Skip to main content

Roosevelt Corollary


ROOSEVELT COROLLARY to the Monroe Doctrine, a unilateral declaration claiming a U.S. prerogative of exercising "international police power" in the Western Hemisphere, was first set forth by President Theodore Roosevelt on 20 May 1904 in a public letter to Secretary of War Elihu Root. Roosevelt was particularly alarmed in 1902 by the blockade and bombardment of Venezuela by Germany and Great Britain, writing Root, "Brutal wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilizing society, may finally require intervention by some civilized nation; and in the Western Hemisphere the United States cannot ignore this duty." In his annual messages of 6 December 1904 and 5 December 1905, he invoked the Monroe Doctrine in this regard. In March 1905, in order to forestall forced debt collection in Santo Domingo by Italy, France, and Belgium, he appointed a collector of customs in that indebted nation and established a de facto protectorate. Never before had the Monroe Doctrine, itself a unilateral pronouncement, been used to forbid temporary European intervention in order to collect debts or honor international obligations. During the presidencies of William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson, intervention in Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Nicaragua was defended on the basis of the Roosevelt Corollary.


Collin, Richard H. Theodore Roosevelt's Caribbean: The Panama Canal, the Monroe Doctrine, and the Latin American Context. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1990.

Munro, Dana G. Intervention and Dollar Diplomacy in the Caribbean, 1900–1921. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1964.

Justus D.Doenecke

See alsoCaribbean Policy ; Dollar Diplomacy ; Intervention ; Latin America, Relations with ; Monroe Doctrine .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Roosevelt Corollary." Dictionary of American History. . 21 Jul. 2018 <>.

"Roosevelt Corollary." Dictionary of American History. . (July 21, 2018).

"Roosevelt Corollary." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved July 21, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.