Catholic Monroeism: U.S. Support for the Catholic Church During the Mexican Revolution

Anne M. Martínez*

*Corresponding author for this work

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    In 1823, President James Monroe declared the Western Hemisphere off-limits to European powers, and in 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt offered a corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, claiming a role for the U.S. in policing Latin America. The term Catholic Monroeism describes the application of the Monroe Doctrine and the Roosevelt Corollary to support the Catholic Church in Mexico during the Mexican Revolution. Facing anticlerical rhetoric and policies that restricted the Catholic Church's freedom in Mexico between 1914 and 1929, the U.S. government intervened on behalf of the Church. State Department records show the church-state conflict in Mexico was at the forefront of diplomatic discussions between the two countries. The U.S. government, in weighing intervention in Mexico, believed that the Church could promote harmony and order during a time of national upheaval and violence. Defending Catholicism in Mexico served as a vital component of American foreign policy and a matter of national self-interest for U.S. Catholics, whose previous attention to foreign relations focused on their European homelands.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)123-143
    Number of pages21
    JournalU.S. Catholic Historian
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan-2021

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