XYZ Affair

I missed the AYZ affair overview, could someone refresh me?

The XYZ Affair was a diplomatic incident that almost led to an actual war between France and the United States. The government of France was under a Directory, and they were struggling with how to pay for all of the European wars in which they had been engaged. France was also upset with the U.S. for signing the Jay Treaty with Great Britain, so they came up with a solution that would help them in both areas. In 1796, French leaders decided to allow for the seizure of American merchant ships,thus helping with their financial problems. Before Washington’s death, he was called upon to help stop these seizures. Washington said that he would only serve again in the military if Hamilton could be his second in command. President John Adams HATED Hamilton, and he did not want him to gain any war glory, so he sought out a diplomatic solution. He dispatched three U.S. envoys to restore harmony between the United States and France—Elbridge Gerry, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney , and John Marshall. The name comes from the three men who approached the U.S. envoys–Jean Hottinguer (X), Pierre Bellamy (Y), and Lucien Hauteval (Z). There were others involved, also, on the French side. These envoys said that Talleyrand, the actual diplomat with power, would meet with them IF the U.S. would agree to provide France with a low-interest loan, pay U.S. merchant claims against France, and provide Talleyrand with a bribe. These men were able to settle the disputes finally through the Convention of 1800, which wasn’t ratified by the U.S. Senate until 1801.

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