The political situation in the U.S. in these first years of the 19th century was, on a smaller scale, much like subsequent situations, even today. The administration of Thomas Jefferson had trouble with Mediterranean mid-East terrorists working out of Libyia, pirating and taking American hostages. A naval squadron was sent to stabilize the matter. Otherwise, there was much pressure to cut down the defense budget and decommission all but ten active warships… which was done.

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