United States

war, tax, france, en, land, fries, president, frigate and american

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War with One of the first trou bles with which President Adams had to con tend was the French question, for it had then become plain to all that America would have to take some decided steps if she was to main tain her honor against the arrogance of France. The President's policy of neutrality, following on Jay's treaty with England, had greatly ex asperated France and when the American en voys were ordered out of that country it became apparent that war could not be did off. In fact French and American vessels did meet on the ocean, but in the encounters that followed, thanks to Captain Truxton and his frigate Con stellation, the United States did not make a dis creditable appearance. In the battle with the French frigate L'Insurqente, off the island of Nevis in the fall of 1799, as well as in her en counter with the frigate La Vengeance, off Guadaloupe, in February 1800, the Constellation was victorious. Realizing that war was already under way upon the water, the United States government began to prepare her land forces. General Washington was again summoned from his retirement at Mount Vernon to assume com mand of the army, but as the formal declaration of war was deferred, Napoleon's seizure of the governmental power in France gave a new aspect to the situation and a treaty of amity was soon concluded between the two countries.


The Fries' Rebellion.— What is known in the history of Pennsylvania as °Fries' Rebel lion? or the °Window Tax War? was the re sult of an act of Congress, which, in July 1798, levied a direct tax of $2,000,000, of which the sum of $237,000 was apportioned as Pennsyl vania's quota. In this State the tax was ap praised upon houses and land, the amount assessed against each house being determined by the size and number of its windows. In some portions of the State the tax was accepted practically without protest, but the German residents of Montgomery, Lehigh, Bucks and Berks counties organized opposition to it under the leadership of John Fries. It was not long before there was open conflict between the rebels and the United States authorities, one of the acts of the insurgents being an attack upon the marshal at Bethlehem, where that official was compelled by force of arms to liberate 30 persons whom he had arrested for their op position to the window tax. Under the cir cumstances an appeal was made to President Adams and the militia was ordered to suppress the rebellion, which ended with the capture of Fries and a number of his adherents. Taken to Philadelphia, Fries was twice tried for treason, and, being convicted, was sentenced to death. In 1800 he was pardoned by the President.

The Barbary was not long after the signing of the treaty of peace with Eng land that the Barbary powers commenced to annoy American commerce. In 1784 the Betsey was captured; in 1785 the Maria of Boston and the Dauphin of Philadelphia were seized and their crews held as captives with threats of ultimate slavery if the ransom, amounting to some $60,000, was not paid. As ransom was

regarded as cheaper than force, various large sums were contributed at the command of the Dey of Algiers. To Thomas Jefferson, how ever, such abject submission to a barbarous ruler was particularly loathsome and he de cided to put an end to such outrages. Com modore Dale was, therefore, ordered to the Mediterranean, where one of his vessels, the Experiment, soon captured a Tripolitan cruiser of 14 guns and, by 1803, war was on in earnest, culminating, on 27 April, in the bombardment of Tripoli.

Slave Insurrection, In Janu ary 1811 there was an uprising of slaves which extended throughout the entire parish of Saint John, La. The whites armed themselves and there were several serious battles between the two forces, more than 60 of the negroes having been killed before the slaves could be forced to surrender.

War of bloodless Burr conspir acy; the Sabine expedition; the unwarranted attack upon the Chesapeake by the Leopard, a British two-decker; and the troubles resulting from the Lake Champlain embargo, all of which kept the United States forces engaged in more or less active service, were soon forgotten in the more important declaration of war with Great Britain (see UNITED STATES-THE WAR OF 1812), and this conflict had scarcely com menced before the troubles with the Indians be gan once more with the Seminole War in Flor ida. The growth of the country; the expansion of its territory; the explorations of venturesome spirits who were continually opening up new lands for settlement, all had a tendency to arouse sentiments of dissatisfaction in the minds of the red men. They saw that en croachments were constantly being made upon them; the fields of the white man interfered with their hunting and fishing; the industry and other features of civilization were distaste fill to them and, as original occupants of the land, one by one the various tribes began to enter their vigorous protests, protests which finally assumed warlike proportions. From the beginning of the War of 1812, therefore, almost up to the beginning of the 20th century, the soldiers of the United States have been en gaged in battles with the Indians and as these almost continuous disturbances and massacres have occurred first in one part of the country and then in another the present-day submission of the red man has not been obtained without the expenditure of much money and the cost of many lives. At about the same time, through out the Southern States, a spirit of dissatisfac tion was also being engendered; the dishonesty of the blacks and the danger of slave insur rections making rights in property insecure. Of these insurrections there were several, but the only one that attained any great degree of im portance was the Turner Rebellion which broke out in Virginia in 1831.

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