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By Garet Garrett

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What had moved Napoleon? He had just received news that a British fleet was about to sail for the Gulf of Mexico to seize Louisiana. He knew he could not defend it. He would sooner see the Americans have it, possibly with the reservation that they could not defend it either if ever he should want to take it back. :>:> Out of Louisiana Territory would come what now are the states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado.

He begged to stay here, became an American citizen, and lived quietly ever after. The British, nursing their sore afterthoughts, were behaving in a churlish manner. On the terms of the Ghent treaty that ended the revolutionary war they stood in obstinate default, taking the position that the Americans too were evading their part. Almost more than anything else Washington dreaded another war with Great Britain. He sent John Jay to London to soothe the British temper, and Jay brought back a treaty so humilating in its terms that mobs burned effigies of him and stoned Alexander Hamilton in New York when he tried to speak in defense of the treaty.

Now the common people began to mutter and rise. l"'lheir saying was that those who had done the fighting should be rewarded by those who had saved their property. In Massachusetts poor farmers who could not pay their debts, supported by a motley of propertyless malcontents, began turning judges out of doors because they allowed the claims of creditors. That was the Shay's Rebellion. It was put down by the militia. The house of freedom was in trouble. Sparks were everywhere falling on combustible materials.

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American Story: The Real Story of the Real America from Its Beginnings to Now by Garet Garrett


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