DIRECTIONS: Read the assignment prompt. Use the material in the right pane to review the sources and your answers from the Inquiry page, by selecting a source and then using the tabs. Compose your answer in the box on the left. Use the email form to send your answer to your instructor.

ASSIGNMENT: "The explosion of the U.S.S. Maine caused the United States to invade Cuba in 1898." Use the documents provided and your own knowledge to evaluate this statement. Do you agree with this explanation of the causes of the Spanish American War? Why or why not? Use and cite evidence from the documents to support your analysis of this statement.



Monroe Doctrine

In 1823, President James Monroe made a bold foreign policy speech to Congress that signified a departure from past U.S. isolationism. The principles he laid out in the speech would become known as the “Monroe Doctrine” and would influence policy decisions thereafter.

[T]he American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers....

The citizens of the United States cherish sentiments the most friendly, in favor of the liberty and happiness of their fellow men on that side of the Atlantic. In the wars of the European powers, in matters relating to themselves, we have never taken any part.... It is only when our rights are invaded, or seriously menaced, that we resent injuries, or make preparation for our defense. With the movements in this hemisphere, we are, of necessity, more immediately connected.... We owe it, therefore, to candor, and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers, to declare, that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere, as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered, and shall not interfere. But with the governments who have declared their independence, and maintained it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration, and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling, in any other manner, their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition towards the United States....

Excerpt from President James Monroe’s Seventh Annual Message to Congress, December 2, 1823.

Please log in to use the notebook

Create new account