The main shame of the US: why Americans are annually paid tribute to the pirates

History 19/01/20 Wikipediagay shame the US: why Americans are annually paid tribute to the pirates

For millennia, the pirates were a huge problem for navigation. Sometimes pirates were able to subdue or destroy, as did, for example, Gaius Julius Caesar. But they revived again – very much profitable was this craft, despite all associated risks.

Europe and the United States pay tribute to the Algerian pirates

At the turn of XVIII – XIX centuries the safe passage of ships with goods across the Mediterranean sea was worth the money that was received by Algerian pirates sometimes called Barbary. And these payments were applied to all countries of Europe, including “mistress of the seas” Britain. The newly formed United States did not escape the common fate, especially when the pirates began to seize American ships. Only in 1793 in the hands of the pirates got 11 ships. Returned them for a substantial ransom. The U.S. Congress decided to build warships, but it was slow and the United States have gone on the conclusion of the agreement.

it is Not necessary to imagine Barbary pirates as a bunch of daredevils, operating at your own risk. In fact, they were in the service of the States of Algeria or Tunisia, in turn, was part of the Ottoman Empire. Therefore, the “pirate” side in the negotiations was quite legitimate and with authority.

George Washington and the head of the Algerian province of the Ottoman Empire Hasan Pasha 5 Sep 1795 signed the Treaty of 22 points. According to him, the Algerian corsairs refused to capture of US ships and the last can smoothly transport cargo. For this United States pays 992 463 dollar once, plus 12,000 Algerian gold coins annually. The amount could be repaid in goods equivalent. For the young and fragile States the contract was onerous, by the year 1800, the payments amounted to 20% of the revenues of the us Treasury. I had nowhere to go – the pirates struck far more substantial damage. And to conduct massive military operations against the corsairs, the U.S. was not yet in a condition.

First Barbary war – failure

In the early nineteenth century, the United States wasn’t the world’s superpower, even regional superpower their name was not just a young country, overwhelmed by economic, social, political, and administrative difficulties. Even in the United States was half what it is now. And in these conditions to give one-fifth of Vodohod on the side was a luxury. If one of the motives of the war for independence began unfair taxes paid by the British crown, what to say about payments to pirates! It was not about honor or national sovereignty is just about money.

But when the United States finally found a good Navy, it inspired the fathers of the country to fight the Algerian pirates. Ironically, it was the first foreign war the new state. When the President was Thomas Jefferson, the Pasha of Tripoli, Yusuf Karamanli, learning about the change of power in the United States, required additional payments in the amount of $225 thousand. Jefferson refused. Pasha expelled the American Ambassador from the country and ordered to cut down the flagpole with a US flag on the Embassy grounds. According to local concepts, it meant a Declaration of war. Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia joined his ally.

Jefferson sent a squadron to the Mediterranean sea and has informed the U.S. Congress that gave the President needs to wage war powers. To the United States was joined by an unexpected ally, Sweden, which was at war with the Barbary States. The allied fleet began hostilities, but soon Sweden, freeing the order of hundreds of his subjects and achieving other purposes out of the war. Further part in the fighting, the Swedes found it unnecessary. US were left alone. The war went on until 1805, without much success. Opposition was growing within the United States, the war was too much money and in 1805, America had ceased to fight, signed the contract on June 10. The U.S. Senate ratificareal contract a year later. The United States has provided $60 thousand as a ransom for three hundred prisoners of war. The main problem of Mediterranean piracy has not been solved. However, the prestige of the Navy and the U.S. army have risen in the country. In 1806 Tripoli is erected the monument of Carrara marble, in honor of the heroes of the First Barbary war. It is the oldest war memorial in the United States.

Second Barbary war – the problem

Algerian pirates have renewed attacks on American ships and the taking of prisoners in 1807. But the war with Britain in 1812 were not allowed to fight back against pirates.

In 1815, when the international situation is dead, struck for the second Barbary war. Three years earlier the Algerian Bey, Haji Ali was expelled from the country by the American Consul and declared war on the United States because of non-payment of an annual tribute. Consequences to no avail – in the Mediterranean was no longer a single American ship, and the Bay wasn’t going to send a military expedition to the other end of the globe.

the U.S. Congress March 3, 1815 approve sending a squadron to the coast of Algeria. Military expedition sailed on may 20. The first naval battle in which the United States captured a 64-gun frigate and 400 prisoners was given on June 17. Then in the hands of the Americans gets the brig. To the Algerian coast came in late June. The commander of a squadron of DECATUR enter into negotiations with the Algerian Bay. Omar ATA surrenders July 3, aided by the information about the second American squadron, released to Algeria. In reality, the court never left the port.

the United States returned to Algeria brig, frigate and 486 prisoners in exchange for captive Americans and Europeans and unhindered passage of trade Tribunal, under the flag of the United States through the Mediterranean sea. In addition, Algeria is owed $10 thousand compensation.

Cost DECATUR to serve in Tunisia for the conclusion of similar agreements with other Berber States of Algiers Bay abandoned earlier commitments.

In March 1816 to Algerian shores arrived engabout Dutch Navy and started a military action on August 27. The capital of Algeria fired at nine o’clock, and the Bay agreed to all conditions.

More Barbary pirates plagued the United States and Europe.

Konstantin Baranovsky

© Russian Seven

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