Speech delivered by Pt James Monroe at a joint session of the Congress in 1823. Excerpt and questions

« Of events in that quarter of the globe […] 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 so to do. It is only when our rights are invaded or seriously menaced that we resent injuries or make preparation for our defense […] We owe it, therefore […] 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 maintained it […] 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.
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. It is impossible that the allied powers should extend their political system to any portion of either continent without endangering our peace and happiness. »


  1. What was the policy of the US toward Europe at the time?
  2. What were the consequences of this speech for the US? Explain the Monroe diplomacy.
  3. Give reasons for the US to intervene.
  4. Draw a table explaining the US policy toward Europe and toward the American continent, according to this speech.