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CHAP: first treaty with Great Britain. It would be a very diffi
cult task to obtain all that the American people thought 1701. they had a right to ask. There were many assumptions
of power which England would be unwilling to yield. To negotiate under such circumstances required much skill and judgment.
On his arrival in England, Jay was treated with great courtesy and respect, and a disposition was manifested to amicably arrange the difficulties which had arisen between the two countries.
Both parties had their complaints to make. The one, that the Western posts had not been given up according to the treaty; that their neutral rights were not respected ; that compensation had not been given for the slaves carried off at the close of the war ; that their merchants were excluded from the West India trade, and that British sailors, who by adoption had become Americans, were impressed and forcibly taken out of American ships.
The other, that debts contracted with English merchants prior to the Revolution could not be collected ; that the property of Tories had not been accounted for. A treaty was finally concluded, not such as Jay wished, nor as justice demanded, but the best that could be obtained under the circumstances.
The Western posts were to be given up in two years ; the West India trade was granted on certain conditions, while free admission was given to British ports in Europe and in the East Indies, but no compensation could be obtained for the negroes. On the other hand, provision was made for the collection of the debts complained of.
A great clamor was raised against the treaty, which was grossly misrepresented. One party contended that its ratification would produce war with France, the other that its rejection would lead to a war with England. There were stormy debates on the subject in Congress, and in some of the State Legislatures. But when the difficulties
DEPREDATIONS ON COMMERCE-ALGERINE PIRATES.
that stood in the way of obtaining more desirable con- CHAP: ditions became known, and when the character of the treaty itself was understood, the more intelligent and con- 1795.
June. servative portion of the people, were in favor of accepting it. After a fortnight's debate in secret session the Senate advised its ratification, and thus was secured peace for some years ; under the circumstances, a very important gain.
Treaties were also negotiated with Spain, in which the boundaries between the United States, Louisiana, and Florida were more definitely settled. The free navigation of the Mississippi was also secured to both parties, and the Americans were granted for three years the privilege of making New Orleans a place of deposit for their trade.
American commerce, deriving its main resources in the New England States, had increased very rapidly; the trade to the Mediterranean was, however, much hindered by depredations committed upon it by Algerine pirates. Whether to purchase an exemption from these annoyances, as Europe had been in the habit of, or to send a fleet and punish the marauders, was a difficult question to
It was thought better, for the present, to redeem the American sailors held as slaves by these bar- Sept.
5. barians. On this occasion a bill was passed to build six frigates ; this was the foundation of the Navy of the United States. The following year a treaty was made with the Dey of Algiers, and the captives released on the payment of a heavy ransom-nearly a million of dollars were paid for this purpose. This money expended in fitting out an armament, and thoroughly chastising the pirates, would have been better policy,—as was proved some years afterwards.
Three more States—Vermont, Kentucky, and Ten- 1796. nessee--were admitted into the Union during the administration. As Washington was unwilling to serve another term,
CHAP: the two parties arrayed their forces for a trial of strength
The Federalists nominated John Adams for President and 1796. the Republicans Thomas Jefferson. The parties were
very nearly equally divided. Adams received two more 1797. votes than Jefferson, and was declared to be elected
President, and the latter Vice-President.
Before retiring from public life Washington published a farewell address to the people of the United States. They responded to it with respect and affection ; the outburst of a nation's gratitude. It was a truly paternal address, warning the nation against party strife and sectional jealousies, advising the policy of impartial neutrality toward other nations when at war with each other, and as a safeguard to liberty, the preservation of the Union and the Constitution.
Thus ended the eight years of Washington's administration. When it commenced all was unsettled. Now the government was established. In that short time it had been severely tested.
The general policy of his administration became the fixed policy of the government of the United States. The most enduring monument of his integrity and wisdom ; of his patriotic and Christian principles. Strange as it may seem, the annals of unscrupulous political warfare do not furnish a parallel to the scurrilous slanders that were heaped upon him, not only during his administration, but at its close. Such were the disreputable means used to induce the United States to become the ally of France and to join in a war against the hated England.
JOHN ADAMS' ADMINISTRATION.
Serious Aspect of Relations with France.-Commissioners of Peace.—The
French Cruisers.-The Alien Act.-War impending.–Washington,
The policy of the new administration was like that of CHAP. the preceding, the cabinet officers of which were retained. The new President was not more influenced by love for 1797. England than by admiration for France. He had no expectation that the latter country would establish a government upon just and righteous principles. He expressed a “determination to maintain peace and inviolate faith with all nations, and neutrality and impartiality with the belligerent powers of Europe.”
In the mean time relations with France assumed a serious aspect. Nothing would satisfy that power but a willingness on the part of the United States to be used as a dependent. While the French partisans were clamoring for such an alliance, the Directory exhibited their good will by issuing orders to seize and retain all American vessels having on board English manufactured goods.
Washington had recalled Monroe from the French Mission, and in his place sent Charles C. Pinckney. The latter sent his credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, but a few days after Monroe was notified that a
CHAP. minister would not be received from the United States XL.
until grievances were redressed ; but Monroe himself was 1797. complimented for his devotion to the French cause ; un
der the circumstances, a compliment somewhat equivocal.
Pinckney was treated with studied neglect, bordering on insult ; finally he demanded his passports and departed for Holland. During this time French privateers and cruisers were capturing American merchantmen and treating their crews as prisoners of war. Some of the privateers were commanded by renegade Americans, who gloried in sailing under the colors of the “Great Republic.”
France also stimulated Holland and Spain to complain of the partiality of Jay's treaty with Great Britain ; and was also suspected of an intention to rob Spain of Louisiana and Florida. With overpowering successes, and unscrupulous political morals, she was making rapid strides toward becoming the great power of the world.
Still more alarming was the fact that there existed in the United States a large party that opposed the neutra) policy of the government, and openly favored an alliance with the “Terrible Republic."
The President called a special session of Congress, and laid before it a statement of the relations with France. When it became known that in their representative the United States had been deliberately insulted ; and that French aggressions on American commerce were increasing, the enthusiasm of the partisans of France somewhat declined.
Two special commissioners were appointed to proceed to Paris, and, if possible, adjust the existing difficulties. John Marshall and Elbridge Gerry were selected for this mission. The former, who was a Federalist, became afterward Chief Justice of the United States ; the latter, a Republican in sentiment, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, became afterward VicePresident. They were authorized to conclude a treaty ;