Jay's Treaty

Essay by lestat_89040College, Undergraduate November 2006

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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 which

1John Jay to Congress, 5/8/1786

Britain 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."3

America 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...