Foreign Policy Fundamentals: International Systems and Levels of Analysis
Systems also can influence their individual parts. Gravitational forces within the solar system keep the planets aligned and prevent their orbits from producing planetary collisions. Just like the digestive or solar systems, the international political system can influence its members, the states. For example, in 1794, the United States was forced to sign the humiliating “Jay Treaty” with Britain (then at war with France) that granted Britain many concessions but kept the United States out of the conflict between its former motherland and revolutionary ally. When President George Washington finished his second term in 1796, he established America’s foreign policy of isolationism. Thomas Jefferson picked up the isolationist policy in 1803, and Secretary of State John Quincy Adams reiterated it in 1821. The United States, Adams explained, had “without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own . . . [and had] abstained from interference in the concerns of others.”1 Two years later, the 1823 Monroe Doctrine reaffirmed U.S. isolationism as official state policy.