There were a number of controversial crises during this time. Many of these crises arose out of the fact that France and Britain were at war. Some crises included:
- The XYZ Affair. In this crisis, there was great anger at France when some French diplomats demanded money before they would allow American ambassadors to speak to their foreign minister.
- The issue of impressment. This arose over the British practice of taking sailors off of American ships and forcing them to serve in the Royal Navy.
- The Jay Treaty. This treaty was meant to settle issues between the US and England that were left over from the Revolutionary War. The controversy came about because many Americans felt the treaty gave up too much and got too little in return.