Jefferson’s Piracy Problem

From a foreign policy perspective, Jefferson’s choices vis a vis the Barbary Pirates were limited. He couldn’t approach England or France or their allies for help because they were at each other’s throats. Luckily, he still had the navy created under the Adams administration which was sent to the Mediterranean.

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Impressment Is Kidnapping By Another Name

To sail these ships, the Royal Navy needed men, lots of them. Desertion, often exceeding 25% annually, compounded its manning problem. One solution was emptying its jails, but this didn’t provide enough men.

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Origins of the Monroe Doctrine

While Monroe gets the credit, President Madison first stated what we know as the Monroe Doctrine because he was afraid that European leaders would try to suppress independence movements or take back colonies by force.

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Avoiding the Foreign Entanglements Vise

France tried to intimidate the U.S. to join its fight against Britain. England appealed to U.S. merchants desire for profits. The 1794 Jay Treaty was a bet that England would prevail in any fight against France.

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The Politics of War in 1780 Are Similar to Those in 2021

The machinations of politicians in democratic legislative bodies to stay in power often put them out of touch with what is happening on the battlefield. During the American Revolution, the British government faced the same disconnects between what the generals in the field were telling them and their own political ambitions.

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Problems of Remaining Neutral in 1798

The French Revolution which began in 1789 presented a series of difficult foreign policy challenges for the United States. One of the clauses in the Franco-American 1778 Treaty of Friendship…

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The Undeclared War Against France

The French Republic won the War of the First Coalition when Austria, Prussia, Spain and The Netherlands made peace. French royalty’s first attempt to restore the Bourbon monarchy had failed.…

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