Guides by Level of Government
In our country's early years, American foreign policy was closely tied with its commercial policy, and places which held our greatest attention were Great Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, and Germanic states such as Prussia, Hamburgh and Bremen. To a somewhat lesser degree, there was focus on Mediterranean countries and kingdoms such as Algiers, Morocco, Tunis, Naples, and Sicily. There are a few mentions of the South and Central American republics such as Colombia and "Buenos Ayres" as early as the 1810s.
The Foreign Relations section of the American State Papers contain reports and communications to Congress for the period 1789 to 1828. U. S. presidents' messages and speeches are included, as well as very early reports from the U. S. State Department and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. We have these original printed materials in our Special Collections Department, but they are also available in full text online.
For some interesting examples from these early documents, see