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Americas Growing Pains1

America’s first two presidents, George Washington and John Adams, both resolutely adhered to the idea that America should endeavor to stay out of war at all times, and did everything in their power to evade declaring and entering into war. Throughout their reigns, war was ubiquitous in Europe, and many countries (especially Britain and France) made numerous attempts to obtain and secure America’s support. Washington and Adams both believed that America should not side with any foreign country during times of war making the fundamental purport of America’s first foreign policy the elusion of war at all costs. This policy was manifested throughout Washington and Adams’ involvement in, and reactions to the following affairs: the Citizen Genet controversy, the Jay Treaty, and the XYZ Affair. One of Washington’s initial attempts to pursue this policy was his counteraction to the Genet Affair. In 1793, George Washington proclaimed neutrality, thus declaring America an uninvolved, nonpartisan country in times of war. Simultaneously, Edmond Charles Genet was sent to the United States as a special representative from France to implore support in the French Revolution. Genet had previously resolved that the proclamation of neutrality was a “harmless little pleasantry designed to throw dust in the eyes of the British”. Commencing in Charleston, South Carolina, Genet traveled throughout the United States presenting his credentials. In addition to his quest for support, he began to license American vessels to operate as privateers against British shipping and to grant French military commissions to a number of Americans in order to prepare expeditions against Spanish and British territorial claims in North America. These two actions were in direct defilement of American law. Washington demanded that he cease his unlawful actions, but Genet continued to commission privateers because he enticed the p...

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Americas Growing Pains1. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 01:27, August 29, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/47301.html