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Neutrality Proclamation of 1793

George Washington

Neutrality Proclamation of 1793: George Washington was the 1st American President who served in office from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797. One of the important events during his presidency was the Neutrality Proclamation of 1793.

Summary and Definition of Neutrality Proclamation of 1793
Definition and Summary: The Neutrality Proclamation of 1793 was authorized by George Washington on April 22, 1793 and stated that the US would take no part in a war between two or more other powers, specifically France and Great Britain.

The Neutrality Proclamation of 1793 also threatened legal proceedings against any American citizen giving assistance to any country at war.

Reason for the Neutrality Proclamation of 1793
George Washington and his cabinet issued the Neutrality Proclamation of 1793 because the new nation of the United States of America had a military force that was too small to risk any sort of engagement with either Britain of France.

Neutrality Proclamation of 1793 for kids - Background Information
The French Revolution had erupted in 1792. Thomas Jefferson and members of the Republican  political party sympathized with the supporters of the French Revolution, which championed individual rights against the monarchist French government. Alexander Hamilton and the Federalist Political party opposed it.  President  Washington believed that it was essential to keep the U.S. out of European conflicts and preserve U.S. neutrality in international relations and even the fiercest supporters of the French Revolution could see the sense in this so there was limited opposition to the Neutrality Proclamation of 1793.

Neutrality Proclamation of 1793 for kids - A Tricky Situation
The events surrounding the French Revolution had placed the President in a very awkward position. The Treaty of 1778, during the American War of Independence, had cemented an alliance with France that gave French ships the use of US ports in war time. The alliance also closed all US ports to the enemies of France. The French had also lent large sums of money to the United States and sent French armed forces to aid the United States in the war against the British. However, the Treaty of 1778 had been made with the King of France, who had been beheaded in 1793. It was the way out of this tricky situation and he issued the Proclamation of Neutrality which began the US policy of keeping the United States out of the conflicts in Europe.

Neutrality Proclamation of 1793 for kids - Jefferson Resigns as Secretary of State
The Neutrality Proclamation of 1793 declared that the US would take no part in a war between two or more other powers and in addition threatened legal proceedings against any American citizen giving assistance to any country at war. Although the Neutrality Proclamation, 1793 kept the US out of the European Wars it did create conflict in the new US Government. The supporters of the French Revolution had not forgotten the help that France had given to the United States in the War of Independence and wanted to take a less aggressive stance. Thomas Jefferson in particular felt that it was unnecessary to make an official Proclamation of Neutrality. His feelings were so strong over this issue that he eventually resigned as Secretary of State over the Neutrality Proclamation of 1793.

US American History
1790-1800: The New Nation

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