Washington sent John Jay to try and solve some problems with Britain. Jay returned with a treaty that the U.S. would agree to pay debts owed to British merchants, and Britain agreed to pay for any ships it had seized, and withdraw troops from the Northwest Territory and stop aiding Native Americans there. Britain, however, refused to recognize a U.S. right to trade with France and cease impressment of U.S. sailors.
X, Y, Z
Washington wrote a Farewell Address and in this Address he offered three main pieces of advice to the American people. This advice included setting the precedent that presidents shouldn't serve for more than two terms, it warned Americans about political parties, and it warned Americans about possible problems that would come if they were to get involved with Europe.
Alien & Sedition Acts
The early political parties were the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans. The parties each had a key leader and that leader for the Federalists was Alexander Hamilton and the leader for the Democratic-Republicans was Thoma Jefferson.
John Adams sent three men on a mission to France to set things right with them after the Jay Treaty. There were three agents of the foreign minister Charles Talleyrand there to greet the American delegates. The three agents, whom were referred to as X, Y, and Z, demanded a $250,000 bribe and $12 million to help France in the war with Britain. This angered many of the Americans and they wanted to declare war but Adams refused to and said that they should build up their army.
Four acts were created to target French aliens and these acts became known as the Alien and Sedition acts. One of these acts was the Naturalization act and this extended the amount of time a person had to reside in the U.S. before they could become a citizen. The Alien and Alien Enemies Acts authorized the president to deport resident aliens if their home country was at war with us or f they were a threat to the government at all. And the final act, known as the Sedition Act made it a crime to publish false writing against the government.
During the last two weeks of Adams' term, he tried to pack the courts with federalists to help him get reelected. He did this by meeting with these men during the night and this act became known as the Midnight Appointments.