Broadsides: Word on the Street – Washington and the Jay Treaty

Broadsides: Word on the Street – Washington and the Jay Treaty

In the early spring of 1794,  English soldiers were  arming  the native Americans . The English were getting the Native Americans to raid the American settlers on lands that one day would be the states of Ohio and Michigan. The English were going back on their word made in treaty to end the Revolutionary War. Treaty stated the English would leave the forts in Oswego, Niagara, and Detroit. The English was also seized U.S.ships trading with France. The English were at war with France.  These raids on Americans and American ships presented problems to President George Washington.

The citizens wanted to go war with England . President Washington knew the America could not wage a war with England, President Washington sent Chief Justice over to England to negotiate a new Angelo- American treaty. President Washington wanted to shore up Americas trade  on the Atlantic and the Great Lakes and time to build its economy of the area and bulk up the defenses on the frontier.

Soon after Jay had left for England England reclaimed one of their old forts near Detroit.

President Washington felt he had been let down by the English . The English gone behind his back. President Washington waited to hear from Jay. Finally after some time President Washington did hear from Jay. The treaty was called Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation . President Washington knew as soon as he read   the treaty he knew he could not sign it.

Article 12 of the treaty was the sticking point. Article 12 stated  the United States could trade with the West Indies but could not use large vessels . It also stated America could not export any export products natural to the West Indies. President Washington would not agree with this portion of treaty. President Washington knew accepting this portion of the treaty the citizens of America would erupt in arms.

The rest of the treaty stated the English could keep the money making fur trade in American Northwest. America also promised not to acquire any English assets in America and America would stop exporting goods to France

President Washington unlike his successors asked for the Senate’s advice. He would wait until the Senate voted on Jays treaty to make final decision. The Senate debated for two weeks . By a vote of two thirds the Senate sent the treaty to sign.  President Washington  signed the treaty after article 12 was taken out.