History Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

During the administrations of Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison, Europe was nearly constantly at war and it grew increasingly difficult for the new United States to stay out of it. Explain the situation, problems and ways these early presidents sought to stay out of war and why they ultimately failed and what the result was.

Expert Answers info

jilllessa eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write310 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

Each of the first four Presidents faced circumstances that could have led to United States involvement in a war. For Washington, the French Revolution pressed on the U.S. for involvment. The French had formally recognized and provided aid to the fledgling United States in the War for Independence with Great Britain, and Washington had two cabinet members campaigning for U.S. involvement, Jefferson to support the French and Adams to support Great Britain, but Washington felt the only way for the United States to be sure of survival as a nation would be to maintain neutrality and so he steered a careful course of neutrality. Washington believed that maintaining neutrality was essential and made this point of view well known through his famous Farewell Address.

John Adams inherited the problems with the French Revolution, and it became worse for him with the XYZ affair, an intercepted message which declared that the French would only talk to American diplomats with a bribe. But although...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 673 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Alec Cranford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write5,869 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write15,967 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial