By Richard Buel
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Normally remoted from mainstream eu affairs, in 1914 the Dutch had no significant allegiances that certain them to anybody part of the clash. Geographically and economically stuck among of the key belligerents, nice Britain and Germany, the Netherlands used to be continuously susceptible to assault from each side.
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Extra resources for America on the Brink: How the Political Struggle Over the War of 1812 Almost Destroyed the Young Republic
It proclaimed a French blockade of the entire British Isles. Since France had only a few warships at sea, this amounted to even more of a paper blockade than Britain’s claim to have closed access to roughly two hundred miles of the French and Belgian coasts. qxd 2/11/04 1:03 PM Page 32 32 America on the Brink Americans initially assumed that the Franco-American Convention of 1800, which embraced a broad definition of the commercial rights of neutrals, would exempt them from the Berlin Decree. 78 Jefferson wanted to continue negotiating with both belligerents, but the situation in Europe was not auspicious.
After 1800 the religious advantage enjoyed by the Federalists blossomed as their most enduring asset, since it throve on suspicion of change and was committed to resisting the many innovations that were taking place throughout New England. Massachusetts Federalists also sought to capitalize on their control over the state’s judiciary. 63 The most controversial such exercise of their power occurred in 1806 in connection with the murder of the son of Benjamin Austin Jr. The victim’s father was a Boston Republican who had authored several pamphlets and newspaper pieces criticizing the legal profession.
Though in October 1798 the president had been willing to consider declaring war against France, he quickly realized that such a course risked national disintegration. All that was needed to ignite a civil war on American soil was the arrival in the Chesapeake of a small expeditionary force led by one of the military adventurers the French Revolution was producing. Once there, the Virginia gentry that dreaded dependence on Britain would be more likely to join them than resist them. Relying on Britain’s navy to deny a French squadron access to North America was unrealistic, since it had twice failed to do so during the revolutionary war and, more recently, had permitted Napoleon to reach Egypt by sea.
America on the Brink: How the Political Struggle Over the War of 1812 Almost Destroyed the Young Republic by Richard Buel