Jay’s Treaty

To prevent another war with Britain, Washington dispatched Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Jay to London in 1794 to negotiate a settlement. Under Jay’s Treaty, Britain agreed to withdraw its troops from the Ohio Valley and pay damages for American ships that the Royal Navy had seized illegally. The United States, meanwhile, agreed to pay outstanding pre-Revolutionary War debts. The treaty greatly displeased the Jeffersonians, who believed that the United States was cozying up to Britain and thought the treaty required horrendous concessions.

Pickney’s Treaty

A year later, in 1795, Pinckney’s Treaty ended the disputes with Spain. The agreement gave Americans access to the Mississippi River in exchange for promises of nonaggression against Spanish territory in the West. Hamiltonians disapproved of this treaty as much as the Jeffersonians disapproved of Jay’s Treaty. The two sides compromised by ratifying both treaties.

Washington’s Farewell Address

Tired of the demands of the presidency, Washington declined to run for a third term, and in 1796, he read his Farewell Address to the nation. In the speech, he urged Americans not to become embroiled in European affairs. In response to the growing political battles between Jefferson and Hamilton, he also warned against the dangers of factionalism and stated his belief that political parties would ruin the nation.

Popular pages: The Constitution (1781–1815)