Sunday, September 13, 2009

College Paper 2: The XYZ Affair: America and France 1st International Scandal, Bribery, and Blackmail

(In my attempt to clean up some of the clutter on my hard drive, but also preserve some of finer works from my Undergrad i have posted some of old papers)

¬Brad Fitch
History 487: US Foreign Policy
XYZ Affair-Final Draft
05/02/08 - Dr. Rossi


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.” These are the opening words of Charles Dickens’ immortal work, A Tale of Two Cities, which he used to describe some of the more turbulent times of the early modern era. The late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century experienced some of the most amazing and drastic changes in politics, society, and every day life that a person could ever want. It was full of extremes and dualities as Dickens’ quote would suggest. Both the American and French Revolutions were the fuel for this era’s storm of changes. As the only two democracies of that time, both of these countries’ destinies seemed intertwined to one another.

These two sister republics started off as close war allies, but would soon find themselves on a path that might have lead them to an all out war. In spite of their common beliefs and enemy--Great Britain, these two allies had their share of tensions and miscommunications; none of these incidents being as influential or damaging to Franco-American Relations as the infamous XYZ Affair. Thus, in what manner did the French respond to the Anglo-American neutral shipping treaty? Why did they respond in that manner? What compelled the French foreign minster and his agents to press the U.S. Diplomats so hard for bribe? Also, to what extent did the XYZ Affair have on the U.S. foreign policy toward France? These questions as well as the reactions of President Adams, Congress, and the American people to the XYZ Affair all play a key role in understanding this dynamic part of history.

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress endorsed Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, whereby the thirteen colonies effectively and officially declared their freedom from Great Britain after nearly one hundred and fifty years of English rule. The reasons for these drastic political actions are many, but needless to say, the British Crown was not about to give up its most financially valuable colony without a fight. The war for revolution and independence was afoot.

The British military, with its powerful warships and seemingly endless sea of red mass, which composed of well-trained and armed soldiers, struck fear into the hearts of her enemies during any battle campaign. Given their lack of weapons, supplies, and military experience, American leaders knew if they were going to have any chance of succeeding in defeating this military superpower, they would have to enlist the aid of other European nations, most notably France. In order to negotiate agreements with these nations in a way that would be beneficial to both parities, John Adams, at Congress’s request, created the Model Treaty. This treaty was a template document that setup various provisions for trade agreements and neutral rights with America and other foreign countries. Congress approved Adams’ treaty on September 26, 1776. In December of that same year, Adams, Ben Franklin, and few others arrived in France with a copy of the Model Treaty in hand, in order to negotiate a formal military alliance against Great Britain.

Even with his charismatic demeanor and Adams’ intellectual support, Franklin had a hard time convincing French Foreign Minister, Charles Gravier, the Comte de Vergennes, who was assigned by the French Government, to negotiate with the Americans to support the United States with war against England. There was certainly no love-lost between France and Britain. Both had been at odds with each other for generations; fighting wars for survival as well as imperial conquest. One of the more recent and notable wars, The French and Indian War, had left France humiliated and without colonies in North America, and she was looking for a chance to get back at England. However, France’s problem was that she was still broken and exhausted from so many wars, the thought of investing more French money and lives in yet another war would be hard for the government to sell to the restless nobility and officials. Basically, America had to prove to Vergennes they could defeat Britain in battle as well as have the resolve to see the war all the way through, then France would help them help them win the war.

It would be nearly another ten months, but on October 17, 1777, American troops manage to defeat British forces, in a decisive victory, at the Battle of Saratoga. Winning this battle demonstrated that America could perhaps defeat the British and were not a lost cause after all. Thus, in February 1778, Franklin and Vergennes signed two agreements. The first was a treaty of amity and commerce, based after the Model Treaty, which defined what was considered contraband, in addition to defining the neutral trade rights for both parties. The second, and more important, was an Alliance Pact, in which both agreed never to make peace or any other agreements with England without consent from the other first.

With the arrival of fresh French troops and supplies, the tide of the American Revolution was slowly, but surely, changing in favor of the Colonists. By 1781, American and French forces had the British on the ropes. By September of that year, America had trapped British General Cornwallis at a fort in Yorktown. At the Battle of Chesapeake, French warships successfully managed to stop British supplies ships from reinforcing Cornwallis. That following October, Cornwallis officially surrendered at Yorktown, which is when many historians consider the final major battle of the Revolutionary War. The official end of the war came on September 3, 1783, after the signing of the Treaty of Paris by the Americans and British.
The Americans had let the proverbial cork out of the bottle in terms of revolutions, because now it was France’s turn. As America was struggling to adopt an effective form of government to lift them out of the difficulties of the post-revolution, on the other side of the Atlantic, France had been dealing with troubles of its own. Having fought so many wars with England, along with recent American Revolution, the French coffers were empty. The French monarch, King Louis XVI, tried imposing heavy taxes on the nobility and peasants alike, in order to bring France out of a depression. However, with heavy taxes, inflation, famine, and supply shortages, the people could no longer take it and they began to revolt against the French Crown. On July 14, 1789, hungry and frustrated citizens stormed the Bastille in Paris, marking the beginning of the French Revolution.

The king and his family fled the city, but eventually were forced back to the palace as a mob escorted them there by force and placed them under proverbial house arrest. Louis tried to exert control once more, but it proved to be unsuccessful. He was put on trial for his crimes in December 1792 and was beheaded by the guillotine the following month, thus ending the Absolute Monarchy in France.

In 1793, as France was seized with internal anarchy in a gruesome period called the Reign of Terror, thousands of people were being murdered or executed for no reason. The French Revolution was out of control. Both out of fear of a revolution happening in their own countries as well as for a chance to take advantage of France’s internal discord, many European nations joined together, in what would be known as the First Coalition, and attacked France. These nations included: Spain, England, Prussia, Austria, Ottomans, and a few Italian States. Most stopped fighting after a few years, except for England; these two would wage war on and off again until 1802.

With the continuous conflict between France and England, neutrality was hard to maintain for Americans, as some wanted to help France, to return the favor from the American Revolution. Still others wanted to support England, because it was still America’s main trading partner and financial supporter. President George Washington felt that taking any side and getting dragged into a foreign war would be detrimental to this infant nation as she still had many domestic problems to address before dealing with other nations problems. So, in April 1793, Washington declared the Proclamation of Neutrality, which stated that America would not directly get involved in Europe’s wars. In it he said that in the “interest of the United States require, that they should with sincerity and good faith adopt and pursue a conduct friendly and impartial toward the belligerent Powers (France, England, Austria, Prussia, etc..).”
Though Washington had pacified the debate for now, he still had woes to deal with because of Europe, particularly England. Since the Treaty of Paris, in 1783, British ships had been seizing American vessels, showing little respect for the new nation’s sovereignty, but because of the war with France, British assaults on U.S. trade ships had increased to intolerable levels. British forces had seized nearly 250 American trade ships bound for the foreign ports. England would take the trade ships cargo and men to use in its war with France. In response to increased attack on America ships, Congress enacted a 60 day embargo on all U.S. shipping bound for foreign nations (particularly England).

Seeking a more permanent solution to this problem, Washington sent John Jay to London to negotiate some kind of peace, establish stronger neutral trade rights, and get a few other pieces of land Britain was still holding onto in North America. After many concessions on both sides an agreement was made. It was called the Jay Treaty and was signed on Nov. 19, 1794. Due to her lingering war with France, England capitulated too many of the American’s demands, which was fortunate for the U.S., because England’s view of America was one of condescension. In spite of this, Americans were still angered over the treaty and at John Jay, because nothing about the previous attacks of American ships by the British was ever really addressed. Washington had a hard time selling the treaty to Congress and the people, but finally, in June 1795, the treaty was endorsed by Congress. It was the lowest point of his career.

The Jay Treaty was only meant to resolve growing tensions among England and the U.S., but France viewed the treaty as nothing less than an Anglo-America alliance pact. For France, this was a direct violation of the 1778 Treaty Alliance that America and France had signed, which said neither could enter into an agreement or alliance with Britain without of the other’s approval. So feeling the Americans had broken their side of the deal, France ended their side too, thus, voiding all American neutral trade rights in French controlled territories.

Now tensions between France and U.S. had been growing for many years, and this only served to add more fuel to fire. In August 1796, Washington recalled Foreign Minster to France, Jams Monroe, back home as tensions between the two had grown even thicker. With France no longer recognizing U.S. neutrality, France was seizing its trade ships left and right. In addition, on March 4, 1797, John Adams took office as the second president of the United States; inheriting both the presidency and the war-like tensions with France. The following June, Secretary of State Timothy Pickering reported that French privateers had seized nearly 316 of America’s ships since ending the neutral right agreement a year prior. They took the supplies and men to use in their war effort with England.

Having had the same problem with England a few years ago as well as wishing to avoid war, Adams decided to send delegates to France to get some kind of a Jay Treaty deal and restore neutral trade with them. Adams and his cabinet nominated three envoys to carry out this very mission to France. The men chosen for this task were former Minister to France Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Virginian Delegate and Attorney John Marshall, and a former Congressman Elbridge Gerry. Though at first Francis Dana, Chief Justice of Massachusetts was suppose to go, but could not make it, so Gerry went in his place.

Gerry and Marshall left for Europe, meet up with Pinckney who now lived in Amsterdam, and arrived in Paris on October 4, 1797, in hopes of restoring neutral trade rights and ending French privateering. Almost immediately, the envoys received word that the French Foreign Minister, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-PĂ©rigord, wanted to setup a meeting with them in two days at two o’clock. Two days later, in a short, but pithy meeting, Talleyrand gave the men cards of hospitality to prevent them from being deported by French authorities while they were in France, as well as asked them to hold off negotiations until he had the approval of his formal report about the whole situation by the Directory*.

Talleyrand’s report to the Directory reviewed Franco-America relations from 1792 to 1797. In it, he concluded that Adams seemed more appeasing than Washington and that current political tension in America would prevent Adams from taking any strong anti-French policies. Also, direct war would not be advisable for either side, which was what both sides seemed to want to avoid, according to Talleyrand. From that, he concluded to the Directory that any and all negotiations should be conducted at a slow and careful pace. The Directory gave its approval to Talleyrand, and on October 14, the negotiations began, but with Talleyrand implementing an odd, but cunning, delay tactic.

Talleyrand had his secretary let it be known to a friend of Pinckney, who told Pinckney that the Directory had been “greatly exasperated” by a speech that President Adams had given back in May, and they demanded an explanation for it. According to Marshall, the particular parts of the speech that offended them were never expressed in any details; however, the informant said that they should not meet with the Directory until after they have finished negotiations with Talleyrand. Over the next many months of negotiations, the ‘Adams’ speech’ excuse would be used as stall tactic again and again by Talleyrand and his agents. Of these agents, the ones that would have the most interactions with the three U.S. representatives were Conrad Hottinguer (X), Pierre Bellamy (Y), Lucien Hauteval (Z), and the lesser known associate Nicholas Hubbard (W).

These men would later receive their aliases thanks in part to a letter that Gerry wrote to Adams, as Adams was about to make the events of the French negotiation public, but Gerry wanted to keep the agents names confidential. He stated to Adams that he “had promised Mr. X and Y that their names should in no event be made public” as well as saying “they did not produce, to my knowledge, any credential or document of any kind” that would have properly identified them. As such, history would come to known these four French agents as merely W, X, Y, and Z.

On October 18, three days after the first meeting, the envoys were at the home of one of these agents, Hubbard, when another agent, Hottinguer, arrived saying that he a message from Talleyrand. He took Pinckney into another room alone, where he first went on about Adams’ speech again, but more importantly, he next told him that if any kind of treaty was ever going to be reached, America first had to give France a loan to aid in its war with England in the amount of thirty-two million Dutch Guilders (~$12 Million) and a personal fee, or bribe, to Talleyrand for fifty thousand Pounds (~$250,000). Pinckney was shocked; he requested that his colleagues join him, and that Hottinguer restate his demands to all of them, as to prevent the risk of him jumping to his own conclusions about the proposal. Gerry and Marshall were equally surprised when Pinckney told them as well as when Hottinguer restated his terms the next night. The three envoys flatly refused him.

For Hottinguer and the others, the American diplomats’ response of imminent shock and offence was a little surprising, because in Europe, this method of personal bribery of government officials, or pot de vin, in order to expedite anything more quickly in the government, was quite common place. Talleyrand, after hearing Hottinguer’s report, sent another agent and friend, Pierre Bellamy, with Hottinguer to the next meeting with the envoys. During the next few days of negotiations, the two agents and the three envoys could not come to any agreements about the bribes, trade rights, or privateering. Frustrated, the envoys offered to send a man back to Adams for new instructions, but the French had to stop attacking American ships in the mean time. The French refused and negotiations broke down again.

Talleyrand desired to continue stalling, but also had to prevent the envoys from going home, so he sent, yet, another agent, Lucien Hauteval, to meet privately with Gerry and reassure him of Talleyrand’s sincerity in reaching a peaceful negotiation. Due to Hauteval’s inexperience in negotiating, playing the role of soother was primarily his for the rest of the negotiations. A week later, the negotiations resumed with three of agents X, Y, and Z pressuring the three envoys with threats of war if they did not receive their money. Bellamy even went so far as to indirectly imply that Gerry, Marshall, and Pinckney were second rate diplomats, and that if America had sent men like Aaron Burr or James Madison, an agreement would have been reached by now. The envoys held their previous stance of not paying the bribes, in addition, it was at the end of this meeting when a frustrated Pinckney uttered his famous line “No, No, not a sixpence” in response to the French demands for a bribe. When these meeting records were published a year later, an American newspaper would spin this line as the other famous quote from the XYZ affair “Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute!"

The reason why Talleyrand and his agents had this unwavering desire to receive their money, William Stinchcombe, history professor at Syracuse University, argues in the William and Mary Quarterly, can be answered by the economic and social insecurities that were still lingering in France as a byproduct of their revolution. They had lost many of their investments in war, and now they sought a new way to restore their lost fortunes. “In delaying the negotiations, Talleyrand and his associates did not intend to risk the peace, but only to reward themselves.” To this end, Talleyrand employed other less abrasive agents besides X, Z, and Y. They were able to keep stringing the three envoys along for another five more months using more subtle tactics. This change in agents was a brilliant idea on his part, as it bought him the extra time he wanted.

By December 1797, all three envoys were well aware of Talleyrand’s attempt to delay them. They became quite frustrated with each other due to the months of failed negotiations. They argued about whether or not they should go home. Gerry, who had seemingly been more open to the French way, argued that if the mission failed, it would lead to war as well as “disgrace republicism” for both countries. Marshall had up until now showed a willingness to cooperate, but at this moment was less than thrilled with French hospitality. He argued that they should soon go home if a treaty could not be reached soon.

Marshall further disagreed with Gerry and argued that the failure to produce a treaty would not lead to war between the two nations. He also rejected the idea that France was a true republic. Many years later, Marshall wrote in his autobiography, “France is not and never will be a republic is a truth which I scarcely dare whisper even to myself," and he concluded that “it is in America and America only that human liberty has found an asylum.”

Pinckney also had become completely annoyed with Gerry, he stated that he was “habitually suspicious, and hesitates so much, that it is very unpleasant to do business with him.” In spite of their personal differences, they still held onto their convictions about not capitulating to Talleyrand’s demands for a bribe before any formal negotiations could begin. By January 1798, they had written a memorandum, which listed all their grievances with France during this whole mission, especially the earlier encounters with W, X, Y, and Z, and were ready to go home. However, Talleyrand still had few aces up his sleeves as well as a queen.

Back in October 1797, while attending a dinner party, the three delegates had met an enchanting noble woman and close associate of Talleyrand’s named Reine Philiberte de Varicourt, Madame de Villette. Madame de Viellete, a young widow, was a follower of Voltaire, as well as being rather pro-American allowed her to make quite the impression on Gerry and Marshall. So in November, when the three envoys had their personal conflicts with one another, both Gerry and Marshall moved out of Pinckney’s house in Paris and into small home on an estate outside of town that was owned by Madame de Villette. Whether at Talleyrand’s request or her own personal reasons, she offered her tenants many special services. She taught Gerry French, took Marshall to the theater, and often threw parties for both them. Poor Gerry had to explain to his wife “why he had moved into the house of an attractive widow in her thirties.” Gerry exclaimed, “that Paris crowds and burglars had made the Pinckney house so dangerous that he had to sleep with a pair of pistols under his pillow.” For some odd reason, the Pinckney family never expressed any such threats or feelings of concerns.
As the three had made out their memorandum of complaints against France, of which Talleyrand would later comment to a friend that “Frenchman were not use to receiving such long epistles,” nonetheless he was determined to keep them around a bit longer. In February, the men asked for their passports back, but Talleyrand ask for another meeting, and they agreed. However, matters of the state would have to wait, as Madame de Villette and another female friend took Marshall and Gerry away on a little weekend excursion to Madame de Villette’s summer Chateau in the country at the request of Talleyrand. When they returned, Talleyrand suggested that they pay the loan after the war with England was over, this way, it would appear as if America was continuing its neutrality. Gerry saw this as good opportunity to further negotiate, but Marshall and Pinckney did not share his sentiments.

The two also pointed to their original instructions, which were not to pay any kind of loan to France. Furthermore, they knew that had “no power even to negotiate for loan of money,” because the U.S. government had not “contemplated such circumstances in any degree whatsoever.” Thus, even if the envoys had agreed to make a payment to France, it would have been voided by the fact that such an act excided their powers given to them by Adams. If the envoys had deceived France in this manner, it only would have made the current tensions between the two nations worse. Also, at Pinckney’s behest they never made this fact known to Talleyrand. Because Pinckney felt they would longer be able to get an audience with Talleyrand if he knew the envoys could not officially offer him the money. As such, the envoys had to try negotiating without given into Talleyrand’s demand for a bribe.

The three envoys would have two more meetings with Talleyrand in March, but they were in a stalemate, though there was no real talk of loans or bribes, both sides blamed each other, and nothing was going to be accomplished. “Talleyrand still declined to abandon French maritime attacks or discrimination against American vessels, and the envoys still refused to acknowledge any contradiction between the Jay Treaty and the 1778 French Alliance.” Talks broke down for the final time. Both Marshall and Pinckney thought a war would not break out, so they got their passports back and journeyed home. Gerry stayed in Paris a little while longer, in a useless effort to negotiate, but after more dead ends and orders from Adams, he came back home three months later.
In March 1798, Pinckney returned with his family to the Netherlands and Marshall arrived in America, a national hero, by the time he gotten back to America, the whole XYZ affair scandal had been made public. The fact that he had resisted those corrupted Europeans made Marshall a celebrity and greatly increased the popularity of the Federalist party. One newspaper called Marshall’s behavior as having been “marked by an affection of dignity and of reserve which were very unseasonable” in France, because it was filled with the “grossest corruption and barefaced falsehood” of any country in the world.

In June, Secretary of State Timothy Pickering, following Adams’ orders, wrote Gerry insisting that there seemed to be no “probability or hope that existed that you would accomplish the object of your mission.” Furthermore, he told Gerry that the “respect due to yourself and to your country irresistibly required that you turn your back on a Government (France) that treated both with contempt.” Following Pickering’s letter, Gerry informed Talleyrand of his pressure to return to America and asked for his passport back.

However, even after Gerry left, it still did not stop Talleyrand from trying to keep Gerry around. Talleyrand, even went so far as to, according to one newspaper at the time, “give secret orders to the commandant to detain the Sophia (Gerry’s ship).” This too proved fruitless for Talleyrand, as Gerry would still make it home that October. Conversely, unlike Marshall who came home as hero, Gerry was unfortunately viewed by many as French sympathizer because he choose to stay in France so long.
While these three had been dealing with their problems in France, Adams had been contending with his own problems back in America. As word about failed negotiations with France reached America, many in Congress, as well as the public, demanded an explanation for why Adams’ and his envoys ostensibly failed to bargain any kind of a treaty. Adams went before Congress on March 19, 1798, where he debriefed them on the matter. He told them about the demands for a loan to the French war cause, the personal bribe that was necessary to do business with Talleyrand, as well as showing them all the correspondence letters between the three envoys and Adams’ cabinet.
Americans were inflamed with anger over the whole incident, and many, particularly the Pro-British factions, demanded retribution on France for its disrespectful demeanor toward America. All across the country there was a growing demand that America go to war with France. One newspaper said that the “Government of France, from the destruction of the Bastille, to the present hour, has exceeded in tyranny and injustice.” Also, France and America were once part of the same “pure virtue and republicanism,” but now France drifted away down a path of a “bloody and lawless revolution.” The article went to talk about how American patriots need to be ready for a war with France, because of its past actions, war was not only just, but necessary to defend American honor.

Not long after testifying before Congress, Adams said in another speech that following June, he would not “send another minster to France without assurance that he will be received, respected, honored as representative of a great, free, powerful, and independent nation.” Though Adams spoke with more powerful words, he knew, as Washington had that America, as still young nation, could not risk getting dragged into a total war with France without serve consequences. In spite of the fact, many in Adams’ party wanted to go war, as did many of the citizens, Adams knew would have to follow a careful course of diplomacy. Even as the Quasi-War with France raged on, Adams still did not give up hope of negotiations with France. The adoption of this foreign policy with France would cost Adams his political career after his term as president, but it would protect America from destruction.

Congress also acted boldly in order to subvert French interests in America, first, by passing a series of Alien and Seditions Acts of June 1798. These laws did several things, such as, extending the waiting period to become a citizen from five to fourteen years, and they allowed the president to deport any alien considered a national treat to peace, in this case, Pro-French radicals. Also, any alien who was member of country that the U.S. was at war with could be deported too. Lastly, the more dubious law, the Sedition Act, which made it illegal to publish or publicly say anything that was slanderous, or with malice, about America was very extreme and seemed to violate American’s newly formed constitutional rights. These laws only were in affect a few years due to their unconstitutional nature, but these laws have come back into play in U.S. history whenever America has been in major war.

Another thing Congress did was to void all treaties with France and create a Navy Department, which commissioned the constructions of naval warships to combat the French privateers in Caribbean. These combined actions would lead to the start of a Quasi-War between America and France, in which neither side would ever officially declare, due to their own respective political interests. In September 1798, Talleyrand learned of America’s outrage about the bribes. In order to help smooth things over, he began a series communications with U.S. foreign ministers John Q. Adams (the president’s son) and William Vans Murphy. Talleyrand told the ministers that if the America would send new envoys, they “shall be received in character, and shall enjoy the privileges attached to his character by the law of nations, and that a minister of equal rank, title, and powers shall be appointed to treat with him, to discuss and conclude all controversies between the two Republics by a new treaty.”
At the bequest of his son and Murphy, who thought Talleyrand offer to be sincere, President Adams finally agreed to send delegates back to France to negotiate. Adams wanted very much to avoid further conflict with France, but he had to be sure that if negotiations did resume that America would not be treated as impertinently as she had been during the XYZ affair. So, in February 1799, Adams sent a memo to the Senate, informing them that he was convinced that it was now appeared plausible to “restore tranquility” with the French Republic and he was awaiting their decision. He also petitioned that the Senate nominate Murphy as one of the representative, because he was already involved with and experienced in this delicate situation.

Congress would spend many more months arguing about whom the other envoys would be, because many still wanted to continue the fight with France, even people in Adams’ own Federalist party. Thus, this selection process served as stall tactic for many who wanted that fight. Finally after nearly a year, they choose their three commissioners, including Murphy, Oliver Ellsworth, and Will Davie to go to Paris. In March 1800, the three arrived in France. Negotiations continued over the next few months between the three U.S. Envoys and Talleyrand. Napoleon himself also intervened at different points, in order to restore all the damage caused by XYZ Affair and the political turmoil that had arisen over the years. On September 30, 1800, an agreement was finally reached called The Treaty of Mortefontaine (or Convention of 1800), which ended the quasi-war, voided all previous troublesome treaties, and restored many of the neutral trade rights. The overall gist of the agreement was to create partnerships and not alliances, which served both sides interests well enough for now.

Adams, by this point was tired of the whole affair and wanted the matter to be closed. He told the Senate that he would have agreed to the treaty “unconditionally, yet as in this point I found I had the misfortune to differ in opinion from so high a constitutional authority as the Senate” Though he went on to say that because it was in the best interest of the US to ratify the treaty with certain prescribed conditions, America will complete all her final treaty ratification with France. However, Adams concluded by adding that “I shall take no further measures relative to this business...my successor may proceed with them according to his wisdom.” In the end, Adams, though successful in avoiding direct war and negotiating favorably with France, decided that he had enough and simply wanted to wash his hand of the whole XYZ Affair.

After the final ratification was signed, Franco-American tensions calmed down, but trouble was brewing over the horizon. Napoleon’s interest and ambitions to have some of his own territory on the North American Continent would only further exasperate this already troublesome partnership. However, that is a story for another time, for the moment, things were tranquil for America.

Adams’ masterful handling of the situation and peace negations kept the U.S. from getting pulled directly into European affairs, despite many Americans strong feelings to go to war. The Alien and Sedition Acts that Congress had enacted changed not only the law, but how people thought of the Federal Government and its power. All of this, coupled with the XYZ Affair and Quasi-War would set the status quo for American foreign policy for the next twelve years. The XYZ Affair had created a ripple affect that extended far beyond the gates of 1798 Paris. Dickens was right; this era was the best and worse of times. For it was indeed the age of wisdom and foolishness.


Sources (the pasting for these didn't work out quite right in the blog, but here the all are):

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 1993), p 1.

US Department of State, “The Declaration of Independence 1776,” From the section of Diplomacy and the American Revolution, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/time/ar/91857.htm (accessed 4/23/08).

US Department of State, “The Model Treaty 1776,” From the section of Diplomacy and the American Revolution, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/time/ar/88106.htm (accessed 4/23/08).
Ibid.
Thomas G. Paterson, et al, American Foreign Relations to 1920 (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 2005), chapter 1; “Opportunity and Necessity: Alliance with France,” 14.
Ibid, 14-16.

U-S-History.com, “Battle of the Capes,” War for Independence, undated, http://www.u-s-history.com/
pages/h1320.html (accessed 1/29/08).

US Department of State, “The Treaty of Paris 1783,” From the section of Diplomacy and the American Revolution, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/time/ar/14313.htm (accessed 4/23/08).

Donald Kagan, Steven Ozment, Frank Turner, The Western Heritage: Brief Edition, Volume II: Since 1648, 3rd ed., (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2002), chapter 19; 354.
Ibid, 361.
Ibid, 363.

Printed in the Columbian Centinal, “By the President of United States: A Proclamation,” George Washington’s Proclamation from The Columbian Centinal, Published on May 4, 1793, pp 1, http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/milestones/procneutral/original.html (accessed 4/24/08).

Thomas G. Paterson, et al, American Foreign Relations to 1920 (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 2005), chapter 2; “Pinckney Treaty, France, and Washington’s Farewell,” 47.

US Department of State, “John Jay Treaty 1794-95,” From the section of the Diplomacy of the Early Republic, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/time/nr/14318.htm (accessed 4/23/08).
Ibid, 52

Thomas G. Paterson, et al, American Foreign Relations to 1920 (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 2005), chapter 2; “Pinckney Treaty, France, and Washington’s Farewell,” 51.

John Adams-Message to the Senate, “Regarding Envoys to France,” United States, May 31,1797, From the Avalon Project at Yale University, http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/presiden/messages/ja97-04.htm (accessed 4/23/08).

Dispatches From the Envoys to the Secretary of State, Department of State, April 3, 1798, France: instructions to ministers and XYZ letters, Text in: LexisNexis® Congressional Serial Set Digital Collection; Serial Set: ASP02 For.rel.139, pp 157-160, http://web.lexisnexis.com/congcomp/attachment/a.pdf?_m=9ed67ee2aaffe6be17151d
279a072960&wchp=dGLbVtb-zSkSA&_md5=512c7f532acbc53a6a059afc45e8eb33&ie=a.pdf, (accessed 1/29/08).

Ibid.

*The Directory was the name of the ruling French Government from 1795-1799.

William Stinchcombe, “The Diplomacy of the WXYZ Affair,” The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., Vol. 34, No.4 (Oct. 1977): pp 596, http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=00435597%28197710%293%3A34%3A4%3C590%3
ATDOTWA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-E (accessed 3/8/08).

Dispatches From the Envoys to the Secretary of State, Department of State, April 3, 1798, France: instructions to ministers and XYZ letters, Text in: LexisNexis® Congressional Serial Set Digital Collection; Serial Set: ASP02 For.rel.139, pp 157-160, http://web.lexisnexis.com/congcomp/attachment/a.pdf?_m=9ed67ee2aaffe6be17151d
279a072960&wchp=dGLbVtb-zSkSA&_md5=512c7f532acbc53a6a059afc45e8eb33&ie=a.pdf, (accessed 1/29/08).

“XYZ Affair,” The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, (2007), http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1E1-XYZAffai.html, (accessed 03/03/08).
Dispatches from the Envoys to State Dept. and Adams, officially given to Congress on January 18, 1799, France: negotiations on XYZ affair, Text in: LexisNexis® Congressional Serial Set Digital Collection; Serial Set: ASP02 For.rel.139, pp 229,http://web.lexisnexis.com/congcomp/document?_m=0846241c8f63fbbc42843b0e51ee15f4&
_docnum=9&wchp=dGLbVzW-zSkSA&_md5=f4f393d92b315d1e77c361c787de635f (accessed 4/24/08).

Dispatches From the Envoys to the Secretary of State, Department of State, April 3, 1798, France: instructions to ministers and XYZ letters, Text in: LexisNexis® Congressional Serial Set Digital Collection; Serial Set: ASP02 For.rel.139, pp 157-160, http://web.lexisnexis.com/congcomp/attachment/a.pdf?_m=9ed67ee2aaffe6be17151d
279a072960&wchp=dGLbVtb-zSkSA&_md5=512c7f532acbc53a6a059afc45e8eb33&ie=a.pdf, (accessed 1/29/08).

William Stinchcombe, “The Diplomacy of the WXYZ Affair,” The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., Vol. 34, No. 4 (Oct. 1977): pp. 598-599, http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=00435597%28197710%293%3A34%3A4%3C590%3
ATDOTWA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-E (accessed 3/8/08).

Dispatches From the Envoys to the Secretary of State, Department of State, October, 27, 1798, France: instructions to ministers and XYZ letters, Text in: LexisNexis® Congressional Serial Set Digital Collection; Serial Set: ASP02 For.rel.139, pp 161,http://web.lexisnexis.com/congcomp/document?_m=0846241c8f63fbbc42843b0e51e
e15f4&_docnum=25&wchp=dGLbVzW-zSkSA&_md5=0baaef850772ccfae537bfbe963d2101 (accessed: 04/25/ 2008).

William Stinchcombe, “The Diplomacy of the WXYZ Affair,” The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., Vol. 34, No. 4 (Oct. 1977): pp. 604-606, http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=00435597%28197710%293%3A34%3A4%3C590%3
ATDOTWA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-E (accessed 3/8/08).
Ibid.

John Marshall, "The events of my life: an autobiographical sketch," Published by Ann Arbor, Mich. Clements Library, University of Michigan, 2001, pp 24-25.
Ibid.

Charles C. Pinckney to Thomas Pinckney, Dec. 22, 1797, Pickering Papers, as referenced in “The Diplomacy of the WXYZ Affair,” The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., Vol. 34, No.4 (Oct. 1977): pp.606, http://links.jstor.org/
sici?sici=00435597%28197710%293%3A34%3A4%3C590%3ATDOTWA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-E (accessed 3/8/08).
Communication to Congress from Adams, June 17, 1798, France: negotiations and XYZ affair, Memorandum of Envoys to Pickering, Text in: LexisNexis® Congressional Serial Set Digital Collection; Serial Set: ASP02 For.rel.143, pp 188,http://web.lexisnexis.com/congcomp/document?_m=ca9bf96e5b63826a1a6e91f1cdbd457c&_docnum=20&wchp=dGLbVtb-zSkSA&_md5=0f7e27d9370b809ece5d0a0f852b90fa (accessed 1/29/08).

William Stinchcombe, “The Diplomacy of the WXYZ Affair,” The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., Vol. 34, No. 4 (Oct. 1977): pp.609, http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=00435597%28197710%293%3A34%3A4%3C590%3
ATDOTWA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-E (accessed 3/8/08).

William Stinchcombe, “The Diplomacy of the WXYZ Affair,” The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., Vol. 34, No. 4 (Oct. 1977): pp.610-611, http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=00435597%28197710%293%3A34%3A4%3C590%3
ATDOTWA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-E (accessed 3/8/08).

Dispatches From the Envoys to the Secretary of State, Department of State, October, 27, 1798, France: instructions to ministers and XYZ letters, Text in: LexisNexis® Congressional Serial Set Digital Collection; Serial Set: ASP02 For.rel.139, no. 2, pp 161, http://web.lexisnexis.com/congcomp/document?_m=51d3faf62f80e08e6e4cce
9b1dcc84e3&_docnum=25&wchp=dGLbVlW-zSkSA&_md5=121ff58fc69a14cd85195e5f87d24238 (accessed: 5/2/ 2008).

Ibid.

William Stinchcombe, “The Diplomacy of the WXYZ Affair,” The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., Vol. 34, No. 4 (Oct. 1977): pp.611, http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=00435597%28197710%293%3A34%3A4%3C590%3
ATDOTWA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-E (accessed 3/8/08).

Printed in an article in the Courier of New Hampshire, “London, May 17,” Courier of New Hampshire, Concord, NH, Published on 09/11/1798, Vol. IX, Issue 3, pp 2, http://infoweb.newsbank.com/iwsearch/we/HistArchive/p_product=EANX&p_theme=ahnp&p_nbid=D52P54JOMTIwOTg1NjYwMy4yODM3MjI6MToxNToxMjguMTE4LjE1OC4xOTQ&d_db=EANLIVE&p_action=doc&s_lastnonissuequeryname=11&p_queryname=11&p_docid=10C0F6FF1D790F28&p_docnum=3&d_article_id=10C0F6FF1D790F28&d_release=release_0077&d_issue_id=10C0F6FE4FB59B40&d_pbi=10BF39C74D830F88&d_format=gif&d_size=display (accessed 5/2/08).

Letter from Secretary of State to Mr. Gerry, Department of State, June 25, 1798, France: negotiations on embargo, and XYZ affair, Text in: LexisNexis® Congressional Serial Set Digital Collection; Serial Set: ASP02 For.rel.148, no. 1, pp 204,http://web.lexisnexis.com/congcomp/document?_m=51d3faf62f80e08e6e4cce9
b1dcc84e3&_docnum=8&wchp=dGLbVlW-zSkSA&_md5=f807db2d4f9d473a4ebed6c34d2d13db (accessed: 5/2/ 2008).

Printed in the Columbian Centinal, “Mr. Gerry’s Arrival,” The Columbian Centinal, Boston, Mass., Published on 10/03/1798 in the News/Opinion Section, Issue 9, pp 2, http://infoweb.newsbank.com/iwsearch/we/
HistArchive/roduct=EANX&p_theme=ahnp&p_nbid=W68F53SOMTIwOTA5ODkwOS4xMjIwMzk6MToxNToxMjguMTE4LjE1OC4xMzU&d_db=EANLIVE&p_action=doc&s_lastnonissuequeryname=6&p_queryname=6&p_docid=10644A364868458D&p_docnum=1&d_article_id=10644A364868458D&d_release=release_0013&d_issue_id=10644A34376DEB8A&d_pbi=1044E8FD0EBBC638&d_format=gif&d_size=display (accessed 4/24/08).

US Department of State, “The XYZ Affair and the Quasi-War with France, 1798-1800,” From the section of the Diplomacy of the Early Republic, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/time/nr/16318.htm (accessed 4/23/08).

Printed in an article in the Delaware and Eastern-Shore Advertiser, “From the New York Gazette to the People of the United States,” Delaware and Eastern-Shore Advertiser, Published on 05-03-1798, Issue: 416, pp 4, http://infoweb.newsbank.com/iwsearch/we/HistArchive/?p_product=EANX&p_theme=ahnp&p_nbid=D52P54JOMTIwOTg1NjYwMy4yODM3MjI6MToxNToxMjguMTE4LjE1OC4xOTQ&d_db=EANLIVE&p_action=doc&s_lastnonissuequeryname=24&p_queryname=24&p_docid=11A129C6DD6D14C0&p_docnum=116&d_article_id=11A129C6DD6D14C0&d_release=release_0172&d_issue_id=11A129C685C37E90&d_pbi=1199054C7A4AB2F0&d_format=gif&d_size=display (accessed 5/2/08).

Letter from Secretary of State to Mr. Gerry, Department of State, June 25, 1798, France: negotiations on embargo, and XYZ affair, Text in: LexisNexis® Congressional Serial Set Digital Collection; Serial Set: ASP02 For.rel.148, no. 1, pp 204,http://web.lexisnexis.com/congcomp/document?_m=51d3faf62f80e08e6e4cce9
b1dcc84e3&_docnum=8&wchp=dGLbVlW-zSkSA&_md5=f807db2d4f9d473a4ebed6c34d2d13db (accessed: 5/2/ 2008).

William Stinchcombe, “The Diplomacy of the WXYZ Affair,” The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., Vol. 34, No. 4 (Oct. 1977): pp.616-617, http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=00435597%28197710%293%3A34%3A4%3C590%3
ATDOTWA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-E (accessed 5/2/08).
“Alien Acts,” Annals of Congress, June 1798, Statutes at Large, 5th Congress, 2nd Session, pp. 566, American Memory–A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 1875, Library of Congress http://memory.loc.gov/cgibin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=001/llsl001.db&rec
Num=689 (accessed 1/29/08).

“Sedition Act,” Annals of Congress, July 1798, Statutes at Large, 5th Congress, 2nd Session, pp. 596, American Memory–A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 1875, Library of Congress, http://memory.loc.gov/cgibin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=001/llsl001.db&recNum=719 (accessed 1/29/08).

US Department of State, “The XYZ Affair and the Quasi-War with France, 1798-1800,” From the section of the Diplomacy of the Early Republic, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/time/nr/16318.htm (accessed 4/23/08).

Talleyrand Message for Adams as transmitted to the Senate, “Talleyrand’s Letter,” United States, June 21, 1798, From the Avalon Project at Yale University, http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/presiden/messages/ja99-02.htm (accessed 4/23/08).

Communication from President John Adams to the US Senate, Feb 18, 1799, Concerning nomination of U.S. ministers to France, Text in: LexisNexis® Congressional Serial Set Digital Collection; Serial Set: ASP02 For.rel.152, pp 239, http://web.lexisnexis.com/congcomp/attachment/a.pdf?_m=26a1656b9571a7bc81963135987d328a&wchp
=dGLbVtbzSkSA&_md5=2748e037640cee6fed0c7baa68b27498&ie=a.pdf (accessed:5/2/08).

US Department of State, “The XYZ Affair and the Quasi-War with France, 1798-1800,” From the section of the Diplomacy of the Early Republic, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/time/nr/16318.htm (accessed 4/23/08).

John Adams-Message to the Senate, “Regarding Ratification of the Convention of with France,” United States, March 2, 1801, From the Avalon Project at Yale University, http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/
presiden/messages/ja01-01.htm (accessed 4/23/08).
Ibid.

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