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The Papers of James Madison: 1 February-30 June 1805 (Papers of James Madison)by James Madison
Synopses & Reviews
During the five months covered in this volume, James Madisonattended Jefferson's second inauguration, continued staffing territorial governmentsfor the Orleans and Louisiana Territories, and observed growing factionalism amongRepublicans as Federalism waned. Abroad, the shifting of alliances that resultedfrom the expansion of the Napoleonic wars following the declaration of war betweenSpain and Great Britain hampered Madison in his goal of achieving agreement overlong-standing differences with both countries. James Monroe and Charles Pinckney inMadrid were trying to negotiate settlement of the boundaries between American andSpanish territory, to acquire East Florida for the United States in exchange forabsorbing claims of American citizens against Spain, and to obtain Spanishratification of the Convention of 1802. Despite the efforts of John Armstrong atParis, the French government withheld the support that Madison, Jefferson, andMonroe had expected for the American position on the Louisiana boundaries.
Madison's correspondence during this time alsoshows the growth of war's impact on American shipping as citizens of every classwrote the secretary of state to complain of sailors impressed into the Royal Navy, vessels seized, and seamen and captains robbed and abused by British naval officersand French and Spanish privateers. The privateers were so bold as to prowl justoutside American waters, pouncing on ships that approached and left New York, Charleston, and New Orleans. Requests for appointments, Monroe's financial affairs, wine purchases, and family land issues also occupied Madison's time throughout thelate winter and early spring. Access to people, places, and events discussed in thisvolume is facilitated by detailed annotation and a comprehensiveindex.
Book News Annotation:
The documents, mostly personal and circular letters to and from him, show that US Secretary of State Madison (1751-1836) continued to be preoccupied with many of the issues of the previous five months, though foreign policy concerns rising from the Napoleonic wars were further complicated by Spain's declaration of war on Great Britain in December 1804. He also received reports of recent state elections and of rifts that were beginning to appear among Republicans as the strength of their Federalist opponents waned. The papers are thoroughly annotated. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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