Embargo Act of 1807

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Embargo Act of 1807,

passed Dec. 22, 1807, by the U.S. Congress in answer to the British orders in councilorders in council,
in British government, orders given by the sovereign on the advice of all or some of the members of the privy council, without the prior consent of Parliament. Orders in council, first so named in the 18th cent.
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 restricting neutral shipping and to Napoleon's restrictive Continental SystemContinental System,
scheme of action adopted by Napoleon I in his economic warfare with England from 1806 to 1812. Economic warfare had been carried on before 1806, but the system itself was initiated by the Berlin Decree, which claimed that the British blockade of purely
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. The U.S. merchant marine suffered from both the British and French, and Thomas Jefferson undertook to answer both nations with measures that by restricting neutral trade would show the importance of that trade. The first attempt was the Nonimportation Act, passed Apr. 18, 1806, forbidding the importation of specified British goods in order to force Great Britain to relax its rigorous rulings on cargoes and sailors (see impressmentimpressment,
forcible enrollment of recruits for military duty. Before the establishment of conscription, many countries supplemented their militia and mercenary troops by impressment.
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). The act was suspended, but the Embargo Act of 1807 was a bolder statement of the same idea. It forbade all international trade to and from American ports, and Jefferson hoped that Britain and France would be persuaded of the value and the rights of a neutral commerce. In Jan., 1808, the prohibition was extended to inland waters and land commerce to halt the skyrocketing trade with Canada. Merchants, sea captains, and sailors were naturally dismayed to find themselves without income and to see the ships rotting at the wharves. All sorts of dodges were used to circumvent the law. The daring attempt to use economic pressure in a world at war was not successful. Britain and France stood firm, and not enough pressure could be brought to bear. Enforcement was difficult, especially in New England, where merchants looked on the scheme as an attempt to defraud them of a livelihood. When in Jan., 1809, Congress, against much opposition, passed an act to make enforcement more rigid, resistance approached the point of rebellion—again especially in New England—and the scheme had to be abandoned. On Mar. 1, 1809, the embargo was superseded by the Nonintercourse Act. This allowed resumption of all commercial intercourse except with Britain and France. Jefferson reluctantly accepted it. Not unexpectedly, it failed to bring pressure on Britain and France. In 1810 it was replaced by Macon's Bill No. 2 (named after Nathaniel Macon), which virtually ended the experiment. It provided for trade with both Britain and France unless one of those powers revoked its restrictions; in that case, the President was authorized to forbid commerce with the country that had not also revoked its offensive measures.


See L. M. Sears, Jefferson and the Embargo (1927, repr. 1967).

References in periodicals archive ?
In his own way, President Thomas Jefferson helped the Federalist cause, by keeping the Bank of the United States, embracing a broad notion of implied power in the Louisiana Purchase, and using a heavy federal hand to enforce the 1807 Embargo Act.
For instance, Thomas Jefferson, not James Madison, passed the Embargo Act, and Abraham Lincoln did not "square off with" John C.
relations with Britain and France deteriorated due to the seizure of American ships and seamen by both countries and Congress' reaction in passing the Embargo Act and Non-Intercourse Act.
Seeking to maintain neutrality in England's war with France, Jefferson got Congress to pass the Embargo Act, prohibiting all trade with other nations, later to be replaced by the Non-Intercourse Act, which banned trade only with England and France.
Tensions ran high, but Jefferson avoided a war by successfully having Congress pass the Embargo Act in December 1807, which was a crippling blow to American foreign trade since it prohibited all shipments abroad.
President Thomas Jefferson signed the Embargo Act of 1807 during the Napoleonic Wars, when the British Royal Navy was seizing American merchant ships and forcing some crew members to serve aboard British warships nearly three decades after the United States had earned its independence.
The Cotton Souths support for Jefferson's Embargo Act in the early 1800s, when global politics turned sour (specifically over British impressments of U.
After hearing that his merchant vessels had been taken by force on more than one occasion, President Thomas Jefferson established the Embargo Act and Non-Intercourse Act, sending a clear signal that the United States would not become entangled in Europe's affairs.
The state governments of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island threatened to ignore the Embargo Act of 1807 because of its perceived unconstitutionality.
Buel questions Federalists' loyalty and integrity for their unscrupulous newspaper campaigns against Embargo Act supporters and for their divisive tactics in Congress.
Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets and Control said she hadn't heard of an investigation into the Dodgers' possible violation of the Trade Embargo Act against Cuba.
where he constructed and commanded gunboats for President Jefferson's naval program and also enforced the Embargo Act (1807-1809); was in command of U.