U.S. neutrality was compromised, however, when Citizen Genet, the French ambassador to the United States, began to recruit Americans to fight for the French. Additionally, Genet tried to use American ports to launch French naval attacks on the British and use American soil to train French troops. Genet claimed that this was all perfectly legal and that the United States had an obligation to help France under the 1778 Franco-American treaty that had been signed during the Revolutionary War . Hamilton argued that the United States did not need to honor the 1778 treaty because it had been an agreement with the king of France, not with the new French Republic established during the French Revolution. Hamilton also encouraged Washington to deny Genet's request that the United States repay its debts to France in advance. Washington did eventually deny Genet's request, but he did not declare the 1778 treaty
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