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A Study Of Washington's Presidential Action And The 1793 John Jay's Treaty

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  • Category Law
  • Topic John Jay
  • Words 674 (1 page)
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Presidential actions have had important results in the United States. Some of these actions are

Washington sends John Jay to negotiate Jay s Treaty

Jefferson negotiates Purchase of Louisiana Territory

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Lincoln Issues the Emancipation Proclamation

Washington sends John Jay to negotiate Jay s Treaty. George Washington was faced with a large problem with Great Britain. In December of 1793, the British began to seize American ships on impress their sailors. The House of Representatives passed legislation to stop all trade to England, but the bill was stopped in the Senate. Tensions ran high, Federalists wanted to avoid war with Britain. Alexander Hamilton was worried about stopping trade with Britain because his financial plans relied on taxes on British imports. As a last resort, Washington sent his Chief Justice John Jay to Britain to try to reach an agreement. Jay faced the problem of Hamilton telling the British that the US would not join any alliances against Britain. The British in turn saw no reason to stop impressing American sailors.

John Jay worked on bargaining with the British for a year. He could not agree to anything regarding maritime law. When the news spread to Americans, they were outraged. Jay s Treaty was successful in a few ways: 1) The British allowed American ships to go to India and the West Indies to trade. 2) The British agreed to leave the frontier fur posts in American territory by June 1, 1796.

Jefferson negotiates Purchase of Louisiana Territory. Thomas Jefferson was a strict interpreter of the Constitution. Then, opportunities in Europe made him stretch the constitution and spend more money than Federalists were comfortable with. Many American were begging to move farther and farther west, and depending more and more on the Mississippi to transport their goods. Jefferson saw this and supported growth towards the east and he wanted new farms to develop. The US worried about having to deal with Spain s domination of the Mississippi territory, but then word began to spread that Napoleon controlled the area. Jefferson authorized James Monroe and Robert Livingston to buy the mouth of the Mississippi for $2 Million and to spend up to $10 Million.

Napoleon responded to the offer with a counter offer of the whole entire Louisiana Territory (Appx. 500,000 acres). Jefferson was faced with a very hard decision, whether or not to buy what was thought to be a large amount of useless land. In the end, Jefferson dealt with Congress and ratified a treaty to buy the Louisiana Territory from France. The Purchase was a great achievement for Jefferson because it showed his wit and the power of the Constitution. In addition to the political aspects, the Purchased doubled the physical size of the United States.

Lincoln Issues the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln s primary plan was not to free the slaves, but to preserve the Union. At the beginning of the Civil War, Lincoln did not emancipate slaves because he wanted to keep the border-slave states in the union. Also, on August 30, 1861, General Fremont emancipated slaves of rebels in Missouri, and Lincoln overruled his decision. Lincoln by no means supported slavery, he just thought if the south seceded from the union- All would be lost. The simple fact is, that if he emancipated all slaves, the south would have most likely started a separate nation based on slavery.

After the north won the Civil War, Lincoln brought forth his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. He made it clear that anyone who owned a slave would be considered trying to rebel. Attempts were made to end slavery, but nothing worked until the Thirteenth Amendment was passed in December of 1865. After that, the Civil war was fought to preserver the union and it did.

As Chief of State, the president has the power to affect his/her country in all ways, political and social. Many presidents have affected the US by declaring war, or stopping war.


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