I know that we are not ready for war so we will remain in a state of neutrality
The XYZ Affair
We will not pay tribute. "Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute!"
You will not speak to Talleyrand until you pay tribute.
John Adams tries to keep the peace
Please stop seizing our ships and release our sailors.
I'm Napoleon Bonaparte. I am very sorry. I will stop seizing your ships and release your sailors. I will also make a treaty with you to end the alliance made in 1778.
Thank you. We won't ask to pay for the seized ships.
George Washington creates a foreign policy for the United States. He makes a policy of neutrality and isolationism. It says that the United States would steer clear of permanent alliances with any part of the foreign world.
They did what? They forced our sailors to work for them and they killed or wounded 21 sailors on the Chesapeake. Oh they are going to pay.
From this moment on we will abandon the idea of neutrality and isolationism. Now we declare war on Britain.
President John Adams sent 3 diplomatic representatives to France to ask them to end the attacks. The French foreign minister, Talleyrand refused to speak with them and sent 3 agents named X, Y, and Z. They said they could not talk to Talleyrand unless they received tribute.The diplomats refused.
The War of 1812
President Adams sends a group of men to work for peace with France. When they got there Napoleon Bonaparte the new French leader had already released the captured American sailors and to stop seizing ships. He also quickly agreed to making a treaty saying that the French alliance with the U.S in 1778 was done. The U.S also agreed to not ask them to pay for the seized ships.
The Monroe Doctrine
Starting now, all of the nations of North and South America are independent and free. Any attempt in the future to colonize these nations and states will be interpreted as a direct threat to our safety and peace.
President Jefferson had problems trying to keep the peace and remaining neutral especially when American sailors were being impressed by the British. This means that they were being captured and forced to work for the British. Then a British warship, the Leopard stopped a U.S warship, the Chesapeake to search for "deserters". When the captain refused, the British opened fire and killed or wounded 21 American's. The Americans war fever spiked.
On July 17, 1813 James Madison chose to abandon neutrality and isolationism and declared war on Britain even though we were outnumbered. They had tried to capture Canada, but it was much harder than they had expected for the U.S and the British.
President Monroe made a speech announcing a policy called the Monroe Doctrine. It said that all of the nations of North and South America are independent and free and would not be the subjects of colonization in the future. They said that any efforts to do this would be viewed as a threat to our safety and peace. This cemented our power as a respected nation.