Why Did The Colonists Move Toward War

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Chapter Evaluation Assignment #2

Chapter 5

1. The colonists had several major advantages as they moved toward war. Among these strengths were the distances the British had to move men and materiel and that they were fighting on their home ground. Britain also had the very real danger of a destabilized France and potential attacks from Europe in general. They also knew Britain was still reeling from the debt payments for the last war and would have difficulty raising revenue for a new one. Perhaps the biggest help was France entering the war on the colonists’ side, tying up shipping in the rich Caribbean colonies and providing experienced military men and materiel.
2. Britain also had advantages in the conflict, perhaps most notably in the form of the Loyalists. These were colonists who,
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Foreign affairs were points of serious contention in the Early Republic. Though the US had treaty obligations to France, Washington decided to avoid joining their war with Britain when conflict began in 1793. His “Farewell Address” later put great emphasis on avoiding foreign alliances. All the while, Britain was still flooding American markets with cheap goods and represented the vast majority of the young nation’s foreign trade. As the Anglo-French conflict escalated in Europe and then the North Atlantic, neither nation respected American claims for neutrality of the seas. With those two nations standing in the way, the trade agreements that had been so painstakingly negotiated across Europe and even the Far East were dead letters. However, British depredations were more numerous and costly so, in addition to their continued presence and agitation among the Natives in the Northwest, anti-British sentiment grew up in a way that prevented Hamilton’s plans for a mercantile empire from being realized in this early stage. This would eventually move support away from Washington and his Federalists, giving Thomas Jefferson first the vice presidency and then the presidency
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