The Monroe Doctrine was a foreign policy of the United States, proclaimed in 1823 during the presidency of President James Monroe. It said that European powers do not belong in The Americas, or in the Western Hemisphere in general. In particular, most of the Spanish Empire in South America had recently become independent, due to the Napoleonic Wars against France. Having won the Peninsular War, Spain wanted its empire back, and the Monroe Doctrine said the United States would resist that. The United Kingdom agreed and helped enforce the Monroe Doctrine.