Thomas Jefferson


What unpopular legislation did Jefferson sign to avoid entering the English–French conflict?

Jefferson signed an embargo act—known as the Embargo Act of 1807—to keep America completely out of the conflict between Great Britain and France. Each side prohibited any of its allies from trading with its enemy. Jefferson refused to become involved in the war and responded with the Embargo Act, which was an attempt to show the United States’ neutrality in the English-French conflict. The measure prohibited foreign trade with either nation. The banning of trade with either nation was unpopular, but it did lead to the creation of more textile mills and other industries in the United States. Jefferson lifted the embargo shortly before leaving office.

The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.


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