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The US's Re-introversion 200 Years After the Monroe Doctrine

17 Ocak 2023 10:57

In today's world, where there are signs that the policies followed by the USA in 1823 by bringing the Monroe Doctrine to the agenda are reversed 200 years later, it is thought that it would be beneficial to reevaluate the events.

The invasion of Spain by a French army on the orders of Napoleon in 1808 broke the influence of Spain on its colonies, on the other hand, with the attack of France on Russia in 1812 (Riehn, 1991), the balances in Europe were completely turned upside down.

The Congress of Vienna, which was held after the defeat of Napoleon, supposedly aimed to redefine the borders and balance of power in Europe. However, this determination was also the period of new sharing and divisions, and a new era began with the sharing that first started between Russia and England (St. Petersburg Protocol: 4 April 1826), and then with the inclusion of France (London Protocol: 6 July 1827) had begun.

One of the countries that best predicted this period was the US administration.

The imbalances that emerged in the new period ultimately led to two world wars, and in this period, the USA, which became involved in the conflicts sometime after the start of the war between the European states with a wise policy in this period, seized the position of being a world power for a while.

When the policies followed by the USA in this period are examined, an evaluation of the process that has come to the present is made. For this, it is necessary to examine the details of the work of US President James Monroe (who served as President between 1817-1825), who created a strategy in the USA to stay away from the struggles of European countries among themselves, and who is known for his "Monroe Doctrine" proposal.

In the review, it is clear that the President, in his speech to the Congress in 1823, emphasized some points about it.

Again, there are indications in the examination that this is more for the purpose of preparation for world domination than an introversion.

In this document, it is seen that the USA understood the situation in Europe, including the Spaniards, and followed it in detail. What is really interesting in the speech is that at that time, Russia applied to the USA through a minister and took initiatives on some border arrangements.

It was known that a similar proposal was made by Russia to the British. The United States, on the other hand, was against Russia playing any role in the America continent (We talked about the mistakes in Russian policy at that time in our previous article).

Evaluating the developments in Europe, Monroe, in his speech at the congress, revealed that US would definitely not be a party to the struggles among European countries themselves (as long as they did not attack him), and in a sense, he aimed to both develop his own power, organize his environment and wait  to wear out the European states by fighting each other during these power struggles (President Monroe's Seventy Annual Message to Congress, The Monroe Doctrine, December 2, 1823).

The doctrine also aimed to prevent any power in Europe from interfering with the America continent, including Latin America.

In fact, this was the most important part of the doctrine. During the American War of Independence, France sent a unit under the command of General Lafayette to America (Bernis, 1963: 19,20), and the British army was defeated with the help of France (Davis, 2011: 226). The Spanish Navy, on the other hand, performed an important task by restricting the British intervention in the region. In 1781, the military operation had already come to an end when a British army was pressed by the Americans on land and the French from the sea in a place called Yorktown.

The Europeans had contributed to the establishment of a new state just to harm the British, but they did not attach much importance to the newly established American state. After all, it was a state with uncertain borders and a weak state. In fact, it was not clear whether there was a state or not. Everyone thought that the weak colonies would fight each other and leave soon. However, this state had already managed to solve its problems by itself, without foreign intervention, five years later, by taking advantage of the rivalries of the Europeans within themselves (Roberts, 1997: 407).

The United States had resolved its border issues with Canada and Florida after 1794.

US had started buying land since the early 1800s to expand. France bought the province of Louisiana from Spain in 1800, but when relations with the United States became strained, it sold it to the Americans for $15 million. In 1819, the USA bought Florida from the Spanish for 5 million dollars.

US President James Monroe said: “Everyone should clearly see that territorial expansion provides great freedom of movement and strengthens security” (Kissinger, 2006: 23).

After the Monroe Doctrine, it is seen that the growth studies continued without interruption.

The USA never stopped. President Polk said that "If Texas comes under the dominance of a powerful state, it will pose a threat to American security," and therefore it should be tied to the United States. By sending immigrants to the Mexican state of Texas in 1824, they first declared it independent and then annexed it in 1844.

Four years later, California bought it from the Mexicans for $15 million. Then, in 1867, Alaska was taken from the Russians for $7.2 million. While Alaska was being purchased, President Johnson was talking about foreign control of these places would hinder the growth of the United States and reduce its influence (Nye, Joseph and Welch, 2011: 456).

Then, after Puerto Rico was taken from the Spaniards as war reparations, some other islands were bought from the Spaniards for 20 million dollars (Uçarol, 2005: 224-233).

Thus, the USA came close to its present width with the lands it gained.

The strengthening of America took place mainly after the American Civil War, when it took care of its internal issues. At the end of the "Civil War", although the USA concealed its colonialism with its accumulated experience, it was in the position of an aggressive state that spread the fastest.

Cuba was indispensable for American interests (Uslubaş and Dağ, 2007:327) and gained its independence under American control. The island of Hawaii was captured by the United States just "so that the Japanese would not seize it".

The post-Civil War period was also a time of extraordinary development in American industry.

In the 1860s, President Johnson's (1865-1869) Secretary of State dreamed of an empire that included Canada and most of Mexico and went deep into the Pacific Ocean. In the 40-year period between the civil war in 1861 and the 20th century, coal production in the country increased 800 percent, steel rail production 500 percent, railroad length 550 times, and wheat production 250 times.

No country could stand by without turning this into a global impact. It was the same for the United States, which by 1900 had reached the capacity to build 14 warships and 13 cruisers simultaneously.

At the beginning of the 20th century, as industry developed, production increased, and the populations of industrializing countries could not consume this production. With a population of over 80 million, the Americans had become the largest industrial power producing 1/3 of the world's manufactured products.

Spain had already been defeated on the Latin American continent before. In 1902, England, who could not take the leadership any further, abandoned its claim to be the dominant power in Central America and left its place to the United States (Kissenger, 2006:30). (This was similar to Britain's withdrawal after the Second World War, leaving the Balkans and the Middle East to the USA). By 1903, Roesevelt had expanded the goal by saying: "The Pacific will become America's Mediterranean."  (Uslubaş and Dağ, 2007: 320-326).

Panama was a province of Colombia. When Colombia refused the demands of the USA, in 1903, with the provocation of the USA, riots broke out in Panama and Panama declared its independence. The USA immediately recognized Panama and agreed on the construction of the canal. The US also received financial protection over the Dominican in 1905. In 1906 US invaded Cuba. After that, they started to see the right to intervene wherever they wanted.

According to Roosevelt, "force-based diplomacy" was part of America's new global role (Kissenger, 2006:31).

Monroe was originally a plan for the United States to become a global power.

From the beginning, the Monroe doctrine was essential for the US power to be applied without compromise and unnoticed, and leaders who tended to deviate from these principles were never allowed. For example, after the First World War, President Wilson struggled for the US to intervene in Europe in order to become a global power, but despite all his efforts, the American Deep State did not allow it because the time had not yet come. Losing all 3 votes in the Senate, Wilson also lost the 1920 presidential election (Republican Warren G. Harding won).

If you pay attention, all of these were taking place at a time when it was thought that the USA did not display an aggressive attitude as per the doctrine and retreated into its shell. Thus, the USA organized its environment with the doctrine of realizing a peaceful purpose and succeeded in taking it under control. Europe, on the other hand, was worn out and lost power due to the competition among itself. The ruthless rivalry among themselves paved the way for the USA to become a center of power.

It will be seen that the USA will use and provoke the struggles and competition that it will create among other countries from now on and will benefit from this in the most appropriate way according to itself (Religiously provoking Europe against Muslims, creating fear of Russia in European public opinion, inciting the Greeks against the Turks, creating a fear of China for Asia, and forming a front against Venezuela in Latin America).

The main reason for this is that in the history of other continents going back thousands of years, there are bad memories with each other that should not be remembered as well as good ones. Those who want to use this situation constantly talk about and provoke bad memories to both sides, rather than good memories.Unfortunately, Europe and Asia could not save themselves from this spiral.

For the USA, this is a policy that it has planned and implemented as planned.

For the USA, the most important part of security policies has been its own close environment. In this sense, preventing the formation of a rival power especially in the America continent seems to be an accepted rule. Applications are already in this direction.

When the historical process of the Latin American policy of the USA is examined, it is seen that it goes back to about 200 years. Today, the USA, which continues its existence for the purpose of control in this region, has taken the Monroe Doctrine as a basis in its Latin America policy (Keskin, 2008).

Accordingly, while it pledged not to interfere in the internal affairs of the European continent, it stipulated that any European state should not intervene in its activities, especially in Latin America. Thus, with the doctrine proclaimed against the colonial European states in 1823, while in the Latin American continent was opposed to colonization, the region was included in the sphere of influence of the USA (Blouet, 2009: 105). As a result, the USA has chosen to expand its borders from Latin American countries, especially Mexico, sometimes by fighting and sometimes by buying land.

In the following years, especially since the middle of the 20th century, by making some additions to these policies; It has been seen that he developed different methods in the form of military, economic and political interventions.

The USA mostly used the soldiers and security forces of these countries while intervening in Latin American countries.

It is known that since the beginning of the 20th century, the number of military coups carried out by the USA in Latin American countries with its own support is more than 40 (Parag, 2009). Apart from this, the USA has also intervened by supporting economic institutions and the media. In this sense, interventionism as a less costly method; It also includes elements such as bribery to those who run the government, aid to political parties, destabilization campaigns, coup incentives, election manipulations, media, and weapon aid (Williams, 2012: 40).

In addition, "Latin American countries coming under the domination of another power or powers" has also been described as a threat for the United States. This threat: While Spain and England at the beginning of the 19th century, during the World War II was Germany and became USSR during the Cold War (Çağrı, 2012). Now it is seen as China and Russia.

In conclusion, to date, the USA has tried to neutralize the elements in its close environment, which it sees as a threat, by intervening in its own way with the appropriate means it has created.

However, today, in addition to the weariness of the US in the operations launched against many regions of the world, especially the Middle East and Afghanistan, because of the problems started to experience inside country after the President Trump era, it is seen that there are strong signs of the emergence of similar problems in the 1800s in his immediate surroundings.

In this context, while the economic and political power of China and Russia in many regions has increased in Latin America in recent years, on the other hand, it is understood that the USA has entered into a gradually developing spiral and encirclement environment due to the anti-US political.

Apart from the role of China and Russia in the Nicaragua Canal Project (which gave a 50+50-year concession to China), such as MERCOSUR (South American Common Market), which was established to offset the previously established US-led NAFTA (North American Free Trade Area) also makes the USA nervous.

In this sense, it should be kept in mind that the USA is finding harder to control the countries in the region and is far from being as effective as before in the coup attempts, as in the case of Brazil.

In short, it seems like the time has come for the USA to organize the interior of its own home, perhaps, in a world where, 200 years after the Monroe Doctrine, it is difficult to be effective in all parts with its dispersed appearance.



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