America’s first foreign policy formulated by George Washington and John Adams had, as its primary goal, the avoidance of war at all costs. Washington and Adams had many reasons to support their decision. Although the French disagreed with their decision, it would be a new country’s best interests to stay neutral with a country that they influenced revolution upon.
In 1794, Washington proclaimed the Proclamation of Neutrality when a revolution broke out in France. The French diplomat, Citizen Genet, was sent to America to discuss terms of their alliance now that they were in the time of need. First of all, Washington and Adams made the decision to stay neutral since their treaty with France was no longer effective. The alliance with France had been formed when King Louis XVII had been in power. The one exception was that King Louis was dead. Washington decided that the treaty was no longer in use and they would not send troops over to France.
Second of all, the new country was in small turmoil. Debt has to be paid off within the government, to citizens, and to other countries. There was no financial aid for another war. The country was caught in a financial slump. The country’s leaders also had many different outlooks on war. Jefferson, as a Francophile, thought it would be in the country’s best interests to aid France in their time of war. Washington and Adams, however, did not concur. Hamilton, who was power hungry, praised the importance of having a military and going to war.
Thirdly, another treaty had come into effect about the same time period, called Jay’s Treaty. Terms of the treaty included that the British had to evacuate forts in the country, America would compensate the loyalists, and America would be able to trade with the West Indies. However, the main goal of the treaty was to halt impressment, the force of American sailors to join British ships, but the issue was not resolved. John Jay also avoided war with Britain by coming up with the...