Quasi War Essay

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Donald Sinclair 11/27/09 English 3° Cause and Effect: Quasi War The Quasi War was an undeclared naval war between France and the US that had many causes and effects. The main cause of the war was the signing of the Jay Treaty between the United States and Britain in 1794. Although it was a commercial agreement, France viewed it as a violation of 1778 Treaty of Alliance with the American colonists and as favoritism towards Britain (militaryhistory.about.com). France's response to this was to seize American ships trading with Britain, and in 1796, France refused to accept the new US minister in Paris. Another cause of the Quasi War was the fact that the French had captured over 300 United State ships. After this, Alexander Hamilton formed an army and navy for better protection (militaryhistory.about.com). Tensions heightened in April 1798, when President John Adams reported to Congress on the XYZ Affair. The previous year, in an attempt to prevent war, Adams sent a delegation to Paris to negotiate peace between the two nations. Upon arriving in France, the delegation was told by three French agents, referred to in reports as X, Y, and Z, that in order to speak to Foreign Minister Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, they would have to pay a large bribe, provide a loan for the French war effort, and Adams would have to apologize for anti-French statements(militaryhistory.about.com). Refusing to comply, the delegation departed and returned home. This event prompted the Federalist slogan, "Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute." The Quasi War also had many effects on both France and the United States. The biggest effect was the new United States navy and the weakened French(American Pageant 13th ed.). A navy department was formed and US ships were given the order to attack any French vessel that was armed. The navy was very successful in limited
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