Foreign Policy in US Politics
Sample Term Paper
Federalist Party position on Foreign policy was quite distinct. They took an aggressive attitude toward France, including undeclared naval war. The justification was that France was being excessively arrogant in American dealings, especially XYZ Affair. Also, France’s government had changed so radically that America no longer thought its treaties were valid. They were semi-aggressive towards Britain. The British violated Neutrality Act and seized cargo; also took sailors. British still possessed forts in America. Jay’s Treaty settled with British. Spain signed Pinckney’s Treaty, were impressed by America and desired friendship and alliance. They tried to help with Indian problems in Florida. The overall justification for the federalists’ stance on foreign policy was that America was a rapidly developing nation and had to prove itself on a world platform. The main backers of the party were wealthy and well known, and thus would be able to weather conflicts with foreign countries.
Federalist Party position’s had a great impact on the nation. Washington and Adams were first two Presidents and also Federalists (although Washington to somewhat lesser extent); thus their actions were those of the Federalist Party and also the first major actions of the nation in foreign affairs.
The anti-federalists positions held that they wanted to settle with French and British, due to America’s lack of a strong military. The justification: America wasn’t a world power, and thus it was a poor idea to provoke Britain and France. Also, war would have an extremely negative effect on the farmers and merchants that made up the party. Democratic-Republican position’s impact on nation was distinct as well. Constituencies of party were employed in the tasks of most of the nation (farming, mercantilism, etc.) Thus, the interests of the majority of the citizens seemed to be with the Democratic-Republicans.
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