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Primary Documents in American History

Monroe Doctrine

James Monroe, fifth President of the United States
James Monroe, fifth President of the United States.
D.W. Kellogg & Co.
[between 1830 and 1842].
Prints & Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:
LC-USZ62-130171

The Monroe Doctrine was declared in a few paragraphs of President James Monroe's seventh annual message to Congress on December 2, 1823. Monroe warned European countries not to interfere in the Western Hemisphere, stating "that the American continents. . .are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers." The Monroe Doctrine became a cornerstone of future U.S. foreign policy.

Library of Congress Web Site | External Web Sites | Selected Bibliography

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A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation

This collection contains congressional publications from 1774 to 1875, including debates, bills, laws, and journals.

Words and Deeds in American History

In honor of the Manuscript Division's centennial, its staff has selected for online display approximately ninety representative documents spanning from the fifteenth century to the mid-twentieth century.

America's Library

Jump Back in Time: James Monroe Sought Advice from Thomas Jefferson, October 17, 1823.

Today in History

October 17, 1823

On October 17, 1823, President James Monroe wrote a letter to his friend and Virginia neighbor Thomas Jefferson seeking advice on foreign policy. The issue at hand was whether to join forces with Britain in a joint-declaration against Spain's efforts to regain sovereignty in South America.

Link disclaimerExternal Web Sites

Message of President James Monroe at the commencement of the first session of the 18th Congress (The Monroe Doctrine), 12/2/1823, National Archives and Records Administration

Monroe Doctrine, Avalon Project at Yale Law School

Monroe Doctrine, 1823, Department of State

Our Documents, Monroe Doctrine, National Archives and Records Administration

Selected Bibliography

Dangerfield, George. Defiance to the Old World; The Story Behind the Monroe Doctrine. New York: Putnam, 1970. [Catalog Record]

Dozer, Donald Marquand, ed. The Monroe Doctrine, Its Modern Significance. Tempe: Center for Latin American Studies, Arizona State University, 1976. [Catalog Record]

Ford, Worthington Chauncey. John Quincy Adams: His Connection with the Monroe Doctrine (1823). Cambridge, Mass: J. Wilson, 1902. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

May, Ernest R. The Making of the Monroe Doctrine. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1975. [Catalog Record]

Perkins, Dexter. The Monroe Doctrine, 1823-1826. Gloucester, Mass.: P. Smith, 1966. [Catalog Record]

Perkins, Dexter. The Monroe Doctrine, 1826-1867. Gloucester, Mass.: P. Smith, 1966. [Catalog Record]

Perkins, Dexter. The Monroe Doctrine, 1867-1907. Gloucester, Mass.: P. Smith, 1966. [Catalog Record]

Sexton, Jay. The Monroe Doctrine: Empire and Nation in Nineteenth-Century America. New York: Hill and Wang, 2011. [Catalog Record]

Wilson, Charles Morrow. The Monroe Doctrine; An American Frame of Mind. Princeton: Auerbach, 1971. [Catalog Record]

Younger Readers

Alagna, Magdalena. The Monroe Doctrine: An End to European Colonies in America. New York: Rosen Pub. Group, 2003. [Catalog Record]

Renehan, Edward. The Monroe Doctrine: The Cornerstone of American Foreign Policy. New York: Chelsea House, 2007. [Catalog Record]

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