Early American Foreign Policy

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Today many Americans tend to believe that it is better to focus solely on America as a nation and the problems that are currently happening. There was a time that American Foreign Policy was seen as a way to help America prosper. It is a way to have relations with other countries; it has helped the United States further many of their goals whether it regards to trade or security. The most important factor of foreign policy is that it can help the United States secure their national interest. We are at a time where many do not agree that being involved in foreign affairs is such an ideal situation. In the book, To The Farewell Address: Ideas of Early American Foreign Policy, Felix Gilbert does not write about the history of American foreign …show more content…
The beginning of colonization had two distinct and contradictory motives: "creating an ideal life and society" and gaining wealth. The colonies recognized that they were in need of economic ties with Europe; nevertheless, they desired a utopian society with a "perfect social order." These conflicting motives implied different and contradictory attitudes towards the Old World. The motive of gaining wealth meant that the colonies would have to remain close ties with Europe; however, they were also afraid that Europe 's social order might spread to America. The concept of having a utopian society meant separation from European affairs. When the nation was created, diplomats were guided by the idea that America should practice isolationism and maintain strict neutrality in periods of war. George Washington insisted during his Farewell Address that it would be best to have little political ties with Europe. He emphasized that the United States and Europe had different interests. Although Thomas Jefferson had different political views from George Washington, he did agree that isolation and neutrality were the most favorable course of action for the United States. The United States asked France for aid in 1776 because they wanted to increase their commerce. As a result, they were …show more content…
This debate was happening as early as colonial times. Americans debated whether they should maintain close economic ties with the European nations or favor a perfect separation. Gilbert, states that the Declaration of Independence was a powerful demonstration of the path the Americans decided. Even though Americans felt that European diplomacy was corrupt, to understand how diplomacy worked they still looked to them as an example. Thomas Paine in his famous pamphlet Common Sense was able to change public opinion. By developing what America 's political needs were, Paine was able to form a path. Gilbert writes, "for a long time, every utterance on foreign policy starts from Paine 's words and echoes his thought." In brief, Paine had a significant influence on how the colonies viewed diplomacy, his main point being that America should focus on trade and avoid close political ties with the European nations. In spite of John Adams having similar beliefs to those of George Washington, he still wanted to make sure that America had financial assistance. For instance, when Congress approved the Model Treaty in September 1776 with France and Spain, they did so to obtain trade and aid. John Adams who was the chief architect of the treaty did not

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