What Is the Significance of the Monroe Doctrine?

The main point of the Monroe Doctrine, written by John Quincy Adams, was that the American continents were off-limits to further European colonization, explains the National Archives. This doctrine was also created to guarantee the Latin American colonies remained free from European rule.

American diplomatic ideology was still in its infancy during the 1820s. Cutting ties with the European powers, however, was first on the docket for the New World. The Monroe Doctrine barred European nations from further colonization of the Americas. The document stated the United States government would not interfere with European colonies already established within the United States, though if any European country travelled outside the boundaries detailed in the doctrine, the United States would take such actions as aggressive and respond accordingly. Any form of compromise or bilateral agreement on this part of the doctrine could have inhibited the expansion of the United States expansion in the future.

Additionally, it was feared that South America and islands within the Caribbean would once again fall victim to European rule. It was imperative that Latin American trade networks remained free and clear to ensure successful development of the United States. Britain supported this part of the doctrine wholeheartedly, recognizing the importance of a world with diminished Spanish and Portuguese influence.