By Richard Buel

Many humans will be shocked to profit that the fight among Thomas Jefferson's Republican get together and Alexander Hamilton's Federalist occasion defined--and jeopardized--the political lifetime of the early American republic. America at the Brink appears at why the Federalists, who labored so tough to consolidate the government earlier than 1800, went to nice lengths to subvert it after Jefferson's election. as well as taking the aspect of the British within the diplomatic dance ahead of the conflict, the Federalists did every thing they can to bog down the prosecution of the conflict, even threatening the Madison management with a separate peace for brand new England in 1814. Readers excited about the realm of the Founding Fathers will come clear of this riveting account with a brand new appreciation for the way shut the hot kingdom got here to falling aside nearly fifty years earlier than the Civil War.

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They had little interest in the expansion of European settlement in the West, which the prosperity of the East was underwriting, except as land speculators and as a siphon for relieving the more settled areas of malcontents. Instead, the inner core of New England’s Federalists leaders seemed principally interested in having their ideological anxieties confirmed by Republican behavior. They longed for political vindication. 25 The closest the new president initially came to confirming Federalists fears was to support repeal of the Judiciary Act of 1801, under which Adams had appointed many judges to federal office in the closing hours of his administration, thus depriving these officials of their jobs.

America’s neutral commerce provided an inviting means. In early January 1807, shortly after signing the Monroe-Pinkney treaty, Britain had retaliated against the Berlin Decree with an order issued by the Privy Council that banned neutral shipping from the coastal trade of France and her allies. Napoleon responded in kind by excluding all British products as well as ships from entering the portions of the continent that he controlled. 79 While both powers were escalating their pressure on the commerce of neutrals, Britain precipitated a crisis with the United States by attacking an American frigate.

At the same time word came from France that it no longer regarded the FrancoAmerican Convention of 1800 as exempting United States vessels and their cargoes from the Berlin Decree. 83 This was an alarming prospect for all who recalled that the nation, allied with France, had barely survived the revolutionary war against Britain. Additionally the nation’s merchant marine, scattered as it was across the broad expanse of the world’s oceans, remained helpless hostage to the depredations of potential adversaries.

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