Russia’s push southward from present day Alaska was heightened by the tsar’s decree of 1821, which expanded Russian jurisdiction to hundreds of miles of open sea and down to the 51stparallel. Russians had already made settlements as far south as San Francisco, and America feared it would be cut off from California and the Pacific Ocean.Great Britain refused to join the confederacy of the continental European powers, as they benefitted from the revolutions in Latin America and from the United States itself.
In August 1823, British foreign secretary George Canning approached the United States in an attempt to combine the two nations as to stop the European powers from encroaching on the New World.Monroe and His DoctrineSecretary Adams was skeptical of Britain’s offer. He thought that Britain was afraid that the United States would gain territory in the Caribbean, threatening Britain’s Caribbean islands. If the United States made the treaty with Canning, their hands would be tied as to gaining new territory.Adams believed that the treaty with Britain was unnecessary and would hamper American expansion. Heconcluded that the European powers did not really have a plan to invade the New World, and that the British navy would protect the Latin American markets regardless.A defiant, nationalistic attack toward the European powers would be safe for the United States to go alone, as they would be protected by the British.Late in 1823, Adams won over President Monroe. In his annual message to Congress on December 2nd, 1823, he gave a warning to European powers.The first was for no colonization, and the second was for no intervention. Monroe first pointed his attention to Russia, stating that colonization in the Americas has ended and was permanently closed. He also stated that European powers could maintain current colonies, but should not create new ones.Monroe then made a warning concerning foreign intervention. The President, especially concerned with Latin American nations, told the European powers to keep their monarchial systems out of the hemisphere. The United States would also not intervene in current wars in EuropeMonroe’s Doctrine AppraisedThe European powers were angered at the Monroe Doctrine, they had been against the American experiment from the start. What made them more frustrated was that a nation with such a puny militarywas instructing them, and that they had to listen because of the looming British navy.In Latin America, news of the doctrine was not very impactful. They knew that the British navy was the primary thing keeping them safe from hostile Europe.Monroe’s doctrine did not have much effect until the middle of the century. People praised it and then forgot it. Even before the Monroe Doctrine, the tsar had moved his decree line further north, as made official in the Russo-American Treaty of 1824.