U.S. #325 commemorates Monroe’s role in acquiring the Louisiana Territory.

James Monroe Announces Monroe Doctrine

On December 2, 1823, President James Monroe introduced the foreign policy doctrine that bears his name.

The last president of the “Virginia Dynasty” (four out of the first five presidents were from Virginia), James Monroe was a level-headed and respected force throughout his political career. He participated in the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, negotiated the Louisiana Purchase, and implemented the Missouri Compromise. He diligently worked to maintain peace and unity, and to keep America free from foreign oppression.

U.S. #591 – Monroe’s time in office is sometimes referred to as the “Era of Good Feeling.”

In 1817,  Monroe selected John Quincy Adams as his Secretary of State. In this role, Adams helped settle a boundary dispute with England and added Florida to the U.S. Following the First Seminole War, in which Andrew Jackson pushed Seminole Indians south and removed one governor and chose another, most of Washington believed Jackson had exceeded his authority. But Adams argued that since Spain was unable to control its territories, the U.S. needed to defend itself. Adams met with Spanish foreign minister Luis de Onís to establish the Adams-Onís Treaty, which made Florida a territory of the U.S. and settled border disputes dating back to the Louisiana Purchase.

U.S. #1038 was issued on December 2, 1954, the anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine.

In response to this, neighboring European countries issued threats of an alliance to help Spain retake control of its former territories in the Americas. Monroe’s friends and colleagues Thomas Jefferson and James Madison urged him to accept the British offer of an alliance against France and Spain. Instead, Monroe chose to follow the advice of John Quincy Adams, who believed America should not be influenced by European intrusions. Adams emphasized that American policy was only to serve as moral support for independence movements, but not armed intervention. Though it bears Monroe’s name, Adams wrote the Monroe Doctrine.

U.S. #1105 was issued on Monroe’s 200th birthday – April 28, 1958.

On December 2, 1823, President Monroe addressed Congress with what would later be called the Monroe Doctrine. President Monroe declared that “…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.”

U.S. #811 – For his work on the Monroe Doctrine and other foreign policies, Adams is considered one of America’s best secretaries of state.

With this speech, Monroe declared to the major world powers that America would no longer be accessible to European colonization. He also warned against any European nations attempting to impress political influence in America. Monroe also stressed that America would stay out of European affairs, and expected the same from them.

Item #81460 – Commemorative cover cancelled in Adams’ hometown on his 218th birthday.

Several Presidents have invoked the doctrine over the years, making it the cornerstone of America’s foreign policy. Click here to see how the doctrine has been used over time.

Click the images to add this history to your collection.

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  1. As a non-US citizen with however much interest in US History, I have learned from this article that John Quincy Adams wrote the essential parts of the Monroe Doctrine, which we learned about in World History in high school. With due respect to all “Founding Brothers (Title of J.J. Ellis’ Book)”, I feel that throughout US History The Adams family of presidents and famous people, has been underexposed regarding the significant contributions made to their nascent nation and beyond. There are many stamps honoring G. Washington and T. Jefferson, but many less honoring the 2nd President. Although both father and son have been only one-time presidents, their contributions have been as immense as the ones by the two term “brothers”. Abigail Adams would be my super-candidate to be the first lady on the next twenty-dollar bill. I applaud the efforts by the Mystic Stamp Company for the highly didactic and objective efforts to instruct all on US History in all directions of social and cultural life.

  2. Our daily history lessons are so interesting and something is always learned. These should be used in school as the children are losing so much knowledge with the brushing off of these facts. Some of our leaders today should take heed in the leadership of our forefathers. Keep up the good work!

  3. Great look into a very important time in the history of our country and the world. Thank you for the link to the History Channel, for the look at how the Monroe [Adams] Doctrine has impacted our history in the not so distant past, as well. I love it when you add links for photos, documents and added information. Nice work, Mystic.

  4. There are all kinds of 2¢ reds showing the left profile of George Washington, beginning with the 1890 small posts and their derivatives of 1894-95 and 1898. The 1902 series skipped this, but it was again featured on the 1908 & subsequent (Washington-Franklin) issues, and then again with the new designs of 1922 and their subsequent derivatives. Get hold of any Scott US Specialized catalog, and it will help you identify your stamp. It may turn out to be a valuable one, but I doubt it–most are dirt-common.

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