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Monroe Doctrine

Monroe Doctrine, declaration of U.S. policy toward the newly independent states of Latin America, issued by President James Monroe on Dec. 2, 1823. It stated that the United States would not tolerate any European interference with the former colonies of the Americas, which were “henceforth not to be considered as subjects for further colonization by any European powers.” President Theodore Roosevelt's corollary to the doctrine (1904) asserted that the United States had the right to intervene to prevent any interference in the affairs of the hemisphere by outside governments and to ensure that acceptable governments were maintained there. This became known as the “big stick” policy and was invoked often by Presidents Taft and Wilson to justify armed U.S. intervention in the Caribbean.

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21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Mississippian to Mud hen