Jay's Treaty eased antagonisms between the countries by settling outstanding border disputes and enabling peaceful trade during the French Revolution which had began in 1792.
Where was Jay's Treaty signed
Jay's Treaty was signed in London by Lord Grenville (1759 - 1834), the British foreign minister and John Jay, the U.S. chief justice on November 19, 1794.
Reason for the 1794 Jay's Treaty - History and Background for kids
The history and reason for 1794 Jay's Treaty dated back to the events of 1783. The British had officially declared an end to hostilities in America on February 4, 1783 and the Treaty of Paris 1783 was signed by the US and Britain on September 3, 1783. However there were still many outstanding issues that needed resolution because both sides had broken parts of the 1793 peace treaty.
The British had not surrendered the posts and forts on the Great Lakes
The British had continued to suppress US trade and commerce
The states had made laws to prevent the collection of debts due to British subjects by American citizens
The early US government (Congress of the Confederation) had been too weak to compel either the British government or the American states to obey the terms of the treaty
1794 Jay's Treaty for kids - European Wars and Conflicts
Times had changed. There were many conflicts in Europe, including the French Revolution. The US wanted to keep out of all the European conflicts and the US government, under the leadership of President George Washington, was strong enough to make treaties that were respected both at home and abroad. The Neutrality Proclamation of 1793 had declared that the US would take no part in a war between two or more other powers, specifically France and Britain. Jay's Treaty was the next step to negotiating additional agreements with foreign powers, namely the British.
1794 Jay's Treaty for kids - Negotiations with the British
The terms of the treaty were designed primarily by the Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton (a Federalist) who was strongly supported by John Jay, the chief negotiator. The treaty was firmly supported by President Washington. President Washington sent Chief Justice John Jay to London to negotiate the new treaty with Lord Grenville, the British foreign minister. Negotiations with the strong, experienced and established British government were difficult for the new nation. The British haggled over the terms but eventually John Jay made the agreement. However he had to concede some points that were not at all favorable to the United States. The most unfavorable elements were that cotton should not be exported from the United States and American trade with the British West Indies would be greatly restricted.
Reaction to Jay's Treaty
John Jay returned to the US following the difficult negotiations with the British. Many politicians were furious with the concessions made by John Jay, led by the Thomas Jefferson and the members of the newly formed Republican political party. News of the terms were published by Jefferson. The President was criticized and there were violent protests in which stuffed figures of John Jay were hanged.
Ratification of Jay's Treaty
The terms of Jay's Treaty were fiercely debated. The Senate, with a Federalist majority, narrowly approved the treaty. voted to ratify the treaty without the two, contentious clauses regarding cotton and trade with the British West Indies. The House of Representatives saw some furious exchanges of opinions. The House of Representatives had nothing to do with ratifying treaties, but had powers relating to voting money. And money was needed to carry out Jay's Treaty. Eventually the House of Representatives voted the necessary money to implement Jay's Treaty. Jay's Treaty was at last ratified on June 24, 1795 and the British surrendered the forts and posts on the Great Lakes and the debts due to British subjects were paid.