The USA is widely known for its military interventions in various countries across the globe, invading them either to protect its national interests, defeat a dictator, acquire oil basins, or put up a puppet government reverent to the US agenda. These aggressive actions throughout the 20th century have established the USA as a superpower. One of the reasons for the USA’s rise to power is the adoption and avid interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine.
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The Monroe Doctrine, developed in 1823 by John Quincy, initially suggested opposition to European colonialism in South America (Livingstone, 2013). It stated that any attempt to establish control over a sovereign nation in North or South America by a European power would be treated as an unfriendly move against the USA. Over time, the Monroe Doctrine underwent extensive changes.
Through the Roosevelt Corollary, which later evolved into the Clark Memorandum, it became an instrument for the USA to establish economic dominance in South America and other countries across the globe through military and political means. The modern interpretation of the doctrine allows the USA to treat any country whose actions threaten its political, territorial, or economic interests in any way as an enemy (Livingstone, 2013).
The Monroe Doctrine helped the USA to transform from an isolationist country into a superpower by allowing it to project its power far across the borders and achieve political and economic victories by destabilizing the opposition, directly or indirectly. The signs of the Monroe Doctrine could be perceived in many conflicts in the middle of the 20th century which the USA had participated in. The most famous wars in that time period are the Korean War, the Vietnam war, and the Lebanon crisis (Livingstone, 2013).
Livingstone, G. (2013). America’s backyard. The United States & Latin America from Monroe doctrine to the war on terror. New York, NY: Zed Books.