The Emerging Nation: Foreign Relations of the United States, 1780-1789

The Emerging Nation: A Documentary History of the Foreign Relations of the United States under the Articles of Confederation, 1780-1789 is a three-volume edition that serves as a scholarly introduction to the understanding of United States foreign relations through the publication of key documents. It is intended to encourage further investigation and study of early diplomatic history. It begins with steps leading to peace negotiations with Great Britain and ends in 1789 with the adoption of the United States Constitution and the establishment of the Federal government.

Documents in this edition help explain how the nation's leaders conducted foreign relations during the Confederation period, how they recorded successes and failures, and how the difficulties surrounding foreign relations related to the adoption and ratification of the United States Constitution.

These volumes provide scholars and students at all levels with a basic work for reference and original research, for class and seminar assignments and papers, and for graduate and undergraduate theses. In addition to scholars and students, government officials, lawyers, and individuals in the international community should find these volumes valuable.
  • Volume One, Recognition of Independence, covers the extensive peace negotiations leading to the Treaty of Paris of 1783;
  • Volume Two, Trials and Tribulations, explores the frustrations in diplomacy associated in part with the inability of the government under the Articles to control commerce, to tax the states for needed revenues, and to enforce treaties;
  • Volume Three, Toward Federal Diplomacy, reflects continued diplomatic efforts to reach foreign agreements to enhance United States security in the world community while political leaders established a federal union.
In order to present the historical richness of as many documents as possible, introductions, headnotes, and annotations have been used judiciously in support of a basic understanding of the events. This editorial philosophy reflects the goal of the editors "to let the documents speak for themselves." As gathered here, they have much to say.