Napoleon's Troublesome Americans: Franco-American Relations, 1804-1815 [NOOK Book]

Overview

Shortly before the United States declared war on Great Britain in June 1812, Congress came within two votes of declaring war on Napoleon Bonaparte's French empire. For six years, France and Britain had both seized American shipping. While common wisdom says that America was virtually an innocent in this matter, caught in the middle of the epic wars between France and Britain, Peter Hill has uncovered a far more complex and interesting history.
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Napoleon's Troublesome Americans: Franco-American Relations, 1804-1815

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Overview

Shortly before the United States declared war on Great Britain in June 1812, Congress came within two votes of declaring war on Napoleon Bonaparte's French empire. For six years, France and Britain had both seized American shipping. While common wisdom says that America was virtually an innocent in this matter, caught in the middle of the epic wars between France and Britain, Peter Hill has uncovered a far more complex and interesting history.

French privateers and Napoleon's navy were seizing American merchant ships in a concerted attempt to disrupt Britain's commerce. American ships were the principal carriers of British goods to the continent, and Napoleon believed his best, and perhaps only, hope to defeat Britain was to cut off that market. While the French emperor sought an accommodation with America, the administrations of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison continually frustrated him. American diplomatic fumbling sent mixed messages, and American neutrality policies, Hill finds, were more punishing to France than to Britain. Always interested in lucrative ventures, American merchant ships also became the main suppliers of food to British forces fighting Napoleon in Spain and Portugal. By 1812, the United States was on a collision course with both Britain and France over clashes on the high seas, and war with two major powers at once might have proven disastrous for the young United States. Hill's engaging narrative details the fascinating history of America's troubled relationship with Napoleon and how this crisis with France was finally averted.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...displays [Hill's] profound knowledge of both American and French archival sources. Future studies of French-American relations will profit greatly from [Hill's] research."

"A judicious blend of historiographic synthesis and original archival research . . . Hill's analysis of the diplomatic history that led to this near declaration of war is superb and will become the standard authority for United States historians. . . .Napoleon's Troublesome Americans serves as a model for scholarship. . . . Hill should be commended for his fair treatment of the subject and for his labors to reconstruct the history of Franco-American relations from Napoleon's perception."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612343013
  • Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/14/2005
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Peter P. Hill is professor emeritus of history at George Washington University and the author of several books, including French Perceptions of the Early American Republic, 1783–1793. He lives in Washington, D.C.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
1. John Armstrong’s Unpromising Beginning
2. Napoleon Quashes the Florida Job
3. Anglo-French Depredations Begin, 1806-1807
4. Napoleon Takes Exception to Jefferson’s Embargo
5. Napoleon Captures American Ships
6. Tightening the Continental System
7. Diplomacy Shifts to London
8. Fleeting Hopes for Conciliation
9. Bad Faith
10. Macon’s Bill
11. Napoleon Turns to Licensing; Madison Accepts the Cadore Letter
12. Maritime Issues and the Struggle over Florida
13. Seurier, American Complaints, and the Undoing of Augustus Foster
14. Madison’s French Initiative
15. Joel Barlow Proposes a Commercial Treaty
16. Spring 1812
17. Co-Belligerency and Diplomatic Breakthrough
18. Will Congress Declare War on Both Belligerents?
19. A Summons to Vilna
20. Seurier Reports on Wartime Washington
21. America Looks for Peace
22. End of an Era
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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