Glenn Beck shared the history of the little-known Jay Treaty on his television show Monday, having been told by a listener that it resembles “what is happening right now.”
Beck agreed, and began: “John Jay was the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. President George Washington sent him to negotiate a treaty with the British. It was in the mid 1790’s and there were still several conflicts between America and Britain and again, we were on the verge of war.”
Beck said some of the most pressing issues at the time included the full evacuation of remaining British troops and the British acknowledgement of freedom of the seas.
“Well, Jay was a federalist, and the federalists were the guys who had a lot power,” Beck continued. “[Jay] negotiated something that amounted really to nothing more than appeasement, and the largely outnumbered federalists were in favor of the deal that he worked out, because it would get those big businesses back in business. But the regular people were vehemently against it, and they took to the streets en masse to protest.”
Beck said the deal “wasn’t so much of a deal as it was America taking it on the chin.”
“Here’s a people who have given up everything to defeat Great Britain, and then they had to agree to absorb all of the financial losses arising from debts to British merchants in acceptance of the British definition of neutrality of the sea,” Beck remarked. “America yielded on almost every issue. Washington ended up signing the treaty…It was because of his weight that it barely got ratified, but the American people were not happy. In fact they were outraged…”
Beck said some called it treason, and other called for Washington’s impeachment “because they viewed it as a product of what happens when a select few of the ruling classes ignore the will of the people, and that’s what were supposed to be about.”
By 1812, relations with Great Britain fell apart despite the deal, leading to what was known as the second War of Independence.
“Here’s the lesson,” Beck concluded. “All they did by appeasing the British was prolong the inevitable. By refusing to stand on principle and for the best interest of America, they didn’t solve anything. In fact, it came down the road and probably was worse because they waited. History is repeating itself, and we can either learn from it and prosper, or we can become another lesson for future generations in possibly a new republic, if it is one, to come.”
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