Press/Journalists
Press Release
November 17, 1998
National Archives Features Monroe Doctrine in Special Document Display

"The American continents. . . are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European Power." (excerpt from President James Monroe's 7th Annual Message to Congress, December 2, 1823.)

Washington, DC. . . The National Archives and Records Administration will feature the Monroe Doctrine in a special document display in the Rotunda of the National Archives Building marking the 175th anniversary of the message. The exhibition will be on display from December 1 through December 20, 1998. It will feature several pages of the message containing President James Monroe's warning to European powers against further colonization and interference in the affairs of the American hemisphere. His statements, known as the Monroe Doctrine, are contained in a few paragraphs interspersed throughout his message to Congress.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. The National Archives Building is located at Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW.

On December 2, 1823, President James Monroe sent his 7th Annual Message to Congress. He covered many subjects of domestic interest from the country's finances to a consideration of a Chesapeake and Ohio canal. His message is best remembered, however, for the sections where Monroe, an experienced diplomat who helped negotiate Louisiana Purchase, turned to foreign and international issues.

President Monroe declared that the "American continents . . . are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for further colonization." Any attempt to extend European political systems to the New World would be considered "dangerous to our peace and safety". He wrote that, "In wars of the European powers in matters relating to themselves we have never taken any part, or nor does it comport with our policy so to do." Often referred to as the non-colonization and the non-interference principles, they were bold assertions of a growing American nationalism. By mid-century these principles became known as the Monroe Doctrine.

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.

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