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Re: [WarOf1812] Cruikshank Documents

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  • mmathews@VAX2.WINONA.MSUS.EDU
    (snip) ... I m curious about this part, being a bit of a Napoleonic addict. Can you give me some examples of this foreign policy manipulation please?
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 3, 2000
      (snip)
      >> FR wrote:
      >> Even so, one of the obscure facts of the
      >> war
      >> was that despite the problem with England, the
      >> senate
      >> still almost declared war on France instead, the
      >> vote
      >> losing by only four votes!
      >>
      >> Rob ... I did not know that, was it because France
      >> was
      >> also interfering with American commerce?
      >
      >
      >Probably more so than England, by that time. Keep in
      >mind that there was a growing awareness that Nappie
      >had been manipulating US foriegn policy for his own
      >ends, andf this was greatly resented, as well. Peace
      >with England and war with France meant that the
      >Americans would get fat from feeding Wellington's
      >army.

      I'm curious about this part, being a bit of a Napoleonic addict. Can you
      give me some examples of this foreign policy manipulation please?
      Certainly the US took advantage of some of the situations Napoleon created
      (or tried to), but I respectfully question how much direct influence
      Napoleon had. It has always been my conclusion that the United States was
      just trying to be opportunistic, much like our unfortunate attempt to seize
      Canada and "finish the business started in 1776."

      For example, the French battle fleet was effectively neutralized after
      about 1809. Privateers were slipping out, but getting a message to America
      by that route would be chancey at best. Plus there is not much to indicate
      that American ships were significantly impacted by these French privateers
      in their efforts to trade with England. Granted the Continental System
      would greatly impact the sale of goods with the rest of Europe, but England
      also had a standing policy to prevent materials from reaching France or her
      allies. This included, but was not limited to, the seizure of said ships.

      We could certainly get rich supporting Wellington and England's other land
      ventures, but that could be done without a formal declaration of war.
      After a fashion, England's navy protected America from French
      intervention/influence as much as she protected her own shores. Napoleon
      may well have wanted this or that, but how could he enforce his desires?
      i.e., where would he find his leverage to manipulate?

      Thanks in advance,

      Michael

      Michael Mathews -- Winona State University
      Voice: (507) 285-7585 Cel: (507) 450-3535 Fax: (507) 280-5568
      ------------------------------
      "I've decided to be happy, because it's good for one's health." - Voltaire
    • Fitzhugh MacCrae
      ... About six months before war was declared, the US issued a Cease and desist ultimatum to both france and England. The implication was that the US would
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 3, 2000
        --- mmathews@... wrote:
        > (snip)
        > >> FR wrote:
        > >> Even so, one of the obscure facts of the
        > >> war
        > >> was that despite the problem with England, the
        > >> senate
        > >> still almost declared war on France instead, the
        > >> vote
        > >> losing by only four votes!
        > >>
        > >> Rob ... I did not know that, was it because
        > France
        > >> was
        > >> also interfering with American commerce?
        > >
        > >
        > >Probably more so than England, by that time. Keep
        > in
        > >mind that there was a growing awareness that Nappie
        > >had been manipulating US foriegn policy for his own
        > >ends, andf this was greatly resented, as well.
        > Peace
        > >with England and war with France meant that the
        > >Americans would get fat from feeding Wellington's
        > >army.
        >
        > I'm curious about this part, being a bit of a
        > Napoleonic addict. Can you
        > give me some examples of this foreign policy
        > manipulation please?

        About six months before war was declared, the US
        issued a "Cease and desist" ultimatum to both france
        and England. The implication was that the US would not
        declare war on whoever responded favorably.
        Napoleon immediately responded in the affirmative,
        despite the fact that if his decree was actually
        enforced, it would seriously undermine the Continental
        System. For instance, if the decree was enforced,
        American holds could legitimately carry English goods
        to, say, Prussia, Denmark, or Italy.
        The English were caught flat-footed by the decree -
        and didn't believe it for a minute. Unfortuately, they
        also didn't believe that the Americans were so naive
        as to believe the French.
        A major reason for declaring war on France was the
        fact that French privateers and light warships were
        seizing American ships in ever-greater numbers (you
        don't need a battle fleet to wreck a maritime nation's
        economy - look at what the US did to England) The four
        votes in the Senate were from silly people who
        believed that the privateers simply had not yet gotten
        the word yet about the decree.
        The state of American perceptions of real politik in
        those days was, well, laughable. What made it so
        tragic was that they were so sincere about their
        rose-colored specs. . . .

        Fitz

        =====
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      • mmathews@VAX2.WINONA.MSUS.EDU
        ... Can you expand for me the specifics of what each power was to cease and desist? Sounds interesting, but is new to me. If I understand the above, we were
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 3, 2000
          >--- mmathews@... wrote:
          >> (snip)
          >> I'm curious about this part, being a bit of a
          >> Napoleonic addict. Can you
          >> give me some examples of this foreign policy
          >> manipulation please?
          >
          >About six months before war was declared, the US
          >issued a "Cease and desist" ultimatum to both france
          >and England. The implication was that the US would not
          >declare war on whoever responded favorably.
          >Napoleon immediately responded in the affirmative,
          >despite the fact that if his decree was actually
          >enforced, it would seriously undermine the Continental
          >System. For instance, if the decree was enforced,
          >American holds could legitimately carry English goods
          >to, say, Prussia, Denmark, or Italy.

          Can you expand for me the specifics of what each power was to cease and
          desist? Sounds interesting, but is new to me. If I understand the above,
          we were asking them to allow us to carry English goods in American hulls to
          the continent? Why not American goods and avoid the middleman? Greater
          profit. Would American ships be allowed by the French (as if they could
          stop it) to come to English harbors? If so it would be very profitable as
          you could carry American goods to England, load up with English goods for
          the Continent, then carry Continental goods to either England or America.

          >The English were caught flat-footed by the decree -
          >and didn't believe it for a minute. Unfortuately, they
          >also didn't believe that the Americans were so naive
          >as to believe the French.

          I doubt they were. It's easy to see that agreeing on principle with
          something while knowing that your enemy would never allow it lets you
          (France) look like the good guy with no risk. Is this what you meant about
          manipulating US foreign policy?

          >A major reason for declaring war on France was the
          >fact that French privateers and light warships were
          >seizing American ships in ever-greater numbers (you
          >don't need a battle fleet to wreck a maritime nation's
          >economy - look at what the US did to England)

          The battle fleet reference was just one of ensuring through strength that
          your wishes and messages were delivered/enforced. Re the privateers, do
          you have any numbers? I would have thought that the only time our
          merchantile service suffered at the hands of the French was during the time
          of the "XYZ Affair" in 1799 and the resulting hostilities at sea. I am
          skeptical about how many French privateers were able to be active after
          about 1809. Certainly the letters of marque that were frequently issued to
          armed merchantmen would have been near to impossible for the French.

          The four
          >votes in the Senate were from silly people who
          >believed that the privateers simply had not yet gotten
          >the word yet about the decree.

          I'm confused and have deleted the original message unfortunately. So four
          senators voted *for* war with France, or the vote *failed* by four votes?

          >The state of American perceptions of real politik in
          >those days was, well, laughable. What made it so
          >tragic was that they were so sincere about their
          >rose-colored specs. . . .

          It's a "cain't win fer losin'" situation. The media was so one dimensional
          and perhaps even more dominating than today that people really did believe
          everything they read. Of course, as has been pointed out at other times,
          the most hawkish group (the South) had the least to lose in theory and the
          heavy merchantile states (New England) were largely opposed to war.

          Thanks,
          Michael

          Michael Mathews -- Winona State University
          Voice: (507) 285-7585 Cel: (507) 450-3535 Fax: (507) 280-5568
          ------------------------------
          "I've decided to be happy, because it's good for one's health." - Voltaire
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