The Xyz Affair Essay

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AP US History The XYZ Affair The XYZ affair was a major political incident that almost led to a war between the United States and France. President Adams sent three ambassadors who were confronted by informal diplomats of the French Foreign Minister who demanded a bribe and a loan. When the word of the event became public the American people were angry. They demanded war with France but both Adams and the French minister ceased from declaring an official war, but a Quasi War did take place for two years. Since the 1789 French Revolution, relations between the French Republic and the United States have been tense. These relations became even more intense in 1972 when France and Britain went into a war, a war which President Washington…show more content…
troops in the French wars against England. The American ambassadors in France were faced by negotiators. The first to arrive was Jean Hottinguer (X) who said that Talleyrand, the French Foreign Minister, had certain conditions that must be met in order to officially receive the American ambassadors, which included a $250,000 personal bribe demanded by Talleyrand and a $12 million loan to France. Soon after, Pierre Bellamy (Y) came and re-stated the terms in order to meet Talleyrand. John Marshall wrote long articles about the event and when the news reached Paris and the United States, Talleyrand and the French government began to harass the U.S. envoys. Once again, Talleyrand sent another one of his friends, Lucien Hauteval (Z) who demanded the terms must be met or there would war. Talleyrand unofficially and secretly met with Gerry who said that they could give then the $12 million loan, and that was the best he could offer. Talleyrand intended to end attacks on U.S. merchant shipping, but first wanted the bribe and the loan, strengthen his political position in the French government and make sure that he would only meet with Gerry, who seemed like the most friendly and able to negotiate

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