George Washington’s Farewell Address gave a strong message about foreign policy. What was it?
How did other administrations address foreign policy? Choose two of the following presidents and describe foreign policy events, positions, or ideas that took place during their administrations.
- John Adams
- Thomas Jefferson
- James Madison
- James Monroe
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This is a bit long of a question for eNotes, but I'll have a start on it.
George Washington's main foreign policy point in his Farewell Address was to avoid "foreign entanglements." By that, he meant that he didn't want the US to get caught up in wars between foreign powers.
He was proved right, to some extent, by the US getting caught up in the fighting between England and France after the French Revolution (in the presidencies of Jefferson and Madison, especially). The US almsot goes to war with France and ends up going to war with Britain because it got caught up in the conflict between those two countries.
Adams tried his best to follow Washington's lead and avoid war at all costs. He knew the country was too young to become embroiled in foreign feuds. Although the Alien and Sedition Acts were used to diminish the power of the Anti-Federalists, they also kept the public from crying out for war.
Monroe took a step toward isolationism with the Monroe Doctrine; he was warning Russia and Europe that colonization in the New World had come to an end.
Continuing on the above answer in regards to Presidents Jefferson and Madison, both of them agreed with Washington that staying neutral in foreign policy was a smart choice that would keep the country from being dragged into European wars and rivalries.
Jefferson signed the Embargo Act in 1807 that kept American merchants from trading with any country fighting in the Napoleonic Wars, and Madison only slightly modified that policy in the Non-Intercourse Act. Harsh on our economy to be sure, but designed to keep us out of Europe's foreign affairs.
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