Olney interpretation

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The Olney interpretation (also known as the Olney corollary or Olney declaration) was United States Secretary of State Richard Olney's interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine when a border dispute occurred between British Guiana and Venezuela. Olney claimed that the Monroe Doctrine gave the United States authority to mediate border disputes in the Western Hemisphere. Olney extended the meaning of the Monroe Doctrine, which had previously stated merely that the Western Hemisphere was closed to additional European colonization.

"Today the United States is practically sovereign on this continent and its fiat is law upon the subjects to which it confines its interposition.... its infinite resources combined with its isolated position render it master of the situation and practically invulnerable as against any or all other powers." -Richard Olney (1895)

The border dispute was settled by arbitration in 1897, and the Olney interpretation was defunct by 1933.

Bibliography[edit]

  • George B. Young, "Intervention Under the Monroe Doctrine: The Olney Corollary," Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 57, No. 2 (Jun., 1942), pp. 247-280 in JSTOR