs of President James Monroe's seventh annual message to Congress on December 2, 1823. Monroe warned European countries not to interfere in the Western Hemisphere, stating "that the American continents...are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers." The Monroe Doctrine became a cornerstone of future U.S. foreign policy. As the United States gained military and economic strength, American leaders began to interpret the Monroe Doctrine as justification for U.S. involvement in Latin America.