US Foreign Policy


The Monroe Doctrine

During the early 19th century, the inhabitants of Spain’s colonies
in Latin America revolted and began a series of wars for

In 1823, President Monroe was faced with two threats of foreign
intervention in the Western Hemisphere. Both threats were organized
from several of the great European powers such as Austria, France,
Prussia and Russia. To combat such foreign intervention, President
Monroe issued the following policy now known as the Monroe Doctrine.
It included the following points:

1. The Western Hemisphere was closed to further European

2. U.S. would not interfere with the existing colonies of

3. The U.S. would not interfere in the internal affairs of any

4. Any attempt by the European powers to intervene in the Western
Hemisphere would be regarded as “dangerous to our (U.S..) peace and


U.S. Latin American Relations (1845-1933)

1. Since 1900, U.S. invades Cuba 4 times. It proclaims it has
the right to go into Cuba to preserve Cuban independence. The US
justified it’s actions because it had inserted the “Platt
” into the the Cuban Constitution after the Spanish
American War.

2. President Theodore Roosevelt convinces Great Britain, Germany
and Italy not to invade Venezuela in 1902, to collect debts owed to
them by the Venezuelan government. Instead they submit the matter
for international settlement. This was part of America’s “Dollar

3. 1903–the U.S. provokes Panama to revolt against Colombia, and
the U.S. warships blockade Colombia to prevent the country from
putting down the revolution. As a result the US gained the Panama
Canal Zone.

4. 1904–T. Roosevelt claims the U.S. is the “Policeman of the
Western Hemisphere
” and can intervene in the affairs of any
nation in the hemisphere if it affects the U.S. THIS BECAME KNOWN AS
Roosevelt says the US should “Speak softly but carry a big
.” He then sends the US “Great White Fleet” on an around
the world cruise to show of its power.

5. 1905-1933–American Marines maintain order and control over
Nicaragua, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. They also protect U.S.
investments in most of Latin America. This was also part of
America’s “Dollar Diplomacy.”

6. Good Neighbor Policy 1933

President Franklin Roosevelt and his Secretary of State, Cordell
Hull, labored to win Latin American good will by a following policy
that included the following objectives:

Friendship–respecting the rights of others.
Americans hoped to overcome the hostility that many Latin Americans
felt toward the U.S.

Trade–with the U.S. in the midst of the Great Depression,
American hoped to increase trade with Latin American and spur
economic recovery.



1853 – Commodore Matthew Perry leads an armed expedition to
Japan. The Japanese, a xenophobic nation, has traditionally been
isolated and closed to foreigners. It is Perry’s goal to “open”

1905 – Newly industrialized Japan takes on and defeats Russian in
the Russo Japanese War thus signaling the arrival of Japan as a world
power. President Theodore Roosevelt successfully mediates the end to
the Russo Japanese War. He wins the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1906 for
his efforts


1838 – 1842 – After China fails in the Opium Wars to end European
sale of opium (drugs) to its citizens they are forced to open ports
to foreign trade and extend special rights to the citizens of other
nations that they would not ordinarily offer. Each nation received
these extra rights in an area they would control known as a sphere
of influence
. America received these rights along with other

1899 – America suggests an Open Door Policy for China. The
effect of the Open Door Policy was to open China up for trade and end
the policy of spheres of influence allowing competition.