POL 343 Research Paper

POL 343 Research Paper - Nathan Hoch +01252137 George...

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Nathan Hoch +01252137 George Washington’s Proclamation of Neutrality, 1793 POL 343 American Presidency Fall 2010 1 This paper aims to focus on George Washington’s Proclamation of Neutrality . Based on the requirements for this paper, first I will describe some history on what the proclamation was, why Washington felt it was needed, and how it constituted an exercise of venture constitutionalism . Then I will discuss Washington’s justification for this action and how and why it was a form of venture constitutionalism . Lastly, I will write
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on which type of venture constitutionalism it was, what the reaction was, and the final outcome of this episode . Regarding the history of what this proclamation was, in 1793 France declares war on Great Britain and many other nations, including Austria, Prussia, Sardinia, and the United Netherlands . That year marked the beginning of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, which lasted until 1815 1 . George Washington is president at this time and thinks it is in the best interest of the United States to stay neutral in this war, he therefore issues a proclamation declaring neutrality for this war, between these countries and France . This proclamation also states that if any citizen of the United States commits, aids, or abets hostilities against any of the nations, whether financially or by providing resources, they will be prosecuted and punishment will ensue . Also, if a citizen goes over to Europe to help any of the nations, that person does not have the protection of the United States 2 . France was fighting for many of the same beliefs we fought for not too many years prior, and the United States was greatly indebted to France for their help in our war for independence, and Washington knew that this fact would make the American citizens 2 sympathetic towards France and would make them want to aid France, which would eventually draw the United States into this war . However, Washington honestly believed that the United States was too new and too weak a country to aid France in this war . If we did, he feared that it would result in war for America, and that would potentially bring about the collapse of this nation, which was very vulnerable at this time, due to an extremely weak Federal government under the Articles of Confederation . The United
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States did not have the resources, economically or militarily to fight a war across the Atlantic without severely hurting or completely destroying the infrastructure of this nation . Washington knew that even if the federal government would declare neutrality, the United States could be drawn into this war if citizens start aiding France, or any of the other nations, or if their support was dramatically behind any of the countries to the point where American citizens would go over to Europe and fight for any of countries . If this happened and the government did nothing the people would greatly lose faith in the government . This is why Washington knew it was necessary to include the section talked
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POL 343 Research Paper - Nathan Hoch +01252137 George...

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