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Thread: Barbary Wars - first American wars far from home

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    Default Barbary Wars - first American wars far from home

    First Barbary War (1801-1805) and Second Barbary War (1815) between USA and so-called North African Barbary States. Here is a link to Wiki`s First Barbary War text:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Barbary_War

    Please also read about "Second Barbary War" and about "Barbary Pirates". Many of you will be shocked! Most of you probably never ever heard about "white christian slaves under muslim masters". Please read and comment.

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    Member Solomin's Avatar
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    Isn't this where the Marines Hymn is referring to: "To the shores of Tripoli"?

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    Senior Member Shadowstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomin View Post
    Isn't this where the Marines Hymn is referring to: "To the shores of Tripoli"?
    Yep, it's true.

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    Basically, the US paid tribute to the pirates as was “custom” in Europe at the time. Eventually, because we couldn’t afford the extortion, we grabbed a pair and took a risk that paid off in the end; not only for the United States but for Europe as well.

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    eye candy of death 2Sheds_Jackson's Avatar
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    Great thread. Some nuggets from the article:

    Upon inquiring "concerning the ground of the pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury", the ambassador replied:

    "It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every mussulman who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. "
    Jefferson argued that paying tribute would encourage more attacks.
    In response, Jefferson sent a group of frigates to defend American interests in the Mediterranean, and informed Congress. Although Congress never voted on a formal declaration of war, they did authorize the President to instruct the commanders of armed vessels of the United States to seize all vessels and goods of the Pasha of Tripoli "and also to cause to be done all such other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war will justify."
    Jefferson's own Democratic-Republicans and antinavalists believed that the future of the country lay in westward expansion, with Atlantic trade threatening to siphon money and energy away from the new nation on useless wars in the Old World.
    In agreeing to pay a ransom of sixty thousand dollars for the American prisoners, the Jefferson administration drew a distinction between paying tribute and paying ransom. At the time, some argued that buying sailors out of slavery was a fair exchange to end the war
    However, the more immediate problem of Barbary piracy was not fully settled. By 1807, Algiers had gone back to taking American ships and seamen hostage. Distracted by the preludes to the War of 1812, the U.S. was unable to respond to the provocation until 1815, with the Second Barbary War.
    I love to cite this action to those who would have us believe that the current administration represents the end of democracy in the US. Here it was 1801, and one of our founding fathers, -who by today's standards was a snake handling fundamentalist Christian - waged his holy war against the poor Muslims - all in support of evil imperialist American economic interests, using sanctions, blockades, going to war with no declaration of war from Congress (gasp) and a less-than-successful compromise ending the conflict.

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    Moderator James's Avatar
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    A Marine named Presley O'Bannon fought there ans brought home a Mameluke sword. Today it is known as the USMC Officer's sword.

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    Senior Member el borracho's Avatar
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    A good book on the subject:

    Jefferson's War- America's First War on Terror

    http://www.amazon.com/Jeffersons-War...1504840&sr=8-1

    It's an excellent book if you're a fan of early American history. Lot's of great stories including the capture and sabotage of the USS Philadelphia and the Marines' overland march to Tripoli.

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    Giles Miltons book White Gold is a good read on the subject of the Barbary slave trade although it concentrates on the story of a single slave,it also deals with the political action(and inaction) of the countrys affected by the raids of Noth African corsairs .

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    Senior Member valtrex's Avatar
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    "The charge on Derne". Lt. Pressley O'Bannon and his Marines storm the Derne's harbor fortress, April 27, 1805

    Just to let you know, the force's artillery unit consisted of a single cannon manned by 30 Greek mercenaries. On the night of March 8, 1805, some Turkish mercenaries were found dead (stabbed) and as "it's natural", the blame fell on the Greeks. The Arabs mutinied in order to avenge their dead Muslim comrades (with the ulterior motive to kill the Marines and leave with the gold) and in the small skirmish that followed, the Greeks saved the day (and the entire mission) with their knives.

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    Senior Member Mordoror's Avatar
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    It wasn't until 1815 that the problem was fully settled by the total defeat of all the Muslim slave trading pirates.
    in fact not.... or not enterely

    piracy continued for a while even after the barbary defeat against US navy (may be on a lower level, but still existing and being a danger for boats if not for european coastal areas)
    That's why (not only, other reasons being also thrown in the hat) France invaded Algeria in 1830
    To fix the level of those scourge of the seas they plundered and pillaged the european coasts from Corsica to Sicilia, from Italy to Slovenia, from Spain to Portugual. It was even assessed that some raiding parties pillaged the coastal areas from England (if it is main Great Britain island or smaller islands remains unclear) and as far as some nordic countries (reached even Island in 1627 !!!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mordoror View Post
    It was even assessed that some raiding parties pillaged the coastal areas from England (if it is main Great Britain island or smaller islands remains unclear) and as far as some nordic countries (reached even Island in 1627 !!!)
    On some occasions they hit the south west of England fairly hard at times carrying of the entire population of some villages,during one raiding season they even set up a temporary base on the island of Lundy in the Bristol channel .

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    Member chuckster's Avatar
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    It's really amazing how little has changed in 200 years, isn't it.

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    Europeans need slavery reparations from the north africans for centuries of slavery and piracy.

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