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XYZ Affair

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• John Adams


Definition: Diplomatic scandal that almost caused another war, this one between the United States and France. France was, at the time, at war with Great Britain. A treaty between Britain and the U.S. failed to guarantee France the right to ship with the U.S. France sent to the United States three diplomats, thereafter named X, Y, and Z, with outrageous demands. The result was undeclared war between the two countries.

Related Resources:
Brief Biography of John Adams
A good start for your study of JA.

Elsewhere on the Web:
An Overview of the XYZ Affair
Take a broad look at how these negotiations got out of hand.

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