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This best-selling textual content offers the simplest synthesis of present scholarship to be had to stress the subject matter of expansionism and its manifestations.
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Extra info for American Foreign Relations: A History, Volume 1: To 1920
Congress remained nominally in charge of foreign policy. Yet during the war this large body had proven so faction-ridden and irresponsible that it had given the French foreign minister veto power over American peace commissioners. The legislative body did take a forward step in 1784 by creating a Department of Foreign Affairs and selecting John Jay as secretary. Although Congress retained the right to make war and peace, to send and receive ambassadors, to make treaties and alliances, it lacked the power to enforce its diplomacy.
The most frustrating diplomacy of all involved Spain. Despite previous financial support for the embattled colonials, and notwithstanding the outwardly close alliance with France, the government of King Charles III was in no hurry to take up arms against England—especially if Spain could obtain its principal objective, the return of Gibraltar, by other means. In view of its own extensive colonial empire in the Americas, moreover, Spain was understandably less eager than France to encourage overseas revolutions.
Because the Armed Neutrality’s principles so closely resembled the Model Treaty, Congress immediately adopted its rules by resolution and sent a plenipotentiary to St. Petersburg to gain formal adherence to the league by treaty. It was an impossible mission. Aside from the obvious incongruity of a belligerent nation attempting to join an alliance of neutrals, Catherine would not risk war with England by granting recognition prematurely. Her real purpose was to divert British attention while preparing to seize the Crimea from Ottoman Turkey.