United States Foreign Policy

In the United States, foreign policy is made by the president with input from Congress. Therefore, when studying US foreign policy, we often make reference to the policies established by specific presidential administrations.

In order to sped greater light on the history of US foreign policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean, El Hemisferio created the “Presidential Doctrine Collection”, hereafter “the Collection”. It was created to provide access to primary source documents related to US foreign policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Collection is broken down by presidency, region, and country. Each regional and country section begins with a brief description and synopsis. This includes references to documents that are not included in the collection. All sources referenced can either be found in the Collection or through the United State National Archives.

The Collection is not comprehensive. The documents provided here only reflect those documents digitally available. It does not include documents that have not been digitized or from other sources, such as FRUS.

The Collection is curated and does not include all references to the country in question. For most cases, documents were excluded due to lack of substance, e.g. a brief reference during a press conference and speech.

George Washington (1789-1797)

John Adams (1797-1801)

Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)

James Madison (1809-1817)

James Monroe (1817-1825)

John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)

Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)

Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)

William Henry Harrison (1841)

John Tyler (1841-1845)


December 18, 1844: Message Regarding US-Mexican Affairs

James Polk (1845-1849)


March 24, 1846: Message Regarding Increase in Military Force

May 11, 1846: War Message to Congress

May 13, 1846: Announcement of War with Mexico

August 8, 1846: Message Regarding Settlement with Mexico

February 22, 1848: Message Regarding Treaty Of Guadelupe Hidalgo

July 4, 1848: Announcement of Peace Treaty with Mexico

July 6, 1848: Message Regarding the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

January 2, 1849: Message Regarding War-time Measures

February 8, 1849: Message Regarding the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)

Millard Fillmore (1850-1853)

Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)

February 10, 1854: Message to Senate on Treaty with Mexico

May 15, 1854: Message Regarding Transit Across Central America

James Buchanan (1857-1861)

February 18, 1859: Special Message Regarding Transit Across Central America

Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)

Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)

Ulysses Grant (1869-1877)

May 31, 1870: Message Regarding Dominican Republic Annexation

Rutherford Hayes (1877-1881)

James Garfield (1881)

Chester Arthur (1881-1885)

April 18, 1882: Message Regarding Congress of American Countries

December 10, 1884: Message Regarding Central American Canal

Grover Cleveland (1885-1889)

Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893)

January 28, 1892: Message Regarding US-Chilean Affairs

Grover Cleveland (1893-1897)

William McKinley (1897-1901)

Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)

William Taft (1909-1913)

Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)

Warren Harding (1921-1923)

Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)

Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)

Franklin Roosevelt (1933-1945)

Harry Truman (1945-1953)

Dwight Eisenhower (1953-1961)

John Kennedy (1961-1963)

Lyndon Johnson (1963-1969)

Richard Nixon (1969-1974)

Gerald Ford (1974-1977)

Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)

Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)

January 28, 1981: Remarks At The White House With Prime Minister Edward Philip George Seaga of Jamaica

February 24, 1981: Statement by the Press Secretary on the Formation of the United States Business Committee on Jamaica

April 21, 1981: Message to the Senate Transmitting the United States-British Virgin Islands Convention on Taxation and Fiscal Evasion

June 8-9, 1981: Remarks during a Visit from President Jose Lopez Portillo of Mexico

July 10, 1981: Statement on Signing a Bill To Approve a Constitution for the United States Virgin Islands

January 12, 1982: Statement Reaffirming Support Of Statehood For Puerto Rico

January 21, 1982: Executive Order 12341 — Cuban and Haitian Entrants

George H.W. Bush (1989-1993)

Bill Clinton (1993-2001)

George W. Bush (2001-2009)

Barack Obama (2009-2017)

Donald Trump (2017-present)

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