My Finished Essay


     In the early 1790's through the mid 1820's, the United States was faced with many foreign policy problems. Americans knew if they wanted to be recognized as a powerful people, they would need to develop a foreign policy that would be strong, respectable and beneficial to themselves. It required them to declare their status when it came to alliances and also to establish and maintain definite trade routes, tariffs and embargoes, if necessary. This was no easy task, especially with the variety of opinions being debated at this time. Some Americans encouraged alliances while others were against it. However, at this time all Americans were united by their strong sense of nationalism.

     "Americans are the western pilgrims." (A) This was the feeling of many Americans--they were proud of their nation and her achievements. One of the first warnings about foreign policy, however, was presented by George Washington in his Farewell Address. He cautioned the US to stay clear of foreign entanglements, not to enter into any alliances whenever possible and to treat all countries cordially. (B) For a while the US remained neutral, but for some reason they were soon brought into the French Revolution, then in 1798 had a conflict again with France known as the XYZ affair, and then the War of 1812 no matter how hard they tried to avoid it. Another threat to their neutrality was the impressing of their sailors. Britain was using force to make American sailors work on her ships. (C) This alarmed the US and they took action to terminate it.

     The United States, in hopes of raising revenue began imposing tariffs and enacting embargoes. One federalist spoke out against an embargo that closed US ports to foreigners. He felt that US agriculture and industry was being hurt. He saw the US government allowing Europe to take control of our trade. (E) The US economy at this time was in need of foreign goods and could not afford to do without them. Another man who voiced his opinions on foreign policy and the economy was John C. Calhoun. (D) After all, the US economy was not stable enough to accept high tariffs on imported goods, and it would make for bad relations to impose high tariffs on exports. Calhoun felt that the US should be able to trade anywhere and with anyone.

     After the War of 1812, the US experienced a time of economic and social development. Almost too good because in 1819 they would enter into a depression. Still in the post war years they moved from an agrarian society to more industrialized. This time is refereed to as The Era of Good Feelings. It was at this time that they made an agreement that is in effect to this day. The Rush-Bagot Agreement ordered Britain to remove all her armed fleets from the Great Lakes area. (F) Initially they refused, but later were forced to evacuate.

     In 1822 the US was becoming concerned T attempts by Western nations to colonize in South America. It was decided then that the US could recognize all colonies already under European control but would not tolerate any attempts to gain new colonies. (G) James Monroe issued his Monroe Doctrine which reinforced the idea of attempts of colonization and said that the US would fight to protect the rights of the endangered Latin American country. Monroe said this would be "...the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition towards the United States...." (H) Finally, Henry Clay made an attempt to help the US. He felt the Us was becoming too dependent on foreign industry and it was time to start stimulating growth of our own country's industry. He then introduced the Protective Tariff of 1824 in hopes of expanding their goods to more vast markets. (I)

     The United States faced difficulties in forming their foreign policy, but were able to work through many of them. Unfortunately, Washington's plea for neutrality went unanswered as the US became more and more involved in foreign affairs and conflicts. Soon they found they had made the transition to protecting the rights of Latin American countries. We had become their sphere of influence and made this our warning for Europe to stay out.

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