The Origins of Jeffersonian Commercial Policy and Diplomacy

Overview

Very few Americans regretted seeing Thomas Jefferson leave the White House in the winter of 1809. The man who led the Republican party from opposition to power and who overwhelmingly defeated Charles C. Pinckney in 1804 had had a disastrous second term. The military stalemate in Europe with Napoleon controlling the continent and the Royal Navy ruling the seas ushered the Franco-British war into a new phase of blockades and counter-blockades with both sides raiding neutral American shipping. The administration ...
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Overview

Very few Americans regretted seeing Thomas Jefferson leave the White House in the winter of 1809. The man who led the Republican party from opposition to power and who overwhelmingly defeated Charles C. Pinckney in 1804 had had a disastrous second term. The military stalemate in Europe with Napoleon controlling the continent and the Royal Navy ruling the seas ushered the Franco-British war into a new phase of blockades and counter-blockades with both sides raiding neutral American shipping. The administration responded by prohibiting all American exports to the belligerents. The Embargo brought the booming American economy to a screeching halt, and as economic distress grew resentment over the measure spread from merchants to farmers and mechanics. The Origins of Jeffersonian Commercial Policy and Diplomacy examines the evolution of Jefferson's commercial ideas and policies from his days as a young revolutionary to his presidency. It analyzes the way in which Jefferson worked out his conflicting approaches to commerce not only as a thinker but also as a policy maker. It examines the tensions between rejecting commerce altogether as a threat to republican virtue, and promoting commerce as a necessary vehicle for the maintenance of American prosperity. It traces Jefferson's life-long commitment to the policy of commercial coercion and places American policy in the context of the global competition between England and France. Without deviating from the narrative format, Professor Ben-Atar reflects on a variety of contested issues in early American historiography, from the debate over eighteenth-century republicanism to the birth of American foreign policy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780333578261
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Pages: 261

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 A Source of Power 17
2 Commerce and the Republic on a Hill 38
3 Commerce, Virtue and the Balance of Power 54
4 The French Alternative 68
5 The Competing Visions 87
6 The Carrot and the Stick 103
7 Revival of the Nootka Sound Doctrine 122
8 The Vision Discredited 137
9 The Consequences of Implementation 152
Conclusion 169
Notes 173
Index 257
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