Thomas Jefferson And The First Barbary War

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Despite the Constitution, for nearly 200 years, presidents have sent the U.S. military into conflicts without first consulting Congress. Contrary to popular belief, this trend predates the imperialist presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson sent a small fleet to protect and defend U.S. military and merchant ships from acts of piracy by the Barbary States before he asked Congress. Although Congress later gave Jefferson authorization to have those vessels seize any ships and goods that posed a threat, they never voted on a formal declaration of war in the conflict that became the First Barbary War, lasting from 1801 to

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