The Hated Embargo - Coweta County Schools

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The Hated Embargo
•1807
United States under the guard of Jefferson
•National
honor would not allow submission to British
or French
•Large scale war was contrary to New Republic’s policy
•Navy weak – because of Jefferson anti-navalism
•Army even weaker
The Hated Embargo
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Warring European nations depended on U.S. for
raw materials and foodstuffs.
Trying to avoid war Jefferson latched upon this
essential fact.
If America cut off its exports, Europe would be
forced to respect its rights.
Responding to the Pres. Congress hastily passed
the Embargo Act in late 1807.
The Hated Embargo

Embargo Act 1807
Forbade the export of all goods from the U.S.
whether in U.S. or foreign ships.
 Embodied Jefferson’s policy of “peaceful coercion”
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If embargo worked – it would vindicate the
rights of neutral nations and point to a new way
of conducting foreign affairs.
If failed – the Republic might perish, subjugated
to the European powers or sucked into their
ferocious war, according to Jefferson.
The Hated Embargo
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The U.S. suffered under the embargo long
before Britain or France began to bend.
Harbors were filled with dead masts
Docks were deserted (except for illegal trade)
Soup kitchens cared for some of the hungry
unemployed
Jefferson was hurting the New England
commerce that he vowed he was trying to
protect.
The Hated Embargo
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Farmers in the South and West (strongholds of
Jefferson) suffered no less.
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Mounting piles of unexportable cotton, grain, and
tobacco
Jefferson seemed to be waging war on his fellow
citizens
The Hated Embargo
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Illicit trade mushroomed in 1808, especially
along the Canadian boarder.
Armed Americans on loaded rafts overpowered
federal agents
 Transposed “Embargo”
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“O Grab Me”, “Go Bar’ Em,” and “Mobarge,” and
cursing the “Dambargo”
The Hated Embargo
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Jefferson had Congress pass iron-toothed
legislation to enforce the Embargo
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Inquisitorial and tyrannical
The embargo helped to revive the almost dead
Federalist party.
Federalist party leaders hurled their nullification
of the embargo to the “Virginia lordlings” in
Washington.
The Hated Embargo
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In 1804 Federalist received 14 electoral votes out
of 176
In 1808, the embargo year, they received 47 out
of 175.
New England talked of secession
Jefferson later admitted that he felt the
foundations of the nation tremble under his
feet.
The Hated Embargo
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Yielding to public anger, Congress repealed the
embargo on March 1, 1809, three days before
Jefferson retirement.
Non-intercourse Act – formally reopened trade
with all the nations of the world, except Britain
and France.
Watered down economic coercion continued to
be the policy until the nation finally plunged into
war.
The Hated Embargo
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Why did Jefferson’s Embargo Act collapse after
fifteen dismal months?
He underestimated the determination of the British
 Overestimated the dependence of both belligerents
on America’s trade
 Bumper grain crops blessed the British Isles during
these years
 Revolutionary Latin American republics opened for
compensating commerce.
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The Hated Embargo
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Why did Jefferson’s Embargo Act collapse after
fifteen dismal months?
With most of Europe under his control Napoleon
could afford to go without American trade.
 The French continued to seize American ships and
steal their cargoes,
 The embargo was not continued long enough to be
effective. But a leaky embargo was perhaps more
costly than none at all.
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The Hated Embargo
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New Prosperity from Embargo
Old factories and new ones were built in New
England during the Embargo.
 The real foundations of modern America’s industrial
might were laid behind the protective wall of the
Embargo, the Non-intercourse Act and the War of
1812.
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Madison’s Gamble
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Jefferson followed Washington’s lead and left
office after two terms.
Escape the “splendid misery”
 Favored nomination of his successor and friend,
James Madison
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Madison took the oath of office, March 4, 1809
The conflict in Europe was drawing to its climax
 Crippled as pres. by factions w/in his party and
cabinet.
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Madison’s Gamble
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Madison unable to dominate Congress
Often found himself holding the bag for risky
foreign policies not of his own making.
 Non-Intercourse Act of 1809 was due to expire in
1810.
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To Madison dismay Congress dismantled the embargo
completely w/Macon’s Bill No. 2. (an attractive lure)
 It opened trade w/the world
 If either Britain of France repealed its commercial
restrictions, America would restore its embargo against
the non repealing nation.
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Madison’s Gamble
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Madison unable to dominate Congress
Macon’s Bill No. 2 con’t.
 Madison believed that the bill was a shameful
capitulation.
 It practically admitted that the U.S. could not survive
w/out one of the belligerents as a commercial ally,
 But it left determination of who that ally would be
up to the leaders of London and Paris.
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Madison’s Gamble
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Napoleon see an unusual opportunity
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Since 1806 Britain had justified its Orders in Council as
retaliation for Napoleon’s actions (implying that trade
restrictions would be lifted if the French decrees
disappeared.)
Now the French held out the same half promise.
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August 1810, Napoleon’s foreign minister stated that decrees might
be repealed if Britain also lifter its Orders in Council. (Message was
deliberately ambiguous)
Had no intention of permitting unrestricted trade between U.S. and
Britain
Hoped to maneuver the U.S. into resuming its embargo against the
British (creating a partial blockade that he would not have to enforce)
Madison’s Gamble
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Madison’s Gamble
Madison knew better than to trust Napoleon
 Gambled that the threat of seeing the U.S. trade
exclusively w/France would lead the British to repeal
their restrictions and vice versa.
 Accepted emperor’s offer as evidence of repeal
 Macon’s Bill gave British 3 months to live up to their
implied promise of Revoking the Or. In Coun. And
reopening the Atlantic to neutral trade.
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Madison’s Gamble
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Madison’s Gamble
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British reply
British were in firm control of the seas, and saw little
reason to bargain.
 As long as there was a war w/France, the U.S. could trade
only w/ Great Britain.
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Gamble failed
President Madison saw no choice but to reestablish the
embargo against Britain alone.
 Madison knew this meant the end of American neutrality
 And possibly the first step toward war
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