Navigating Neutrality: Early American Governance in the Turbulent Atlantic

Front Cover
University of Virginia Press, Sep 21, 2021 - Neutral trade with belligerents - 232 pages
0 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

Navigating Neutrality explores the unexpected role George Washington's 1793 Neutrality Proclamation played in energizing the U.S. government's constitutional responsibilities to support and promote America's commercial and sovereign interests. Designed to avoid warfare as Great Britain and France battled in the Atlantic during the French Revolutionary Wars, neutrality encompassed a wide range of issues, including diplomacy, law, defense, commerce, and domestic politics.

Proclaiming neutrality proved easier than enforcing it. American citizens eagerly accepted lucrative French privateering commissions, and Britain retaliated by attacking American ships, cargos, and sailors. In response, Washington and his cabinet formulated policies to enforce neutrality across all three branches of the government and around the globe. Maritime citizens, stranded in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, especially came to appreciate the government's rescue efforts. As Sandra Moats shows, enforcing neutrality galvanized all three branches of the nascent U.S. government, serving as a manifesto of the young nation's quest to be respected in its independence and helping to build a U.S. government capable of supporting its global aspirations.

The Revolutionary Age

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

About the author (2021)

Sandra Moats is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and author of Celebrating the Republic: Presidential Ceremony and Popular Sovereignty, from Washington to Monroe.

Bibliographic information