Jay's Treaty Essay

3189 words - 13 pages

The highly contested Jay Treaty, though extremely unpopular with the Republicans, is the most effective course of action to ensure prolonged peace and prosperity for our fledgling country.The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay, was chosen to negotiate and confront many of the issues that, despite the signing the Treaty of Paris in 1783, still lingered and strained relations between the United States and Britain. John Jay was chosen because as Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the 1780s, he confronted many of the issues that were still of concern for the United States Government.1 This was because of the outbreak of war between the British and the French and by an Order in Council issued on November 6, 1793, in which1John Jay to Congress, 5/8/1786Britain had authorized seizures on neutral ships to include trade with the French West Indies.2 The anti-British feeling in the House of Representatives became so strong that on the 7th of April 1794 a resolution was introduced to prohibit commercial intercourse between the United States and Great Britain until the north-western posts were evacuated and Great Britain's seizure policy was abandoned. President Washington, fearing that war might result, appointed John Jay as a negotiator to Great Britain for the purpose of negotiating a new treaty, and the Senate confirmed the appointment by a vote of 18 to 8,Though Jay accepted the mission by George Washington he was not excited about the appointment. When the senate approved the nomination Jay noted "No appointment ever operated more unpleasantly upon me."3America and Britain both have concerns in relation to the negotiations of the treaty. The concerns expressed, and to be discussed by the American government, included the British disruption of American trade with other countries, impressments of American sailors, Britain's continued occupation of military posts on American territory, Americans demands by their former owners for the return of slaves taken by the British and, to a lesser extent Britain purposely inciting the Native Americans to fight American settlers.2 Newcomb, Josiah T. "New Light on Jay's Treaty." The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 28. No.4. (OCT., 1934), p. 6853Estes, Todd, The Jay Treaty Debate, Public Opinion, and the Evolution of Early American Political Culture. 1963, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, p. 25"Everyone in the United States regards the seizures as illegal depredations upon our commerce and in each case diplomatic protests of an energetic character were made.4 To make hostilities worse, the British secretly authorized the seizures without telling the American colonies until almost three hundred ships were confiscated.5 The Federalist in the United States, who are comprised of merchants, manufacturers, and shippers rely heavily on Britain for trade, and to declare war on Britain would cripple the economy of the United States.In addition to the seizures of American ships, the British Navy...

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