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The Monroe Doctrine was expressed during President Monroe's
seventh annual message to Congress, December 2, 1823:

. . . At the proposal of the Russian Imperial Government, made 
through the minister of the Emperor residing here, a full power 
and instructions have been transmitted to the minister of the 
United States at St. Petersburg to arrange by amicable negotiation 
the respective rights and interests of the two nations on the 
northwest coast of this continent. A similar proposal has been 
made by His Imperial Majesty to the Government of Great Britain, 
which has likewise been acceded to. The Government of the United 
States has been desirous by this friendly proceeding of manifesting 
the great value which they have invariably attached to the 
friendship of the Emperor and their solicitude to cultivate the 
best understanding with his Government. In the discussions to 
which this interest has given rise and in the arrangements by 
which they may terminate the occasion has been judged proper for 
asserting, as a principle in which the rights and interests of 
the United States are involved, that the American continents, by 
the free and independent condition which they have assumed and 
maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for 
future colonization by any European powers. . .

It was stated at the commencement of the last session that a great 
effort was then making in Spain and Portugal to improve the 
condition of the people of those countries, and that it appeared 
to be conducted with extraordinary moderation. It need scarcely 
be remarked that the results have been so far very different from 
what was then anticipated. Of events in that quarter of the globe, 
with which we have so much intercourse and from which we derive 
our origin, we have always been anxious and interested spectators. 
The citizens of the United States cherish sentiments the most 
friendly in favor of the liberty and happiness of their fellow-men 
on that side of the Atlantic. In the wars of the European powers 
in matters relating to themselves we have never taken any part, 
nor does it comport with our policy to do so. It is only when our 
rights are invaded or seriously menaced that we resent injuries 
or make preparation for our defense. With the movements in this 
hemisphere we are of necessity more immediately connected, and by 
causes which must be obvious to all enlightened and impartial 
observers. The political system of the allied powers is essentially 
different in this respect from that of America. This difference 
proceeds from that which exists in their respective Governments; 
and to the defense of our own, which has been achieved by the loss 
of so much blood and treasure, and matured by the wisdom of their 
most enlightened citizens, and under which we have enjoyed unexampled 
felicity, this whole nation is devoted. We owe it, therefore, 
to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United 
States and those powers to declare that we should consider any 
attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of 
this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the 
existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have 
not interfered and shall not interfere. But with the Governments 
who have declared their independence and maintain it, and whose 
independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles, 
acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of 
oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, 
by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation 
of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States. In the war 
between those new Governments and Spain we declared our neutrality 
at the time of their recognition, and to this we have adhered, 
and shall continue to adhere, provided no change shall occur 
which, in the judgement of the competent authorities of this 
Government, shall make a corresponding change on the part of 
the United States indispensable to their security.

The late events in Spain and Portugal shew that Europe is still 
unsettled. Of this important fact no stronger proof can be adduced 
than that the allied powers should have thought it proper, on 
any principle satisfactory to themselves, to have interposed by 
force in the internal concerns of Spain. To what extent such 
interposition may be carried, on the same principle, is a question 
in which all independent powers whose governments differ from 
theirs are interested, even those most remote, and surely none 
of them more so than the United States. Our policy in regard to 
Europe, which was adopted at an early stage of the wars which have 
so long agitated that quarter of the globe, nevertheless remains 
the same, which is, not to interfere in the internal concerns of 
any of its powers; to consider the government de facto as the 
legitimate government for us; to cultivate friendly relations 
with it, and to preserve those relations by a frank, firm, and 
manly policy, meeting in all instances the just claims of every 
power, submitting to injuries from none. But in regard to those 
continents circumstances are eminently and conspicuously different. 
It is impossible that the allied powers should extend their 
political system to any portion of either continent without 
endangering our peace and happiness; nor can anyone believe that 
our southern brethren, if left to themselves, would adopt it of 
their own accord. It is equally impossible, therefore, that we 
should behold such interposition in any form with indifference. 
If we look to the comparative strength and resources of Spain and 
those new Governments, and their distance from each other, it must 
be obvious that she can never subdue them. It is still the true 
policy of the United States to leave the parties to themselves, 
in hope that other powers will pursue the same course. . . .


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