The Roosevelt Corollary

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In 1823, President James Monroe called for an end to European intervention in North and South America by introducing the Monroe Doctrine. This meant that Europe was unable to further colonize in the Western Hemisphere. In response, America agreed not to interfere with European relations. Almost a century later in 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt presented the Roosevelt Corollary, which was an extension to the Monroe Doctrine. This extension gave the United States the right to intervene in countries south of the United States if necessary. Roosevelt’s philosophy, “speak softly but carry a big stick,” was used to justify America’s actions during this time. It was evident that through America’s actions concerning Latin America, the Latin American nations were able to keep stable, independent political and social structures, as well as maintain prosperous economies. While the Monroe Doctrine said European countries should stay out of Latin America, the Roosevelt Corollary took this further to say that the United States had the right to exercise military force in Latin American countries in order to keep European countries out. Public responses in the United States were generally favorable, reflecting widely held support for imperialistic attitudes and actions. Most European responses were quietly supportive, especially from creditor interests who were pleased to have help in collecting their debts, but the British were unrestrained in applauding Roosevelt. Nonetheless, many Europeans harbored feelings that the Americans were becoming increasingly presumptuous and should be watched carefully.

The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine took the Doctrine to the next level and gave the United States a power in which they didn’t have. Where the Monroe Doctrine was written to keep Europe from colonizing the western hemisphere further and to keep the U.S. from interfering in European affairs, the Corollary broadened that and gave the U.S. police powers to interfere...
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