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The Monroe-Pinkney Treaty of 1806 was a treaty drawn up by diplomats of the United States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, but which was rejected by the U.S. government. The treaty was negotiated by minister to England James Monroe and his associate William Pinkney on behalf of the administration of President Thomas Jefferson, and Lord Holland and Lord Auckland on behalf of the "Ministry of All the Talents" government headed by Lord Grenville.
For the Americans, the goal of the treaty was get the British to abandon the practice of impressing sailors from American ships, as well as addressing the neutral trading rights of American vessels in the ongoing Napoleonic Wars, among other commercial concerns. However, the British were short of manpower for the Royal Navy, and believed that numerous British deserters were serving on American ships. In the desperate war against Napoleon, the British believed that they could not afford to abandon impressment: offending the Americans was seen as a much lesser evil than losing to Napoleon. Therefore, no concessions on the issue of impressment were made.
The negotiations were begun on 27 August 1806, and the treaty was signed on 31 December 1806. Monroe and Pinkney knew they had fallen short of their goals; indeed, when President Jefferson received the treaty in March of 1807, he did not even bother submitting it to the United States Senate for ratification. This failure to resolve differences over the issue of impressment and neutral trading rights contributed to the coming of the War of 1812.
- Horsman, Reginald. The Causes of the War of 1812. New York: A.S. Barnes, 1962.
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