Roosevelt's Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine Essay

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Before considering Professor X’s assertion that the Roosevelt Corollary actually corrupted the Monroe Doctrine’s “benevolent intent,” it is worth considering whether or not the Monroe Docterine was as benevolent as the unnamed professor seems to suggest. Professor X considers Monroe’s 1823 Doctrine an act of benevolence, in which an increasingly dominant world power generously extends protection over its continental neighbors. Yet the Professor ignores the inherently imperialistic subtext that is contained within the Doctrine, and thus his comparison of the Monroe Doctrine to the Roosevelt Corollary omits a fundamental aspect of America’s colonialist history.
Monroe wrote that Spain and Portugal’s efforts "to improve the condition of
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They become, as Deborah Poole claims, an “imperial subject,” the focus of the “anxious and interested spectators” whose “racial discourses, administrative habits, historical narratives, and spatial configurations… form and legitimate imperial power”. With the public political protection of these nations assured in the eyes of other international “spectators” as a result of the Monroe Doctrine, the citizens of these nations felt an increased sense of protection that resonated throughout the region. Yet as the century progressed and America began using the Doctrine as the basis of militaristic action, these countries struggled to reconcile the idea of America as an ever-present force of veiled imperialism within their own national identity. This deceptively paternalistic hierarchy produced an evaluative system that relegated the recipient of such political protection as inferior, and fundamentally undermined any larger political benevolence the Monroe Doctrine contained.
Thus, Professor
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