The Barbary pirates
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates
Written in lively style this book is both informative and a quick read. For most readers of Pull Together it will be a review of episodes in the early Navy, important to the history but all too easily forgotten. For years, if not centuries, the rulers of Barbary, Morocco, Tunis, Algiers and Tripoli, had sustained their realms on the booty and ransom extracted from European, and more recently, American merchant ships. At first the young United States tried negotiation and even ransom payment but soon found the amounts demanded for captured ships were ever-increasing, exorbitant and unaffordable. The only alternative seemed to be war: defeat the robbers and eliminate the problem. Algerines had swarmed the American merchant ship Dauphin off the coast of Portugal as early as The crew was held captive and the ship taken to Algiers.
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And national security. This is how you make history exciting. I dare you to put this book down. Only weeks after President Jefferson's inauguration in , he decided to confront the Tripoli pirates who had been kidnapping American ships and sailors, among other outrageous acts. Though inclined toward diplomacy, Jefferson sent warships to blockade Tripoli and protect American shipping, and then escalated to all-out war against the Barbary states.
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