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Vermilion Parish Schools
Activity 12: Monroe Doctrine (GLE: 60)

Materials List:  computer/Internet (optional), copies of the Monroe Doctrine, The Monroe Doctrine BLM

Explain to the class what the Monroe Doctrine is and how it impacted the independence of America. Ask students to brainstorm the following questions:  Who was James Monroe? Who assisted in writing the document?  How did it benefit Americans? Was everyone in favor of the changes that emerged from the doctrine?  Ask students to read an excerpt from the Monroe Doctrine in preparation for a class discussion in which the document will be analyzed. Ask students to identify positive actions in the document by completing The Monroe Doctrine BLM. (See sample below.)  Note: A copy of the Monroe Doctrine should be given to students before the class is divided into groups of three or four to complete the chart.

The Monroe Doctrine

Positive Principles



Examples of positive principles might include: 

  1. The American continents were no longer subject to colonization.
  2. The political system in the Americas was different from Europe (constitutional monarchies) and interference from Europe would be considered a threat to them.

Guide discussion to illustrate the importance of the British navy in controlling the Atlantic. How did the Monroe Doctrine improve United States relations with other countries in North and South America?  How did this doctrine keep the U.S. free from the politics of Europe and devastating wars precipitated by European countries in the 1800ís?

Have students imagine they are European diplomats in the United States. Ask students to write a letter to their government describing the Monroe Doctrine and suggest how their government should react to it.

Background Information

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