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The Papers of James Madison
19 February 1815-12 October 1815Volume 9
James Madison. Edited by Angela Kreider, J. C. A. Stagg, Mary Parke Johnson, and Anne Mandeville Colony
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This volume documents the ongoing influence of European events on U.S. affairs in the seven months following the War of 1812. Plans to reduce the army and send a naval force against Algiers were suspended in April when Madison learned of Napoleon’s return to power. After weighing the risk of renewed conflict with Great Britain, the president allowed plans to proceed. Results were good, but final vindication of his decision did not arrive until August and September, with news of Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo and the receipt of a commercial convention indicating British goodwill. In the meantime, Madison directed efforts to implement the Treaty of Ghent, learned that Americans had been killed at Dartmoor Prison in England, mediated a major dispute in the Navy Department, responded to Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson’s enforcement of martial law in New Orleans, thwarted Joseph Bonaparte’s attempt to visit Montpelier, modified the administration’s position regarding the still-unrecognized Spanish minister Luis de Onís, oversaw plans to repair the burned Capitol, and received reports on Treasury Secretary Alexander J. Dallas’s efforts to solve the government’s financial problems. Access to people, places, and events of the period is facilitated by detailed annotation and a comprehensive index.

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