AP American History - Avoiding War with Britain and France

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In 1778, an alliance between America and France was created. The Franco - American alliance of 1778 bound the United States to help the French defend their West Indies against future foes. The alliance was finally tested when the booming British fleets were certain to attack these strategic islands. It was up to President Washington to decide upon what movement to make.

Although there was a clamor from the crowds of their opinions, President Washington stayed levelheaded and perceived that war had to be avoided at all costs. The nation in 1793 was militarily weak, economically wobbly, and politically disunited. He wisely reasoned that if America could avoid the broils of Europe for a century or so, it would then be populous enough and powerful enough to assert its naval rights with strength and success. The strategy of delay fought America's battles for them. Therefore, Washington issued his Neutrality proclamation in 1793.

It not only proclaimed the government's official neutrality in the widening conflict, but also sternly warned American citizens to be impartial toward both armed camps. America was much more useful to France as a reliable neutral provider than as a blockaded partner in arms. This act helped to stay out of war with Britain and France.

Another way that war with Britain and France was avoided was the Embargo Act. In order to try to stop the British and French seizure of American ships, Jefferson resorted to an embargo. This was all because Britain and France depended on United States goods and The U.S. still had a weak navy and a weaker army. The Embargo Act of late 1807 forbade the export of all goods from the United States, whether in American or foreign ships. It was a failure, but it did undeniably pinch England. Many British...