Foreign Policy in the Jeffersonian Era

Foreign Policy
From Washington’s presidency up until Thomas
Jefferson’s, the US had followed a policy of
neutrality in regards Europe
 Protecting the US rights as a nation
 Distance from Europe made this easier
Problem with this policy was that the US’s right
to trade with European nations was an
important consideration in regards to the
Embargo of 1807
The problem with
neutrality was that France
and Britain remained at
 America continued to trade
with its ally France
 As a result the British began
seizing US merchant ships
headed to France
 In response Congress
passed the Embargo act of
○ Prohibited trade with other
○ Attempted to force GB and
France to lift their blockades
○ New England whose
economy was based on
trade was hit hard and the
embargo was repealed in
War of 1812
Great Britain continued
violating US rights on
the seas
 Began impressing or
forcing US sailors to serve
in the British Navy
Congressman from
Western and Southern
US wanted to declare
war on GB
 Hoped to expand into
British Canada and
Spanish Florida
 Became known as “War
In 1812 Congress
declared war on GB
 War was not supported by
all Americans
Results of the War of 1812
War ends in a draw
 Washington D.C. burned
 Andrew Jackson wins battle of New
Orleans…after peace treaty was signed
War reinforced US belief that neutrality
was best policy for dealing with Europe
Native Americans in west lost their
British ally making it harder to stand up
to American settlers
American manufacturing grew,
especially in New England, while the US
was cut off from European imports
The federalist party was weakened by
opposing the war which led their losing
impact in politics
Andrew Jackson and William Henry
Harrison became national heroes
Foreign Policy after the War of
New confidence in
John Quincy Adams,
Secretary of State under
James Monroe, settled
the border with Canada
with Britain
Also acquired Florida
from Spain and reached
an agreement on the
southern border of the
Louisiana Purchase with
Monroe Doctrine
Adams was the main advisor for the Monroe Doctrine
which shaped foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere
after 1823
The Monroe Doctrine called for
 End of European colonization in West Hem.
 No interference from Europe in existing nations in West Hem
 Stating that European interference was “dangerous to US peace
and safety”
 Promise that the US wouldn’t interfere in European affairs or with
European colonies
US couldn’t enforce it though because military was too
 GB did agree to support this policy
 By end of 1800 US could enforce it itself