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The Successes and Failures of The Federalists Era

An analysis of the Federalist Era with both the presidential eras of Washington and Adams.


Successes and Failures

Specific facts to support

Foreign Affairs


     George Washington as president was able to set two critical precedents: he assumed control over all negotiations with hostile forces and he sent American emissaries overseas without the legislative consent. Both of these proved to be important decisions because he was able to avoid war with other nations such as the Indians and Britain. Moreover, Washington at first was able to maintain neutrality which was a success because it ultimately avoided his weak country from being destroyed. However, when Washington broke his neutrality and made a treaty with Britain, it later angered the French because it broke their agreement of alliance. Therefore, the French began to attack and threaten American ships.


     John Adams as president was not as strong as a figure in the foreign policy aspect of sending over American emissaries. He was not able to successfully get a negotiation with other nations oversea partially due to the fact that when he came into presidency he was in a bad situation with France. Next, Adams and Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, which got rid of any foreign people in America. These acts also cancelled the treaty of alliance and commerce with France, which would lead to the Quasi-Wars. However he was successful in negotiations with France when Napoleon came into power, which would stop the continuous fighting.


·         Creek Nation of Native Americans: Washington made treaty

·         Jay’s Treaty: Washington sent Jay without consent

·         French Revolution: Washington was neutral

·         Jay’s Treaty: Washington angered the French


·         XYZ Affairs: Adams was unsuccessful in negotiations with France

·         Alien and Sedition Acts: caused fighting with France

·         Quasi War: France and America fought small battles



     When Washington took his place as president, he was taking over a country with a huge domestic and foreign financial debt. However, with the help of Alexander Hamilton, the two of them were able to get the willingness of the American people to pay back their debt. In addition, Hamilton also proposed several taxes to regain the money they needed, but it resulted in a failure as the people did not like the way this resembled the British government. As a result from this, it led to the Whiskey Rebellion, which was another rebellion against the government. Furthermore, Hamilton also proposed the first US bank, which was another success in improving the American economy. By doing this, it helped establish credit to foreign countries about the new nation. It also helped handle the colossal war debt gathered in the Revolutionary War. Ultimately, Hamilton was the one who fixed the American debt.

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