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James Monroe's Letters to Timothy Pickering

About the Letter

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In this February 20, 1796 letter, Monroe again reports about the French government’s response to the United State's treaty with England. He asserts that because of the treaty, the French government is ambivalent towards diplomatic relations with the United States. Two of Monroe’s personal insights deserve particular attention. One is his claim that a republic cannot count on having the friendship of monarchies. The second is his belief that overall, France has been a better ally to America than England. Monroe informs Pickering that the French government views Jay’s Treaty as an unfriendly act by the United States. Lastly, Monroe informs Timothy Pickering that the Directoire and French minister of foreign affairs expect him to promptly explain the United State's intentions they had in ratifying the Jay Treaty.