Ever since the first days of Washington's presidency, the United States was constantly being tried and tested time and time again by the superpowers of the "Old World." America always had a notion that the European powers should keep their sticky fingers out of western hemisphere affairs. This belief was formally declared in the monumental Monroe Doctrine. Never ratified or passed by congress as a formal law, the Monroe Doctrine is listed as one of the most influential documents in American history. This article formed the basis of our nation's foreign policy. .
The Monroe Doctrine was a stroke of genius of John Adams, the actual author of the declaration. At the time of the doctrine, France had lost much of its territory in the forming of Mexico, Russia was beginning to colonize in the northwest section of America, and Greece was fighting its war for independence and calling on America for support. Britain had emerged victorious from the Napoleonic wars and controlled the seas with the Royal Navy. The United States, on the other hand, was struggling militarily and extremely fragile. Then, for apparently no reason, Britain offered the United States an alliance. Most politicians were dumbfounded as to why the strongest world power needed the weakest. However Adams, then Secretary of State, realized their scheme. The British were fearful that the United States would take Spanish Florida and Cuba, jeopardizing their prized Caribbean trade. Adams assumed that this alliance was not necessary at all. He believed that the Royal Navy would keep foreign powers out of South America anyways because it was an extremely valuable trade route for the British. After Adams won Monroe over, Monroe declared the new national policy in his Monroe Doctrine. The two key points of this doctrine were nonintervention and noncolonization. The policy of nonintervention declared that the United States would not become involved in "Old World" affairs.