In less than a generation, France went from an ally to an enemy. Tired of the violations of American neutrality, John Adams mobilized the navy to stop French commerce raiding. The new navy was very successful and created a fleet that was here to stay. The success of the war at sea is in stark contrast to what happened on land. The fear of French interference in American affairs gave Alexander Hamilton the necessary justification to create an army loyal to him. The political uproar that ensued emboldened Thomas Jefferson and shattered the Federalist party. Stay tuned to the end of the episode for a short 'state of the podcast' message!
In our last episode we began our conversation about the founding of the United States Navy. We continue this story in this episode. With a temporary cessation of the depredations of the Barbary States and British commerce raiding, there was a push to end the navy before it began. Thanks to George Washington, the was granted a reprieve, resulting in the completion of three ships. Unfortunately, as Europe became engulfed in war, tensions rose between France and the United States which would result in the quasi war. Take a listen!