- Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes

The Rise of the Cold War 1945-1953

By:   •  Essay  •  1,131 Words  •  December 4, 2009  •  1,414 Views

Page 1 of 5

Essay title: The Rise of the Cold War 1945-1953

The Monroe Doctrine has been described as a "hands off" warning to Europe. How did the U.S interpret the doctrine in practice?

On December second, 1823, President Monroe declared to the public his concerns on domestic and foreign affairs in his annual speech. In his words one could find ideas that did not matter only the U.S, but it interested Europe and the Americas as a whole. Such concerns would turn out to be a basis of a set principles that the U.S would implement in the future years, Monroe's words would soon be the Monroe Doctrine. However what Monroe said were bold ideas of support and pacific intervention, too altruistic for people to put into practice. Therefore those after him made tangents to such ideas, diversions so great that they changed the meaning and definition of the doctrine. This paper will analyze to what extent the U.S extensions to the Monroe Doctrine made this document diverge from its original "hands off" interpretation to become a more interventionist and militaristic.

In the early 1820's the U.S developed with President Monroe the Monroe Doctrine. Here he stated three important points the U.S should follow to successfully moderate its ties with nations this was his "hands off" warning to Europe and other powers. He stated that the U.S was to: not tolerate European colonization; remain neutral to wars and politics within European nations and their already existing colonies; take a stance against Europe if the New World was menaced. These ideas would be interpreted in a different manner by upcoming presidents.

As the Monroe Doctrine was declared by the 1820's, little was done to make it stand on its own. Europe saw this as a mere warning since the U.S was just developing and had no hardcore military or political influence to back any of its statements. The only help the U.S had was from the strong British navy which supported the U.S just to insure its commercial ties with America. These were the years in which the first interpretation to the Monroe Doctrine was made. James Polk, in 1845, was the first U.S president to announce to Congress that the principle of the Monroe Doctrine had to be enforced aggressively. This was the first contradiction to Monroe's statements which asserted problems pacifically and by retaining neutral stances. Polk lead the U.S to expand westwards bringing the U.S into many confrontations such as a war with Mexico, the annexation of Texas which the British and French tried to prevent and the close buying of Cuba from Spain.

Extensions were further included with the next presidents. Ulysses S. Grant would be the one to first extend the doctrine by saying that no territory in the Western Hemisphere would be transferred from one power to another. However, this was not made to help the Americas but rather to reflect U.S imperialistic tendencies as they were shown previously in the war with Mexico. What the U.S meant to say was it would not tolerate any "non-American" powers to intervene and conquer in the Americas because it would harm the U.S's power and expansion in the area.

One of the largest changes to the Monroe Doctrine would be the Olney interpretation to the Monroe Doctrine. This interpretation would be so impacting that it would shift U.S intervention of that time. In the year 1895, President Cleveland with the advice of Richard Olney Secretary of State would issue an amendment to the doctrine whigh stated that the Monroe Doctrine gave the United States authority to mediate border disputes in the Western Hemisphere. Even this quote from the interpretation "Today the United States is practically sovereign on this continent and its fiat is law" shows the ideology change the U.S was undergoing. This amendment was as a direct response to the problems Venezuela had with Great Britain over the boundaries of British Guiana. The Monroe Doctrine stated the U.S would remain neutral to affairs concerning Europe and already existing colonies but as this problem rose, Olney declared that the U.S would openly intervene against the British. Was it really "protecting"

Continue for 4 more pages »  •  Join now to read essay The Rise of the Cold War 1945-1953 and other term papers or research documents
Download as (for upgraded members)
Citation Generator

(2009, 12). The Rise of the Cold War 1945-1953. Retrieved 12, 2009, from

"The Rise of the Cold War 1945-1953" 12 2009. 2009. 12 2009 <>.

"The Rise of the Cold War 1945-1953.", 12 2009. Web. 12 2009. <>.

"The Rise of the Cold War 1945-1953." 12, 2009. Accessed 12, 2009.