Part 2: Trade, Shipping, and War

U.S. anger rose to a fever pitch and resulted in the passage of the Embargo Act of 1807. This extremely unpopular act prevented America from sailing to foreign ports (not just British or French ports but all foreign ports).

The Embargo Act was a disaster. Jefferson had thought that Britain and France would be devastated when they didn't receive their regular shipments of food, weapons, and other American goods. Instead, the two warring nations managed to get along right nicely without American goods. The Embargo Act backfired, and American ships sat in American ports, their cargoes rotting or spoiling.

Jefferson's successor, James Madison, was elected president, but not by a huge margin. Before he left office, Jefferson signed a bill repealing the Embargo Act.

But American ships kept being searched. And American anger grew.

President Madison tried to keep the United States out of the European War. But the more poorly American ships and sailors were treated, the more American people wanted war.

Next page > The War Hawks Win > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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