Why did the United States invade Cuba? (Read each source below, then answer the questions in the notebook. Ask your teacher for an inquiry organizer worksheet to help you think about the ways that the sources support and contradict each other.)


READ: Monroe Doctrine

Head Note: 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 power1 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....

1By 1823, many Latin American countries had already won their independence. For example, Mexico, Venezuela, and Peru all achieved independence from Spain in 1821, and Haiti won its independence from France as early as 1804. Brazil was in the midst of its fight for independence, which it would not gain until 1825. Cuba remained a colony of Spain.

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

USE THE NOTEBOOK (instructions):

To answer these questions, log in below

Contextualizing: Situate the document and events it reports in place and time.

Who gave this speech and when? Aside from Congress, who is really supposed to hear this address?

Close Reading: Read carefully to consider what a source says and the language used to say it.

What is Monroe's main message?

Contextualizing: Situate the document and events it reports in place and time.

There was a time when almost all of South and Central America was colonized by Spain. What does the phrase "governments who have declared their independence" suggest about developments in these colonies long before the Spanish-American War?

Please log in to use the notebook

Create new account