Announced by Theodore Roosevelt in his December 1904 message to Congress, the policy asserted the ‘international police power’ of the United States. It would intervene in the affairs of any nation in the Western hemisphere whenever it deemed that ‘chronic wrong-doing or impotence’ made such intervention necessary. The policy represented a sweeping extension of the Monroe Doctrine (1823) by which the USA sought to prevent the interference of non-American powers within the western hemisphere on its own authority. It provided the basis for extensive US intervention in the internal affairs of most Latin American countries, and for turning especially the countries of Central America into informal US colonies for most of the century.
Subjects: Warfare and Defence — History.