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Convention of 1800

CONVENTION OF 1800

CONVENTION OF 1800 tacitly detached the United States from its alliance with France at the price of American claims for damages resulting from French actions against U.S. commerce since the beginnings of the French revolutionary wars. The convention ended a naval war between the two countries that had developed from France's resentment over John Jay's Treaty (1794) with England. American attempts to seek rapprochement in 1797 led to the insulting xyz affair, in which the French foreign minister, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, refused to receive the American commissioners until they paid bribes. The unexpected militance of the American response prompted the French to reopen negotiations.

President John Adams sent another mission to secure indemnities for spoliations and an annulment of the alliance. After more than a year of negotiations, the final French terms posed problems for the commissioners: if the alliance was terminated, so would American claims be—indemnities would be considered only if the treaties were still in force. The commissioners agreed to defer both indemnities and treaties, a deferment that in effect meant abandonment of both. The convention thus ended the Quasi-War between France and the United States with mutual restoration of captured naval vessels and liberalization of the treatment of American ships in French ports.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Blumenthal, Henry. France and the United States: Their Diplomatic Relation, 1789–1914. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1970.

DeConde, Alexander. The Quasi-War: The Politics and Diplomacy of the Undeclared War with France, 1797–1801. New York: Scribner, 1966.

Lawrence S.Kaplan/a. g.

See alsoFrance, Quasi-War with ; France, Relations with ; Treaties with Foreign Nations .

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