The first part of this work seeks look into the reigns of the first four presidents; George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and their approaches to the foreign policy. The rest looks into other aspects of the American history; Political parties and the northeast-south divide.
Washington became the president of the US in 1789 and served for two terms. During the two terms he was president, Washington successfully managed to be the glue of thirteen states that always wanted to tear each other up.
Concerning foreign policy, President Washington put in place a set of two precedents of foreign policy. He sent emissaries overseas without the consent of the legislative. He then took it upon himself to control negotiations of a treaty with the hostile Creek Nation of Native Americans. Washington was sure he was setting precedence and was cautious in how he conducted his business (Hodge &Nolan, 2007).
When the French was causing panic in the Atlantic in 1789, many were for the idea that America should offer its support. Washington however chose to remain neutral knowing too well that America was not strong enough to fight. Even though this was termed as cowardice by individuals that were for the idea that America joins in the war, it saved our country a great deal of trouble that time.
Washington’s insistence of maintaining peace did not always work. During his second term in 1793, the British decreed a warning to seize all ships that did trade with the French. Washington stopped trade with the French by the next year owing to high levels of tension. He then signed a treaty with the British though it disadvantaged the Americans on the bigger part since there was no compensation for Americans in slavery and the American trade in high seas was compromised.
He took over the presidency of the United States in the year 1797, a time when the French revolution was at its peak and a nightmare for the US. Hodge and Nolan, (2007) observe that like his predecessor, Washington, Adams maintained the peace by neutrality and strength policy. This did not go well with France who had helped America gain independence from England. The French were for the opinion that America was aiding Britain. Tension between then augmented and eventually led to the Quasi War which left ships captured by both sides and soldiers from both France and America killed and wounded.
When he realized the war might have severe effects on America, Adams commissioned William Murray to France on a diplomatic mission which brought an end to the quasi war in 1799. This is considered one of Adam’s greatest achievements during his reign.
According to Hodge and Nolan (2007),Jefferson’s ability and skills in international law earned him the post of foreign affairs minister in the reigns of both Washington and Adams. This means that he had a good understanding on international affairs.
His own election as president in 1800 was a diplomatic move with the French since they no longer wanted federalists as president. Jefferson being a democrat would therefore gain a little favor with the French for America.
Jefferson organized the buying back of Louisiana from the French. Even though ideally it would threaten the shaky relationship with France, he still took the risk, but was in luck since the French needed money to fund their war with Europe. Jefferson paid $15 million for Louisiana.
Jefferson and the congress during his reign put into effect the Embargo act in 1807 which prohibited America from conducting any sort of trade with any foreign country. This was because countries like Great Britain and France denied America its right to neutral trade. There was however loopholes since goods were smuggled in and out of America. This act negatively affected the economy of America.
Madison, being a secretary of state in Jefferson’s government he adopted a big part of Jefferson’s ideologies. After becoming president in 1809, he sought to solve major issues like the embargo act that had affected America’s economy so much. He helped effect the non-intercourse act which had been established by the congress and which allowed America to trade with other countries, except for Britain and France.
Unlike his predecessors who would do anything to uphold peace, Madison decided to assert the national rights of America and its independence. He mistakenly underestimated the British who brought war to America, destroying cities and the white house too. Victory was however won in New Orleans which gave hope to America and served as warning to the Indians in the northwest.
The origin of the federalists and democratic parties in America
The events leading to the rise of America’s political parties in the late 17th century are sad and bitter. These two parties have been at logger heads since then, sometimes the results of their clashes resulting in injuries in the past.
Started during the reign of Washington in 1789 when he nominated Alexander Hamilton, lawyer, as secretary of treasury to take care of US finances. He came up with means of paying of America’s debts and establishment of a national bank. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison rose to resist this move and sought for support from both government officials and the citizens, which started the feud between the two major groups in America. The supporters of Hamilton were called federalists while the supporters of Jefferson and Madison were called democrats.
These two parties differ in the way they view various aspects of leadership as follows;
The federalists believed in a sound and strong federal government that has power and control over the present state governments while the democrats believed in the government states should be more powerful than the federal or national government.
The federalists thrived in the power of the federal government giving it control over the different states while the democrats’ aim was to distribute power to the different state governments.
The democrats believed that the working class citizens were the stronghold of the economy. They believed that the farmers, merchants, laborers among others formed the major part of the economy and sought to protect their right. The federalists however saw the economic future of the US in industries and manufacturing of saw.
The federalists wanted the American foreign policy to favor the British while the democrats wanted the policy to favor the French. In 1812 the then president, James Madison, who was a democrat, battled against the British and the federalists in America joined in the battle against him. He won a great victory for America and against the federalists as well which increased the feud between the two. It has survived over three centuries later.
The north east and the south east
The north east and the south differ a lot in their economic strata. The northeast is characterized with a poorer economy where people have lower standards of living as compared to the south. This means that housing; medical care and general living standards are poor in the northeast. The major reason is because very little money is set aside for the development of the northeast. The government tends to focus more on the already developed south. This has led to uneven economical growth which will eventually reflect on the taxes paid to the government. Most of the companies investing in the northeast suffer more loses than profits; therefore the government should take the step of ensuring it deals fairly with allocation of funds.
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