Jay's Treaty in the States

Essay by Adam LippA+, November 1996

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'If this country is preserved in tranquillity twenty years longer, it may bid defiance in a just cause to any power whatever; such in that time will be its popularity, wealth and resources,' stated by George Washington in response to demonstrators over the Jay Treaty. 1 Washington's remark was regarding the public's uproar following the release of information on the status of the discord with Great Britain. The people had just been informed of the contents of the Jay Treaty which were: 1) Britain agreed to give up the fur posts in American territory, 2) Britain also agreed to submit to arbitration the questions of disputed boundaries, the damage done to American shipping, and the debts due to British merchants. Although the people did not like these terms, Washington supported them to prevent us from going to war. Washington made his first move by sending a delegate to England, and furthermore by standing up to congress to get this treaty ratified.

He demonstrates again his great moral courage for the welfare of his country.

Although Washington himself did not write the treaty he deserves all the credit for initiating it in the first place. The times had become rough with the British, and according to Hamilton the British were a vital part of our economy. He said ' ...the tax on imports furnished much of the money for paying off our foreign, domestic, and state debts.' 2 Along with the British's impressment of American seamen and their role in our economy Washington knew something had to be done. Washington knew that the tension between America and England had to be thinned out so he decided to send over a special envoy. The individual chosen for the job was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay. John Jay had...