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George Washington and Jay’s Treaty


In his every action, President George Washington recognized the significance of the precedents he set. His efforts to implement constitutional provisions in order to steer the United States through an early foreign policy challenge resulted in Jay’s Treaty—a pact vilified in its own time, but ultimately vital in keeping the United States out of a war with Britain.


Students will:

  • Understand the issues at stake in Jay’s Treaty.
  • Trace President Washington’s application of constitutional principles to Jay’s Treaty.
  • Evaluate the significance of Washington’s actions in establishing precedent in treaty making.