The Avoidance of War

Topics: John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, President of the United States Pages: 2 (600 words) Published: December 19, 2012
“America’s first foreign policy formulated by President George Washington and John Adams had as its primary goal the avoidance of war at all costs.”
The above statement is a fact. Presidents Washington and Adams did everything in their power to avoid war. This idea is supported by the Jay treaty with Great Briton, the farewell address of George Washington, and the convention of 1800.

The first supporting reason why we know that George Washington avoided war at all costs was the Jay Treaty, negotiated by chief justice John Jay, and ratified in June of 1795. This treaty was meant to assert America as a neutral nation and solve disputes that the British had ignored ever since the Treaty of Paris. Because one of the main goals of the treaty was asserting the neutrality of America, it can easily be grasped that this treaty was to avoid war. Also, as it dealt with prewar debts owed to Great Briton from Americans in return for the evacuation of British forts on American lands, both countries lost a motive to fight against each other, meaning that war was less likely, the main goal of America’s first foreign policy.

The second reason why we know that George Washington and John Adams wanted to avoid war at all costs is in George Washington’s farewell address. In it, he stressed “to maintain commercial but not political ties to other nations and enter no permanent alliances”. What it means by ‘entering no permanent alliances’ is that America should not position itself in a way that an allied country entering into a war would bring America into the war, thus not avoiding war. What he meant by ‘to maintain … [no] political ties to other nations’ is that America should not mix the American political system with another countries political system, for example, the president marrying a French noblewoman. Doing so would enter America into a lasting alliance with that country, possibly forcing America into a war, which is strictly adverse to George Washington’s farewell...
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