Blog posts may be reprinted without permission,
provided a link to www.JeffersonLeadership.com is included.

How do you herd cats? Part 2

… nothing was now wanting to bring it into direct and formal consideration, but the assent of our government … I communicated to them the favorable prospect of protecting our commerce from the Barbary depredations … however it was expected they would contribute a frigate, and it’s expenses to be in constant cruise. But they were in no condition to make any such engagement. Their recommendatory powers for obtaining contributions were so openly neglected by the several states that they declined an engagement which they were conscious they could not fulfill with punctuality; and so it fell through.
Autobiography, 1821

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Subduing terrorists is far more challenging than one might think.
The United States proved to be the hardest cat of all to herd!
Spain had already paid a $3 million bribe to the Algerines. They were not interested in Jefferson’s effort to create a united naval front against the Barbary Pirates in the Mediterranean. With France’s assurance that England would not oppose them, a number European city-states signed on. All that remained was to recruit his own nation’s support. It was not to be.
Jefferson painted a favorable picture of protected shipping, but there was a cost. The U.S. needed to contribute one of six larger ships needed and pay for its continual operation.
In the mid-1780s, the Confederation Congress was America’s “national” government. It had no taxing authority and no ability to require states to support its actions. The states were already negligent toward “contributions” for other needs and would treat this recommendation in the same way. Knowing they could not fulfill their obligation, Congress declined to participate.
It would be almost 20 years before President Jefferson would send a small American navy to confront the pirates. It would have some success but did not solve the problem. American payments for “peace” would continue until 1815. European payments until the 1830s.

“Hearing Thomas Jefferson’s thoughts about democracy, responsibility and leadership … surely succeeded in reinforcing the call to serve …
Executive Director, Maine Municipal Association
Mr. Jefferson’s leadership will inspire your audience to lead … and serve!
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
This entry was posted in Commerce, Congress, Diplomacy, Foreign Policy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to How do you herd cats? Part 2

  1. I wonder why President Obama did not mention these “Islamic terrorists (pirates)” of 200 years ago yesterday when he was comparing the crusades of 1000 yrs ago (which were in response to similar Islamic terrorism) to the current Islamic terrorists. Seriously, this history illustrates the background of Muslim-based terror, and clearly the current Islamic terrorists cannot blame their actions purely on the actions of the civilized world in the last ~20 years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *