the years 1775-1825, the United States passed a number of economic and government trade
regulations and restrictions against European nations. What reasons did the United States
use to justify their actions?
Use the documents and your knowledge of the period from 1775-1825 to answer the question.
submission to, or dependence on, Great Britain, tends to directly involve this Continent
in European wars and quarrels, and set us at variance with nations who would otherwise
seek our friendship, and against whom we have neither anger nor complaint. As Europe is
our market for trade, we ought to form no partial connection with any part of it. It is
the true interest of America to steer clear of European contentions, which she never can
do, while, by her dependence on Britain, she is made the make weight in the scale of
Common Sense, Thomas Paine, 1776
......That both the honor and interest of the United States demand, that decided and
vigorous measures be taken for protecting the American trade, and meeting these predatory
enemies in a proper manner. That it should be recommended to the American merchants who
traffic to Spain, Portugal, the Mediterranean, and to the Madeiras and Canaries, to employ
none but vessels well armed and maned...That a minister or envoy should be sent to
Portugal, and instructed among other things, to negotiate for such an alliance, as may
provide for a co-operation of forces and mutual defence against the common enemy, and
restrain both nations from making a separate peace... your secretary thinks that it would
be politic, to prohibit all nations at peace with Algiers, from bringing any thing to this
country, which was not produced in their own; and also from carrying any thing from hence,
except on their own account, and directly to their own ports. As arguments may be drawn
from these stipulations against such a prohibition, it might occasion discontent and
complaint; but he nevertheless thinks it merits enquiry, whether the condition of war
against Algiers, would not be a good consideration to ground it upon; and whether, as the
prohibition would end with the war, it ought to be considered as a violation of those
The Congress shall have
power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide
for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts,
and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
|......."I sincerely join you in
abjuring all political connection with every foreign power; and tho I cordially wish well
to the progress of liberty in all nations, and would forever give it the weight of our
countenance, yet they are not to be touched without contamination from their other bad
principles. Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto."
A letter to a friend by Jefferson, 1799
cruisers have been in the continental practice of violating the American flag...
seizing and carrying off persons sailing under it...violating the rights and peace of our coasts..and have added the most lawless proceedings in our very harbors, and have wantonly split American blood within the sanctuary of our territorial jurisdiction..
In reviewing the conduct of Great Britain toward the United States, our attention is necessarily drawn to the warfare just renewed by the savages on one of our extensive frontiers--a warfare which is known to spare neither age nor sex and to be distinguished by features peculiarly shocking to humility. It is difficult to account for the activity and combinations which have for some time been developing themselves among tribes in consent intercourse with British traders and garrisons without connecting their hostility with that influence and without recollecting the authenticated examples of such interpositions heretofore furnished by the officers and agents of that government....
Madison's War Message to Congress, June 1, 1812
| ...The political
system of the allied powers is essentially different...from that of America....We owe it
therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and
those powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their
part to extend their system to any portion of this part to extend their system to any
portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety....we could not view any
interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their
destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an
unfriendly disposition toward the United States.
The Monroe Doctrine, 1823
| ....This home
market...can only be created and cherished by the protection of our own legislation
against the inevitable prostration of our industry, which must ensue from the action of
foreign policy and legislation.....The measure of the wealth of a nation is indicated by
the measure of its protection of its industry; and ....the measure of the poverty of a
nation is marked by that of the degree in which it neglects and abandons the care of its
own industry, leaving it exposed to the action of foreign powers....We must naturalize our
....by the establishment of a tariff...the sole object of the tariff is to tax the produce of foreign industry with the view of promoting American industry. The tax is exclusively leveled at foreign industry.
Henry Clay, speech in Congress, March 31, 1824