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Saber and Scroll

Abstract

The Monroe Doctrine represented a position adopted by President James Monroe during his seventh annual address to Congress on 2 December 1823, which stated that the United States would oppose overtures by European powers against former and now independent colonies of Spain and Portugal in the Western Hemisphere. British Foreign Minister George Canning had proposed that Britain and the United States act together to prevent the resurgence of Bourbon power in the region; however, Monroe, abiding by the counsel of his Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, chose to act unilaterally. As the policy served Great Britain’s interests and the US was militarily weak relative to European powers, the Royal Navy served as the primary enforcer of the policy.

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