Monroe Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

The Monroe doctrine is a policy which the United States has followed in her own interest more or less consistently for more than a century. It was stated by President James Monroe in 1823 during his seventh annual State of the Union Address to Congress. It stated that :

The Western Hemisphere was no longer open for colonization

The political system of the Americas was different from Europe

The United States would regard any interference in Western hemispheric affairs as a threat to its security

The United States would refrain from participation in European wars and would not disturb existing colonies in the Western Hemisphere

The Doctrine was issued at the time when many Latin American countries were on the verge of becoming independent from the Spanish Empire, and the United States, reflecting concerns echoed by Great Britain, hoped to avoid having any European power take Spain's colonies. This principle, even though not a formal doctrine or rule of International law has some recognition in international law.