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Re: Total vs. Limited Wars/French & Ships

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  • Rob Taylor
    Awhile back there was a question on Scott McDonald s post on French impressment of sailors. Rob wrote: The U.S. merchant marine suffered from both the
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 26, 1999
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      Awhile back there was a question on Scott McDonald's post on French
      "impressment" of sailors.


      Rob wrote:
      The U.S. merchant marine suffered from both the British and
      French, and Thomas Jefferson undertook to answer both nations with
      measures that by restricting neutral trade would show the importance
      of that trade. "Embargo Act 1807"

      passed Dec. 22, 1807, by the U.S. Congress in answer to the British
      orders in council restricting neutral shipping and to Napoleon's
      restrictive Continental
      System. The U.S. merchant marine suffered from both the British and
      French, and Thomas Jefferson undertook to answer both nations with
      measures that by restricting neutral trade would show the importance
      of that trade. The first attempt was the Nonimportation Act, passed
      April 18, 1806, forbidding the importation of specified British goods
      in order to force Great Britain to relax its rigorous rulings on
      cargoes and sailors.
      The act was suspended, but the Embargo Act of 1807 was a bolder
      statement of the same idea. It forbade all international trade to and
      from American ports, and Jefferson hoped that Britain and France would
      be persuaded of the value and the rights of a neutral commerce. In
      Jan., 1808, the prohibition was extended to inland waters and land
      commerce to halt the skyrocketing trade with Canada. Merchants, sea
      captains, and sailors were naturally dismayed to find themselves
      without income and to see the ships rotting at the wharves. All sorts
      of dodges were used to circumvent the law. The daring attempt to use
      economic pressure in a world at war was not successful.
      Britain and France stood firm, and not enough pressure could be
      brought to bear. Enforcement was difficult, especially in New England,
      where merchants looked on the scheme as an attempt to defraud them of
      a livelihood. When in Jan., 1809, Congress, against much opposition,
      passed an act to make enforcement more rigid, resistance approached
      the point of rebellion´┐Żagain especially in New England´┐Żand the scheme
      had to be abandoned. On March 1, 1809, the embargo was superseded by
      the Nonintercourse Act. This
      allowed resumption of all commercial intercourse except with Britain
      and France. Jefferson reluctantly accepted it. Not unexpectedly, it
      failed to bring pressure on Britain and France. In 1810 it was
      replaced by Macon's Bill No. 2 (named after Nathaniel Macon), which
      virtually ended the experiment. It provided for trade with both
      Britain and France unless one of those powers
      revoked its restrictions; in that case, the President was authorized
      to forbid commerce with the country that had not also revoked its
      offensive measures.
      ==
      War of 1812 Website: http://members.tripod.com/~war1812/
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