The Essex Case and the Rule of 1756

Jefferson responded to the Essex ruling by getting the Congress to pass the Embargo Act of 1807 which forbade U.S. merchants from trading with countries at war. It backfired and U.S. trade declined dramatically causing Jefferson to push through the Non-Importation Act of 1807 that prohibited U.S. merchants from doing business in either France or Britain or any of their colonies. It too was largely ignored.

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