In 1823, after many discrepancies dealing with European nations, President James Monroe "incorporated a stern warning to European powers," (Bailey, Cohen, and Kennedy, 253) in the form of the Monroe Doctrine. The Doctrine stated that all European intervention with both of the American continents would cease to exist. In 1905, President Roosevelt altered the true purpose of the Monroe Doctrine to fit his needs. He used the Monroe Doctrine to validate the involvement of the United States in the affairs of South American nations. Roosevelt gained support by this relation to the much respected Doctrine, and used his "big stick policy" to enforce his Corollary. U.S. foreign policy changed in the face of the Corollary both negatively and positively, leaving lasting effects upon the nation.
President Monroe's Doctrine intended to keep Europe from meddling in affairs of the Western Hemisphere. Many South American nations, such as Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, owed debts to European countries, and were not capable of compensation. "Seeking to force payment, German warships sank two Venezuelan gunboats and bombarded a town in early 1903," (Bailey, Cohen, and Kennedy, 657). Also, "the European creditors then had no real excuse for interfering, for they received their regular payments," (Bailey and Kennedy, 195). Roosevelt saw that the Germans and Britons meant business and believed that it was more rational for these South American countries to be obliged in their debts to the United States as opposed to the unrelenting European powers. "He (President Roosevelt) feared that if the Germans or British got their foot in the door as bill collectors, they might remain in Latin America, in flagrant violation of the Monroe Doctrine," (Bailey, Cohen, and Kennedy, 657). The United States, looking to obstruct such desecrations, took care of the debts owed, and regarded Europe as having no need to be further involved in the business of the Western Hemisphere.