Embargo Act

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Embargo Act

A legislative measure enacted by Congress in 1807 at the behest of President Thomas Jefferson that banned trade between U.S. ports and foreign nations.

The Embargo Act was intended to use economic pressure to compel England and France to remove restrictions on commercial trading with neutral nations that they imposed in their warfare with each other. Napoleon decreed under his Continental system that no ally of France or any neutral nation could trade with Great Britain, in order to destroy the English economy. In retaliation, England caused a blockade of the northern European coastline, affecting nations that had remained neutral in the dispute between France and England. These vindictive measures hurt neutral American traders, prompting Congress to take action to safeguard the economic interests of the United States. The first enactment was the Nonimportation Act of 1806 (2 Stat. 379), which prohibited the import of designated English goods to stop the harsh treatment of American ships caught running the blockade. The Embargo Act of 1807 (2 Stat. 451) superseded this enactment and expanded the prohibition against international trade to all nations. A later amendment in 1809 (2 Stat. 506) extended the ban from American ports to inland waters and overland transactions, thereby stopping trade with Canada, and mandated strict enforcement of its provisions.

The American public opposed the act, particularly those segments dependent upon international trade for their livelihoods. This opposition eventually led to the enactment of the Non-Intercourse Act (2 Stat. 528 [1809]), which superseded the stringent provisions of the Embargo Act. Under that act, only trade with England and France was proscribed, but the measure was ineffectual.

Subsequently, in 1810, Nathaniel Macon proposed a measure, called Macon's Bill No. 2, which Congress enacted despite solid Federalist opposition, that empowered the president to resume commerce with the warring nation that lifts its restrictions on neutral trade.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
President Thomas Jefferson and Congress responded by enacting the Embargo Act of 1807, which prohibited all U.S.
The section that most often considered secession was New England: in 1804 over the Louisiana Purchase; in 1808 over the Embargo Act; and in 1814 over war with England at the Hartford Convention.
Buel questions Federalists' loyalty and integrity for their unscrupulous newspaper campaigns against Embargo Act supporters and for their divisive tactics in Congress.
General Greene (28 guns), as a midshipman (April 1799); promoted to lieutenant (1802); served in the Mediterranean against the Tripolitan corsairs (1802-1803); commanded the schooner Nautilus (12 guns) under Commodore John Rodgers (1804-1806); returned to the U.S., 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.S.S.
Important events of his administration were the Tripolitan War, the Louisiana Purchase, and the short - lived Embargo Act, designed to preserve American neutrality rights.
He supported Jefferson's 1808 Embargo Act (for which he was ostracized by the Federalist Party) because, albeit inadequate, it was the only lever vis-a-vis Britain that America could use at the time.
The sole Federalist to support Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase and his 1807 Embargo Act, Adams warned of the consequences of Federalist/British collusion: "Instead of a nation, coextensive with the North American continent, destined by God and nature to be the most populous and most powerful people ever combined under one social compact, we shall have an endless multitude of little insignificant clans and tribes at eternal war with one another for a rock or a fish pond, the sport and fable of European masters and oppressors." Fearing European encroachment in the Western hemisphere and Russian designs on the Oregon Territory, Adams supported Florida's annexation along with acquisition of the Oregon Territory from Spain, and he authored the Monroe Doctrine.
The state governments of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island threatened to ignore the Embargo Act of 1807 because of its perceived unconstitutionality.
Greater care would have avoided errors such as misdating the Embargo Act (22); describing Andrew Jackson as a senator in 1811 (29); stating that William Henry Harrison "provoked a quarrel with Tecumseh by violating a treaty signed two years earlier," although it was actually the Treaty of Fort Wayne itself, not a violation of it, that inflamed the Indians (29); having Thomas Pinckney lead the Patriots into East Florida in March 1812 instead of George Mathews (33); saying the army captain in command of Fort Washington in 1814 was a naval officer (325); speaking of the "ever inventive Richard Fulton" (349); or declaring that the Treaty of Fort Jackson removed Indians to the West, when it did no such thing (370).
Embargo Act and should be confiscated as a favor to the U.S.
When the Embargo Act of 1807 prevented trade with England during the Napoleonic War, the American textile industry burned with "cotton fever," and the Whitin Mill spun cotton sent up from the South, said Mr.