Algerine War (ăl´jərēn´), early 19th-century conflict between Algiers and the United States. The Tripolitan War (1801–5) had brought a temporary halt to the pirate activities of the Barbary States. However, during the subsequent Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812 the Barbary pirates renewed their predatory raids on American Mediterranean commerce, and Algiers actually declared war on the United States. In 1815, Stephen Decatur was sent to Algiers at the head of a squadron of 10 ships. After two minor engagements he sailed into the harbor of Algiers and forced (June 30) the dey of Algiers to sign a treaty renouncing U.S. tribute and agreeing to release all U.S. prisoners without ransom. Decatur then exacted similar guarantees from Tunisia (July 26) and Tripoli (Aug. 5), and the so-called Algerine War was ended.
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