Full Text

Chapter Twenty-Nine. Foreign Policy in the Presidential Era

Jeffrey J. Malanson

Subject History » International History

Place Americas » Northern America

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1700-1799

Key-Topics federalism, French Revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444331035.2012.00031.x


As he prepared to take the oath of office on 30 April 1789, George Washington faced a daunting task in becoming the first President of the United States. In perhaps no area of his new duties was this truer than in the conduct of the nation's foreign relations. With few exceptions, the Constitution gave to the president the authority to manage the nation's foreign policy; and unlike most other aspects of establishing this new government, which were difficult but entirely in American hands, foreign policy was as much about the actions and responses of the rest of the world as it was about American ideals and priorities. Washington had a clear vision of how the nation should (and should not) relate to the rest of the world – and especially to the powers of Europe – but he was only one man, and his ability to implement this vision would depend on the cooperation of foreign powers, the United States Congress, and the American people. All three would pose great challenges at various points throughout his presidency. Despite these challenges, Washington was able to transform his vision into distinct foreign policy principles that would shape subsequent generations of American presidents and policymakers. For Washington, the direction of America's relations abroad was directly connected to the power and stability of the government at home. He believed that the national government needed ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top