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XYZ Affair

france treaty united war

The XYZ Affair was a diplomatic incident that almost led to war between the United States and France. The scandal inflamed U.S. public opinion and led to the passage of the ALIEN AND SEDITION ACTS of 1798 (1 Stat. 570, 596). Though the affair caused an unofficial naval war, the two countries were able to negotiate their differences and end their conflict in 1800.

The affair took place during one of the Napoleonic wars between France and Great Britain. The French regarded the United States as a hostile nation, particularly after the signing of Jay's Treaty in 1794. This treaty settled some of the problems that continued to cause friction between the United States and Great Britain after the peace treaty of 1783 that granted the colonies independence. Consequently, President JOHN ADAMS appointed Charles Pinckney minister to France in 1796 in an attempt to ease French-U.S. relations.

After Charles Talleyrand, the French foreign minister, refused to recognize Pinckney, Adams appointed a commission to France, consisting of Pinckney, JOHN MARSHALL, and Elbridge Gerry. Before official negotiations on a treaty to establish peaceful relations and normalize trade could occur, Talleyrand sent three French agents to meet with the commission members. The agents suggested that Talleyrand would agree to the treaty if he received from the United States a $250,000 bribe and France received a $10 million loan. The commission refused, with Pinckney quoted as saying, "No! No! Not a sixpence!"

Outraged, the commission sent a report to Adams, who inserted the letters X, Y, and Z in place of the agents' names and forwarded the report to Congress. Congress and the public were angered at the attempted blackmail. An undeclared naval war took place between the two nations between 1798 and 1800. Anticipating a declared war with France, Congress enacted the Alien and Sedition Acts. These internal security laws were aimed at French and Irish immigrants, who were thought to be supportive of France. The acts lengthened the period of naturalization for ALIENS, authorized the president to expel any alien considered dangerous, permitted the detention of subjects of an enemy nation, and limited FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.

Talleyrand, unwilling to risk a declared war with the United States, sought an end to the dispute. The next U.S. delegation sent to France was treated with appropriate respect, and the Treaty of Morfontaine, which restored normal relations between France and the United States, was signed in 1800.

FURTHER READINGS

Stinchcombe, William C. 1980. The XYZ Affair. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.

Vaughan, Harold Cecil. 1972. The XYZ Affair, 1797–98: The Diplomacy of the Adams Administration and an Undeclared War with France. New York: F. Watts.

CROSS-REFERENCES

Virginia and Kentucky Resolves.

Yalta Agreement [next] [back] XYY Chromosomal Abnormality Defense

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over 6 years ago

Well, Antonio, I hope you have a gas-station job lined up. You have absolutely no clue what you are talking about, and everything you state in yor "response" is wrong. Try reading a book--your X-Box and Ipod will wait.

By the way--I wrote a book on the subject.

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almost 6 years ago

This information helped a ton thanks.

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over 6 years ago

Holy Cow You Guys!!!

I'm in school looking up stuff about the

XYZ affair and now im gonna get a 100!!!

:D thanks guys

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over 3 years ago

Hey guys, who do I sound like?

Uhhh, you guys have this all wrong. XY and Z are variables in a math equation. How does that relate to Great Britain's trade? And it's not Great Britain. It's the UK.

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Any guesses?



Here's a hint:

oinotnA

P.S.

Antonio is dumb.

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about 3 years ago

wow u guys are really ripping on antonio lol tho you really should get your facts straight dude

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over 3 years ago

this website is really good thanks for helping me out !

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almost 4 years ago

you should put the 5 w's in here

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almost 4 years ago

ha ha ha ha u NEED to get your facts strait

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almost 4 years ago

BRANDI IS DIRTY DAN

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over 4 years ago

My social studies teacher wants me to use Antoino's comment for the XYZ Affair on my video project to see if anyone will realize that it's wrong. A special Thanks to Antoino for giving me extra credit on my project!

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over 4 years ago

Um Antonio, are you deranged. I am getting ready to do a project in my eighth grade social studies class and i know nothing sufficient about the subject, but i undoubtedly know more than you. Why don't you go to sleep earlier and stop playing your

first-person shooting games. Maybe you sould stop snoozing in class and actually learn something. How about you go back to first grade and learn basic reading technique because you are either just brain dead or ignorant (and i'll choose the latter just to be nice). Furthermore I've heard McDonalds won't even hire you without a high school diploma so good luck a job that would scarcely

pay minimum wage.

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almost 5 years ago

Um, Antonio, It was France, not Great Britain. If you are going to criticize something at least get your facts right. Honestly, it is not that hard to remember what country was involved in what if only 2 countries were involved.

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over 6 years ago

This was well researched i already knew about the XYZ affair but this had information i didn't know. THX alot!!!

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over 6 years ago

i like this cuz it helps me do my work on the x y and z affairs

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over 4 years ago

Agreed with "Smarter than You." You are clearly mixing your facts with Jay's Treaty and what lead up to that. I am not even American and it would see my American history is better than yours, Antonio.

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over 3 years ago

I LIKE EGGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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10 months ago

Well, Antonio, I hope you have a gas-station job lined up. You have absolutely no clue what you are talking about, and everything you state in your "response" is wrong. Try reading a book--your X-Box and Ipod will wait.

By the way--I 69ed yur mom

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over 3 years ago

thank to two everyone who commented, i got my information from you:)

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over 5 years ago

Actually, nobody said "No! No! Not a sixpence!". It was just said by the newspapers and spread as a rumor that it was said. After that it was thought to be true.
If I'm wrong just tell me so. And for all the people saying the XYZ affair was with the British, I think you are thinking of Jay's Treaty.

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over 2 years ago

this is a good story because it shows the french people how thier lived a long time ago.

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over 2 years ago

booooooooooooooooooooooooo

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almost 3 years ago

thankk dat really help alot:]ooooohhh yeahh ......

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about 3 years ago

I'm sorry Antonio but this is an informal page and apparently you cant read worth **** because what you can see ,through the entire passage above, that your entire statement below is completely and utterly retarded.

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over 3 years ago

jkyuuk

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almost 4 years ago

I found this site to be extremely helpful for 1301. Thanks for the laugh Antonio. I literally said "Oh My God", when I read your comment.

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about 4 years ago

Antonio, I think it is so funny that all these people are lauging at ur stupid mistake. Im also doing a report on this for eighth grade and i didnt know any more than u did, but seriously, get ur facts straight, dude, Im totally confused!

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over 6 years ago

The xyz affair is not what u guys are saying it is, it was caused when great Brittain started to capture the us ships so when John Adams found out he sent congress to go talk with the king. Then when they got there three brittain solders called x, y, z, and z said that they needed permission to talk to the king so John adams got mad and started a war then he ended it in 1800.

Of you whant to contact me i go to John Drugan School In El Paso, Tx

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about 3 years ago

this sucks

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over 3 years ago

Guys, at least this guy tried to do the research. Stop being so rude. At least offer CONSTRUCTIVE criticsm.Don't insult, it's rude.

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about 6 years ago

this is a great site to help you make your own newsletter

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over 6 years ago

thanks alot. it really helped me with my h.w. thanks again

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almost 7 years ago

Hey! Great job! There was obviously a great amount of research on your part to publically present it. Thank you so much for the opportunity I had to expand my kknowledge because of your efforts on the XYZ Affair.

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over 3 years ago

u fags

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almost 4 years ago

This Info Is To Long!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111

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over 4 years ago

Antonia, you seriously need to check your information. The XYZ affair was between France and the US. Adams sent his own people to talk to the prime minister of France who sent three lesser agents in his place. Adams called these agents x, y, and z in the paper he sent to congress. You should check your information

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almost 6 years ago

This website is awesome!!

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almost 6 years ago

Wow. My nine year-old sister writes more literate sentences than most of you. That's pathetic. Her punctuation and spelling is much better than most of your's, and like I said, she's nine! And the professsr completely owned Antonio. I'm sixteen, so don't start b*tching about respecting older people. I don't respect people who can't be bothered to overcome their illiteracy.

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about 6 years ago

this info. is great for a major grade power point.

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about 6 years ago

I really like this because now I can do my project on the XYZ affair.

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about 6 years ago

amazing info sike that was so wrong do not copy or use any of this work xyz was forced to pay the british and refused to pay but they refused to becuase the U.S was a very poor country

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over 6 years ago

You Helped us with are Social studys project.

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over 6 years ago

thanks u helped with my notes

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almost 7 years ago

thanks gangsta. i learned a lot from all your research

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over 3 years ago

it help me with my test

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10 months ago

hey history teacher did you know you spelled 'your' wrong you stupid or something

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about 1 month ago

this sh!t sucks a$$