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Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine

Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine: Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th American President who served in office from September 14, 1901 to March 4, 1909. One of the important events during his presidency was the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine.

Definition and Summary of the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine
Summary and definition:
Following the Venezuela Crisis of 1902 - 1903 President Roosevelt issued the “Roosevelt Corollary” to the Monroe Doctrine in his address to Congress on 12 June,1904. The Venezuela Crisis was a naval blockade imposed against Venezuela by Britain, Germany and Italy due to Venezuela's inability to pay its debts.

The Roosevelt Corollary asserted the right of the United States to intervene to "stabilize" the economic affairs of small states in Central America and the Caribbean if they were unable to pay their international debts.

What was the Monroe Doctrine?
The
1823 Monroe Doctrine defined the foreign policy of the United States for many years. The Monroe Doctrine:

  • Declared against foreign colonization, or intervention in the Americas

  • Declared the intention of the United States to remain neutral in European wars

The Roosevelt Corollary for kids: What is a Corollary?
Definition: The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine was statement by President Roosevelt and a logical extension to the Monroe Doctrine. The statement was a result of the U.S. concerns raised by Venezuela Crisis and reiterated foreign policy in relation to foreign intervention in the Americas and extended. President Theodore Roosevelt believed that the United States should "speak softly and carry a big stick" in foreign affairs.

The Roosevelt Corollary for kids: The Venezuela Debt Crisis
What was the Venezuela debt crisis? The Venezuela debt crisis began when President Cipriano Castro of Venezuela defaulted on millions of dollars in bonds owed to European countries. President Cipriano Castro ignored European demands for payment. In response, Germany, Britain, and Italy responded by seizing several Venezuelan vessels, bombarding coastal forts in Venezuela and finally establishing a naval blockade of Venezuela in December 1902. President Roosevelt became increasingly concerned about the European military action in the region and pressurized all parties to reach a settlement, which they did.

The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine: The Dominican Republic
President Theodore Roosevelt became totally opposed to any European intervention in the western hemisphere again, so he announced the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine in 1904. Another motivation for the Roosevelt Corollary was the situation in the Dominican Republic, which had also fallen behind on its debt payments to European nations.

The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine Text
The Roosevelt Corollary makes reference to the Monroe Doctrine in the following text excerpt:

"...in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the United States to the Monroe Doctrine may force the United States,
however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence, to the exercise of an international police power..."

Another part of the text of the Roosevelt Corollary states:

"...There is as yet no judicial way of enforcing a right in international law. When one nation wrongs another or wrongs many others,
there is no tribunal before which the wrongdoer can be brought..."

In these text excerpts President Roosevelt is making the intentions of the United States clear and why the Foreign policy is necessary. In the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine he made it clear that the United States would intervene in Latin American affairs when necessary in order to maintain economic and political stability in the Western Hemisphere.

What was the purpose of the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine
The increasing American involvement in foreign affairs caused Theodore Roosevelt to expand his “big stick” diplomacy. The Purpose of the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine was to:

  • Reiterate the long-standing foreign policy against foreign intervention in the Americas

  • Extend the bounds of the Monroe Doctrine

    • The Monroe Doctrine had originally been intended to keep European nations out of the Western hemisphere, but the Roosevelt corollary was used as a justification for U.S. intervention in Latin America

  • To ensure that American foreign policy was made clear due to Panama canal project - its construction began on May 4, 1904 (ownership of the territory that is now the Panama Canal was first Colombian, then French, and then American)

  • To ensure that American foreign policy was made clear due to the certain eruption of a debt crisis in the Dominican Republic

  • To make sure that Foreign powers understood that the Caribbean was part of the doctrine due to the growing presence of the US in the Caribbean

What was the Significance of the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine
The Significance of Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine was wide ranging. The long term significance of the Roosevelt Corolly are illustrated in the handling of future foreign diplomatic affairs in which the United States justified their actions on the principles of the Monroe Doctrine.

  • U.S. intervention in the Dominican Republic

  • U.S. intervention in Cuba (1906–1909)

  • U.S. intervention in Nicaragua (1909–1910, 1912–1925 and 1926–1933)

  • U.S. intervention in Haiti (1915–1934)

  • 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis - when U.S. warned the Soviet Union on Cuba

US American History
1881-1913: Maturation Era

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