Essay Example on Thomas Jefferson - the third President of the United States








On February 17 1801 Thomas Jefferson was elected as the third President of the United States The United States and other major countries had been paying tributes to Tripoli Algeria Tunis and Morocco so that they may sail their ships without being captured and held hostage Before his presidency Jefferson was an American Peace Commissioner He was supposed to negotiate treaties with Europe and the Mediterranean In doing this he learned that Europe paid tributes to the Barbary countries in exchange for peace After having an American ship taken by Moroccan corsairs also known as pirates Jefferson wrote to John Adams stating that Our trade to Portugal Spain and the Mediterranean is annihilated unless we do something decisive Tribute or war is the usual alternative of these pirates If we yield the former it will require sums which our people will feel Why not begin a navy then and decide on war We cannot begin in a better cause nor against a weaker foe This plan to go to war in his mind was cheaper and more likely to be effective John Adams believed it was easier and cheaper to pay the tribute In 1786 Congress sent Thomas Barclay to negotiate the treaty with Morocco and it was successful

The Moroccan treaty would protect American ships from corsairs and no tribute had to be payed Algiers a country in Algeria located on the Mediterranean Sea did not corporate as well Congress wanted to send another commissioner to Algiers to negotiate a treaty and free the captive Americans This was not possible since Congress only allowed a set amount of money which was not enough Since the U S could not negotiate a treaty they had to sail their ships alongside the European ships for protection In 1793 Algiers and Portugal formed an alliance which led to the capture of many American ships Portugal had at one time been protecting American ships This alliance forced the United States to form a treaty with Algiers Tunis and Tripoli and pay tribute to them The writing of the Constitution gave Congress a new power to raise and maintain armed forces Congress ordered that the first 6 ships be built for the U S Navy On May 14 1801 Jefferson s refusal to pay Tripoli the payments of tribute resulted in the Pasha of Tripoli declaring war on the United States Jefferson wrote a letter to express his feelings about Tripoli s demands and stated that our sincere desire to cultivate peace commerce with your subjects Also mentioned was our dispatch to the Mediterranean of a squadron of observation whose appearance we hope will give umbrage to no power 

The squadron s purpose the letter explained was to exercise our seamen and to superintend the safety of our commerce which we mean to rest on the resources of our own strength bravery in every sea In 1802 with no progress in the war Jefferson sent ships to Tripoli The ships were captured however all managed to escape except one which was eventually released The United States had blockaded Tripoli who still managed to trade with the other Barbary powers Those other countries sided with Tripoli Commodore Samuel Barron and Jefferson created a plan to attack Tripoli with smaller vessels in hopes to end the war Barron met with William Eaton in the fall of 1804 Eaton was a American Naval Agent for Barbary and had a plan of his own for ending the war Eaton had created a plan back in 1802 which involved changing the pasha Eaton went to Egypt and found the ex pasha Hamet They were only working with Hamet to benefit the United States not to put him back in power He gathered a couple hundred Arabs and Greeks On April 27 1805 they captured Derne a town east of Benghazi where Hamet had once been governor Barron had gotten sick in Sicily but was still in control over the fleet 

The plan was to lead the attack in the summer The blockade had stayed in control during the winter and spring He gave the fleet to Captain John Rodgers most likely due to his deteriorating health Tobias Lear secretary to George Washington and later appointed by Thomas Jefferson traveled to Tripoli to negotiate the peace treaty on May 24 1805 American captives from the Philadelphia a ship attacked by Tripoli were released on June 4th The treaty was signed on June 10 1805 resulting in America not having to pay tributes The treaty was ratified by Senate on April 12 1806 The Second Barbary War After the War of 1812 the United States felt powerful Powerful enough to try and resolve the issues it had with Baraby powers During the War of 1812 Algiers corsairs went back to capturing ships who refused to pay tributes The United States navy was now more advanced and strong enough to defeat them James Madison who was now the President asked Congress to approve war with Algiers I recommend to Congress the expediency of an act declaring the existence of a state of war between the United States and the Dey of Algiers On February 23 1815

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