Chapter 8 Republican Ascendancy: The Jeffersonian Vision

B. A New Administration Goes to War

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B. A New Administration Goes to War

James Madison was selected as Jefferson's successor by a caucus of Republican congressmen. He won the election of 1808 easily, but was not temperamentally suited to exercise leadership. Under the terms of the Non-Intercourse Act, the United States committed itself to resume trade with England and France if those nations promised to cease their seizure of American vessels. When a minor English official made such a promise,

Madison opened trade with England, but the English government promptly

seized those ships Madison had put to sea. Congress replaced the

Non-Intercourse Act with another law just as poorly conceived (Macon's Bill

Number Two). This time Napoleon promised to observe American rights, but,

when Madison opened trade with France, Napoleon broke his word.

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