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Foreign Affairs In The New Nation

627 words - 3 pages

"Early U.S. foreign policy was primarily a defensive reaction to perceived or actual threats from Europe. Despite their efforts to follow a foreign policy of isolationism, President Madison and Monroe had no choice but to become involved in foreign affairs." The former generalization's validity can either be defended by saying the United States did all they could before becoming involved in foreign affairs, or it could be attacked by saying they were too quick to interact with Europe, and more could have been done to avoid involvement. The statement is valid because Europe was causing lots of problems and distress for American's, as they were hurting citizens and invading the U.S. America attempted many different ways to seek peace with Europe before it took further action. The U.S. clearly did not want to get involved in foreign affairs, and only did so once they had exhausted all other options.
Before the United States declared war on Britain in 1812, President James Madison tried to find a peaceful way to cease France and England's attacks and impressment on American ships. He proposed the Non-Intercourse act to both countries, and was lied to by one and denied by the other. Europe's inability to cooperate was not the U.S.'s fault. On top of England and France not wanting to see reason, Madison was being urged to take action against Britain by many southern and western states and territories. Britain wasn't only attacking American's on sea, but they were also helping the Native Americans attack the settlers by providing them with weapons. This and the impressment of sailors made southern and western states furious at England, causing them to want to go to war. The British in modern-day Canada had to be forced out to make it safe for westward expansion. The U.S....

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