Why did people hate Alexander Hamilton

Why was the Jay Treaty so hated by the American public?

Question: Why was John Jay's contract so hated by the American public?


Because Jay's treaty (1794) was unilaterally in favor of the British. Basically, the abuses that angered the United States were codified in a treaty. Can you imagine a country today signing a treaty stating that a nation can stop shipping the high seas, confiscate cargo without reimbursement, while allowing the continued kidnapping of seafarers for compulsory service in the foreign nations' navy? All of this and it did not grant the Americans a concession that had not yet been agreed! This treaty's failure to address one of the key open issues, especially impressions, basically led to the War of 1812, in which some of the same problems still existed and remained unsolved on an estate that the US could live with. John Jay's contract was negotiated by a UK Pro-Chief Justice, John Jay, whose largest negotiating chip was abandoned before the negotiations began, and the resulting contract reflects this. The only British concession was to evacuate the fortresses they had already evacuated under the terms of the Treaty of Paris (1783) that ended the War of Independence a decade earlier.

U.S. pre-treaty concerns:

  • Britain's impressions of American sailors Britain needed seafarers so they could stop US merchant ships on the high seas and take American seafarers and imprint them on British sea service.
  • Canadian-Maine border
  • Compensation for pre-revolutionary debts
  • Trade with Great Britain was one-sided. British exports flooded US markets while American exports were blocked by British trade restrictions and tariffs.
  • The British occupation of the northern forts which the British government had vacated in the Treaty of Paris (1783).
  • US goods seizure . Britain would also stop and confiscate us trade cargo on the high seas.

John Jay's contract
Graffiti at the time: "Damn John Jay! Damn everyone who doesn't damn John Jay! Damn everyone who doesn't bring light into their windows and get up all night and damn John Jay !!!"
A newspaper editor wrote: "John Jay, ah! The arch traitor - seize him, drown him, burn him, skin him alive."
Jay himself quipped: He could only travel from Boston to Philadelphia at night in the light of his burning portraits.


John Jay's Treaty, 1794–95
Jay's only significant bargaining chip in the negotiations was the threat that the United States, along with the Danish and Swedish governments, would defend its neutral status and oppose the British seizure of their goods by force of arms. In order to maintain good relations with Great Britain, Hamilton independently informed the British leadership that the United States did not intend to join this neutral armament. Hamilton's actions left Jay little leverage in forcing the British to comply with US demands.

British concessions:

  • Great Britain agreed to surrender the north-western fortresses (which it had agreed a decade earlier in the Treaty of Paris of 1783).
  • Britain granted America limited "most favored nation status" with the exception of the West Indies, where the US was still not allowed to act. Which is also dubious as the UK had unrestricted access to American markets.

American concessions:

  • Great Britain could still stop neutral US ships on the high seas.
  • Britain was still able to remove and impress US sailors in the British Navy
  • Britain could still confiscate US goods destined for France despite paying for them.
  • Britain could seize French goods on US ships without payment

Not addressed:

  • Compensation for Britain's pre-revolutionary debts
  • Maine Canadian border