This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: in this, he was successful until 1805. After
that, American commercial ties made it impossible to
avoid entanglement in the European conflicts of the time.
- It all began with the renewal of the Napoleonic Wars in
Europe in May 1803 [by then the US and Britain once
again had friendly relationships]. This helped US
commerce for 2 years, since it allowed America to
become the chief supplier of food the Europe.
- But after the British victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in
October 1805 the Royal Navy tightened its control, a
situation that worsened when Britain and France began
blockading e/o trade to break the stalemate. This was
terrible for US trade.
- The British then began violating US rights as a
sovereign nation by: (1) impressing British-born sailors or
British deserters on US ships and court-martialing
alleged deserters, (2) interfering w/US trade in the West
Indies and (3) searching and seizing US ships.
- So in February 1806 Congress passed the NonImportation Act, which banned British manufactures
from entering American ports, to protest British
impressment. The act was more a warning than anything
else, as it didn’t ban the really important goods.
- Still, after failed attempts at negotiation the US-British
relationship went down the drain, especially after the
Chesapeake affair in June 1807. Inside US waters, the
British ship Leopard fired on the Chesapeake after it
refused to be searched for deserters. The ship was then
boarded and four men were seized. 74 - This enraged Americans but also illustrated US military
weakness, which prevented war. Instead, Jefferson
closed American waters to the British, increased military
spending, invoked the Non-Importation Act in December
1807 and then followed with the Embargo Act.
- A short-term measure meant to avoid war, the Embargo
Act forbade all US exports to other countries. This was a
majorly bad move b/c: (1) it killed the US economy (high
unemployment), esp. in NE and led to smuggling, (2) it
did not really hurt Britain overall as the people it affected
View Full Document
- Fall '10