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Cadet Smirk
18 August 2004 @ 09:35 pm
Historical Quote that Applies to Today #3885497
Future President John Adams writes on the impending First Barbary War with the semi-autonomous Ottoman North African city-states of Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli.
"I should be very willing to resolve upon external war with vigor, and protect our trade and people. The resolution to fight them would raise the spirits of our countrymen and obtain the glory of finally breaking up these nests of bandatti... In the meantime our trade and honor suffers beyond calculation. We ought not to fight them at all, unless we determine to fight them forever."

-- John Adams, U.S. Ambassador to France, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, from London, 31 July 1786

The Barbary pirates' constant attacks on United States shipping in the early 1800s prompted the building of the United States Navy, including one of America's most famous ships, the USS Constitution (still in service today). American efforts in putting down the pirates won our young nation much respect, and United States Marine Corps actions in this event led to the inclusion of the line, "to the shores of Tripoli," in the "Marine Hymn."

For more information: Wikipedia article.

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