An Act Further To Protect The Commerce Of The United States

After the end of American Revolution and the war against the British the relations between the United States and European powers stabilized and trading started again with Great Britain. However the growing hostility between Britain and France that culminated in war in 1793 jeopardized the relations of the United States with France. As a result of that two nations were on the brink of war by 1798. In spring and summer of 1798 Congress approved several acts to ensure the safety of the nation and among those was An Act Further To Protect The Commerce Of The United States. That act was one of the key decisions in order to combat French superiority on seas in the late 18th century.
France, American ally in the Revolutionary Wars was an important trade partner of Americans. But both France and its adversary Great Britain saw a possibility to weaken each other by the trade embargo and insisted that other countries should follow that as well. Although the Frenchmen had helped Americans a few years before, trade with England was far more in the interests of Americans, the attitude which was definitely influenced by Britain’s superiority on high seas. The attitude of France towards the United States started gradually worsening. The United States did not wish to interfere in the European politics and attempted to remain in the neutral position. It did not work out as France claimed that Americans had abandoned the alliance treaty and authorized the seizure of any vessel visiting British ports. French officials asked for a huge bribe from the visiting American delegation and French vessels attacked American merchant ships. 6 percent of vessels involved in American trade were captured by French in 1797.The bribe proposal was rejected and forced the United States to take action against France.
In April 1798 the news about XYZ bribe affair reached the United States and the war fever started.On 27th April 1798 Congress passed the act about enl…

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