As a young nation the United States was faced with the prospect of gaining a foothold in the world, during a time when European aggression and tensions were running high. During the period from 1775 through 1819, American diplomats were able to achieve dramatic successes in the realm of foreign policy which helped shape the future of the country. Noted historian Samuel Bemis once observed that "Europe's distresses led to America's earliest diplomatic successes." While Bemis was very astute at recognizing the circumstances in Europe that led to American diplomatic victories, he failed to see the whole picture. In addition to the problems in Europe, the American zeal for expansion greatly contributed to many early successes such as the Louisiana Purchase and Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819.
[...] Towards the end of 1814, the victors of Europe were arguing abut who should receive the most territory from Napoleon's empire and tempers flared, almost ending the conference and plunging the continent back into war. The breakdown at Vienna coupled with American military victories in the North America after the conference at Ghent had begun, forced the British to seek a peaceful resolution with the United States. The terms of the peace were eventually finalized on December The treaty returned things to status quo, saving the Americans from a military and diplomatic disgrace. [...]
[...] Moreover, the English government wanted a speedy resolution of peace so British troops could focus fully on the war in Europe. By using the outbreak of war as a bargaining chip, American diplomats were able to secure a very favorable treaty for the new country, which gave the original thirteen colonies status as an independent nation. Following the War of 1812, European problems once again proved favorable to the United States during the peace negotiations at Ghent. For decades before the war, British ships had been enforcing the practice of impressment upon any captured ships. [...]
[...] Negotiations began between John Quincy Adams and Don Luis de Onis to agree upon a price and exact boundary for the land. The terms of the treaty were finalized on February and gave the United States all of Florida and stretched the boundary line to the Pacific Ocean. If not for the continued persistence of Americans, beginning with Thomas Jefferson, securing the entire East Coast might have not been accomplished for many more years. Over the course of the first 40 years of the United States, the country benefited from a combination of determination and leadership which lead to major successes in foreign policy. [...]
[...] foreign aid to help with the struggle for independence. The members of the congress wanted to appeal to France for help, hoping the French would provide both economic and military aid. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay were sent to France to meet with the Comte de Vergennes, the French foreign minister. Jay, Adams, and Franklin appealed to the French hatred of England and gave Vergennes the idea that by helping the Americans, the French would be able to revenge the defeat during in the Seven Years War, in which France lost both Canada and Florida. [...]
[...] Furthermore, the country had thousands of eager citizens waiting to push further westward to cultivate new land, even if this land was not legally controlled by the nation. Timothy Dwight summed up the American spirit for expansion in his poem “Greenfield All hail, thou western world! By heaven design'd Th' example bright, to renovate mankind/ Soon shall thy sons across the mainland roam And claim on far Pacific shores, their home Dwight's piece encapsulated the view of Americans. The fervor of the country before the Louisiana Purchase was the precursor to what would be later termed Manifest Destiny. [...]
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