John Jay: Letter to George Washington

(1779)

John Jay was president of the Continental Congress and active in New York politics when the country was making the transition from the Articles of Confederation to the new Constitution. His in-depth understanding and appreciation of the role of trade and international commerce proved critical in establishing the new country as a legitimate member of the family of nations. He viewed credible trade and stable, viable economic relationships with the other nations of the world as the only path the American Revolutionists could take to attain the status of a respected nation. Jay carried this commitment to economic viability in the international arena onto the bench when he became the first chief justice of the United States. Jay perceived the world through the lens of what might now be called globalization. He saw the emerging country as a part of a larger world system. From his perspective, if the United States could not pay its debts and therefore be trusted by other nations...

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John Jay (Library of Congress)

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