The embargoes created an economic recession, but ultimately American industry became more reliant on the domestic market and less dependent on foreign trade.
When the nineteenth century began, Britain had mobilized to stop Napoleonic France’s increasing control of continental Europe and sought to stop trade with France. British warships overpowered ships of other countries, demanded their surrender, boarded them, seized control, and forced sailors of various nationalities to work against their will until they were released in home ports, penniless.
The United States was at peace with
In 1807, after Britain’s Privy Council demanded an embargo of French ports by all countries, Congress passed an Embargo Act to disallow American ships from
The embargo was still flouted, so Congress relented by authorizing President Thomas Jefferson to call off the embargo if conditions improved. He did so in 1809 just before leaving office. Congress then passed the Nonintercourse Act, officially lifting the embargo from all countries but Britain and France. Congress ended the still unpopular embargoes on both countries in 1810, while authorizing the president to reinstitute an embargo if either country reimposed restrictions.
Meanwhile, from 1807 to 1812, Britain seized 389 more American trading ships, and 775 additional sailors were forced into British service. Consequently, Congress supported President James Madison’s request for war with Britain, unaware that London had already rescinded orders to conscript foreign sailors.
After the war declaration, British ships attacked American ports during the
Craughwell, Thomas J., with M. William Phelps. Failures of the Presidents: From the Whisky Rebellion to the War of 1812 to the Bay of Pigs to the Iran-Contra Affair. Beverly, Mass.: Fair Winds Press, 2008. Sears, L. M. Jefferson and the Embargo. Reprint. New York: Octagon Books, 1966. Spivak, Burton. Jefferson’s English Crisis: Commerce, Embargo, and the Republican Revolution. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1979.
Boston Tea Party
Depression of 1808-1809
European trade with the United States
International economics and trade
War of 1812