Between 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.

Document 1
     ....Any 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 British politics.

Common Sense, Thomas Paine, 1776

Document 2

     The trust reposed in Congress, renders it their duty to be attentive to the conduct of foreign nations, and to prevent or restrain as far may be, all such proceedings as might prove injurious to the United States. The situation of commerce at this time claims the attention of the several states, and few objects of greater importance can present themselves to their notice. The fortune of every citizen is interested in the success thereof; for it is the constant source of wealth and incentive to industry; and the value of our produce and our land must ever rise or fall in proportion to the prosperous or adverse state of trade.

By the United States in Congress, April 30, 1784

Document 3

     ......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 stipulations.

Office of Foreign Affairs, by The Secretary of the United States October 20, 1785

Document 4

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;
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate commerce with foreign nations.......
To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin.....

The Constitution of the United States, 1787

Document 5
......."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

Document 6
     ...British 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

Document 7
     ...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

Document 8
     ....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 own country;
     ....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

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