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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion > American Age of Formative Expansion

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American Age of Formative Expansion 1789-1830 To begin with the 1st US President & extend through the Whiskey Rebellion, Quasi War with France, War of 1812, & southeastern Indian wars,

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  #31  
Old 27 Aug 16, 20:36
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Originally Posted by Massena View Post
What you have posted is a perfect example of using select material to support your point while ignoring the overall situation, along with whatever else was happening at the same time and by whom.
Back in post #7 of this thread you wrote

Jefferson wanted a small navy that would be supplemented in wartime by privateers and Congress wanted less than that. All but 13 frigates and one schooner were sold off and seven of the retained frigates were laid up in ordinary and were left with only a caretaker or two for a crew. The remaining active ships had their crews reduced to two-thirds the usual complement.

This statement was made to show that the reduction was a Jeffersonian policy. I countered by showing that it was actually a Federalist act, and not Republican/Jeffersonian. That is not cherry picking, it is simply a fact which is counter to the original assertion. I don't care how much you, or the late Mr. Elting, or the Sprouts wish to blame Jefferson solely for the reduction. The very fact is that it was a bipartisan decision. The nation simply did not want a large standing Navy. It could not afford it. It could not man it. Nor is it beyond indisputable that even if the wartime 1798 Navy had been fully in existence in 1812 it would have made one iota a difference strategically in the long term.

No it is not an example of cherry picking facts, but rather one of maintaining a hypothesis when facts have shown that hypothesis to be wrong.

And none of this has anything to do with the OP anyway. It was not Jefferson's Army in the War of 1812. It was Madison's.

Tuebor

P.S. Putting forth secondary sources as evidence is Argument From Authority, and so a logical fallacy. Using secondary sources based on secondary sources which are also based heavily on secondary sources is fundamentally stupid.
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  #32  
Old 28 Aug 16, 08:33
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Originally Posted by Marmat View Post
... in retrospect my post does come across as rather enigmatic(?) I've got a few things on the go and I haven't been able to devote much time to spend here, and to respond to you in any detail. I was just about to whip something up, then realized I've already posted most of it:


http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...66#post2971366

I can attempt to further clarify if you wish?
Thanks for the reply. I do remember reading that earlier post you made. I'm not convinced there is evidence to support the claim Jefferson, and others such as Clay, thought taking the British colonies would be easy just because there were many US born people in the Upper Canada colony. I believe their reasoning was based on an unrealistic faith in the ability of the militia and that was based on their misunderstanding of the effectiveness of militia in the War of Independence.
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Old 28 Aug 16, 10:49
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Ah, but ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by taco View Post
Thanks for the reply. I do remember reading that earlier post you made. I'm not convinced there is evidence to support the claim Jefferson, and others such as Clay, thought taking the British colonies would be easy just because there were many US born people in the Upper Canada colony. I believe their reasoning was based on an unrealistic faith in the ability of the militia and that was based on their misunderstanding of the effectiveness of militia in the War of Independence.
... the two go hand in hand, we're talking Jefferson's quote here, not Clay, and it's not just a matter of "there were many US born people in the Upper Canada colony", there's much more to it.

Alan Taylor touches on this rebellion of disaffected Upper Canada Americans in the making, in "The Divided Ground", but much of that came from an earlier Taylor essay included in "The Revolution of 1800", Horn, Lewis & Onuf, titled "A Northern Revolution of 1800? Upper Canada and Thomas Jefferson."

From "A Northern Revolution of 1800?", it's pretty clear that the advocates of rebellion were counting on the support of the Republican administration in the US for their insurrection. Jefferson was looking south, west, and the Louisiana Purchase, he required British acquiescence in his endeavors with Napoleon; a northern invasion was out of the question at that time. The Republicans were committed to expansion over North America:

"However, our present interests may restrain us within our own limits, it is impossible not to look forward to distant times, when our rapid multiplication will expand itself beyond those limits, & cover the whole northern, if not the southern continent, with a people speaking the same language, governed in similar forms, & by similar laws." (Jefferson to Monroe). Here at the peak of Danforth's plot, Jefferson emphasized the present interest of remaining within current boundaries, postponed expansion to distant times, and assigned agency to reproduction and migration" - Taylor.

Besides, Jefferson wasn't about to help out Burr in anything. The American settler/colonists were caught somewhere between their support for rebellion, and the oaths of allegiance and the supremacy of King in Parliament that they were required to make on arrival, before being assigned their 200 acre lots - little wonder that Brock didn't trust them much either leading into 1812.

I found Taylor's use of Asa Danforth as a central character in "A Northern Revolution of 1800?", to be especially interesting, (as I did Joseph Brant in "The Divided Ground"). Danforth is known in the Toronto area as the builder of roads, most notably the first road to run between York and the settlements of the Bay of Quinte to the east. As a kid, I had to cross "Danforth Road" to get to school, he was known as a pioneer hero of sorts, little did we know of the complete true history of Massachusetts's born Asa Danforth.

Remember, given your take on the Jefferson quote, Jefferson only has to know of conditions and sentiments in Upper Canada to have that knowledge colour his judgement on the abilities of his militia in 1812; I say it does.
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  #34  
Old 28 Aug 16, 21:20
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Originally Posted by Tuebor View Post
And none of this has anything to do with the OP anyway. It was not Jefferson's Army in the War of 1812. It was Madison's.
Perhaps you could explain the difference.
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  #35  
Old 28 Aug 16, 21:34
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Originally Posted by Tuebor View Post
Putting forth secondary sources as evidence is Argument From Authority, and so a logical fallacy. Using secondary sources based on secondary sources which are also based heavily on secondary sources is fundamentally stupid
Do you understand what an 'Argument from Authority' actually is? It doesn't appear that you do.

There are two sides of this 'argument' in that one can be fallacious, and the other not. It isn't fallacious when the authority, or authorities cited, in the argument under consideration is an actual authority on the subject being discussed. In the case of the Stodderts, as well as Marshal Smelser and Craig Symonds in their works on the subject (namely The Congress Founds a Navy and Navalists and Antinavalists, respectively) all three authors are authorities in the subjects upon which they write. And contrary to the ridiculous contention that these are secondary sources that are based 'heavily on secondary sources' all three volumes named rely heavily on primary source material.

I'll ignore the rudeness of your 'stupidity' remark which is uncalled for and needs to be withdrawn.

As an additional note, it's Col Elting, not Mr Elting, as he always used his retired US Army rank in his name. To ignore that is also rude and socially unacceptable.

As it appears that you need some education in historical fallacies and argument, you might want to get hold of David Hackett Fischer's Historians' Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought. I have found it useful over the years.

Further, you also might want to become familiar with valid historical methodology as well as how to approach historical inquiry. Your lack of a logical approach to sourcing and valid argument are telling in your postings.
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  #36  
Old 28 Aug 16, 22:26
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Originally Posted by Marmat View Post
... the two go hand in hand, we're talking Jefferson's quote here, not Clay, and it's not just a matter of "there were many US born people in the Upper Canada colony", there's much more to it.

Alan Taylor touches on this rebellion of disaffected Upper Canada Americans in the making, in "The Divided Ground", but much of that came from an earlier Taylor essay included in "The Revolution of 1800", Horn, Lewis & Onuf, titled "A Northern Revolution of 1800? Upper Canada and Thomas Jefferson."

From "A Northern Revolution of 1800?", it's pretty clear that the advocates of rebellion were counting on the support of the Republican administration in the US for their insurrection. Jefferson was looking south, west, and the Louisiana Purchase, he required British acquiescence in his endeavors with Napoleon; a northern invasion was out of the question at that time. The Republicans were committed to expansion over North America:

"However, our present interests may restrain us within our own limits, it is impossible not to look forward to distant times, when our rapid multiplication will expand itself beyond those limits, & cover the whole northern, if not the southern continent, with a people speaking the same language, governed in similar forms, & by similar laws." (Jefferson to Monroe). Here at the peak of Danforth's plot, Jefferson emphasized the present interest of remaining within current boundaries, postponed expansion to distant times, and assigned agency to reproduction and migration" - Taylor.

Besides, Jefferson wasn't about to help out Burr in anything. The American settler/colonists were caught somewhere between their support for rebellion, and the oaths of allegiance and the supremacy of King in Parliament that they were required to make on arrival, before being assigned their 200 acre lots - little wonder that Brock didn't trust them much either leading into 1812.

I found Taylor's use of Asa Danforth as a central character in "A Northern Revolution of 1800?", to be especially interesting, (as I did Joseph Brant in "The Divided Ground"). Danforth is known in the Toronto area as the builder of roads, most notably the first road to run between York and the settlements of the Bay of Quinte to the east. As a kid, I had to cross "Danforth Road" to get to school, he was known as a pioneer hero of sorts, little did we know of the complete true history of Massachusetts's born Asa Danforth.

Remember, given your take on the Jefferson quote, Jefferson only has to know of conditions and sentiments in Upper Canada to have that knowledge colour his judgement on the abilities of his militia in 1812; I say it does.
I see that you like Alan Taylor's works as I do. He is an excellent historian. I have and have read the books you mention. Having read them I cannot see Jefferson writing a letter in August 1812 and being influenced by the joke of a rebellion that actually never happened in 1802. All my quotes are from A Northern Revolution of 1800?. Taylor quotes an Upper Canada official, Peter Russell, as describing the rebellion plot as “a tissue of Absurdity & Improbability.” page 395 He points out that: “Of the American leaders, only Aaron Burr seems to have been familiar with, and vaguely encouraging of, the plot against Upper Canada.” page 398

There is apparently a question as to whether or not Jefferson even knew about the plot. Taylor points out the animosity between Jefferson and Burr then states: “And even if Burr had not been involved, Jefferson had abundant pragmatic reasons to discountenance a northern plot—if he ever even knew about it.” page 398

As for the Louisiana Purchase Jefferson did not need British acquiescence. What Jefferson needed to do was to not get involved in a war with Britain and that is the point Taylor is making. He goes on to state: “Jefferson also had precious little interest in Canada prior to the Chesapeake crisis of 1807. Instead there was a southern tilt to Jefferson’s expansionist imagination. He showed far more desire for Louisiana, Florida, Texas, and even Cuba. Thoroughly Virginian in his climatology, Jefferson regarded Canada as a frozen tundra hardly suited to civilized life and not worth the expense and danger of a war with the formidable British Empire.” pages 399-400

Taylor also makes the important point that: “Louisiana was vastly more important to American interests.” page 400 All you have to do is look at a map and see the importance of New Orleans as an outlet for those Americans living west of the Appalachian Mountains. The British North American colonies were simply not as important as Louisiana.

The quote from Jefferson where he mentions “our present interests may restrain us within our own limits” in a letter to Monroe (November 24,1801), does not refer to the use of military force but to “reproduction and migration.”

Taylor states: “In principle Jefferson and his party were committed to the eventual expansion of the United States to embrace all of North America. But it should be emphasized that (prior to 1812) they imagined expansion as gradual rather than immediate; as peaceful rather than military; and as fundamentally driven by demography rather than by state action.” page 399

As I stated I don’t believe Jefferson would have been influenced by a rebellion that never happened ten years in the past. Assuming he even knew about it at the time.
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Old 30 Aug 16, 00:09
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Originally Posted by Massena View Post
Do you understand what an 'Argument from Authority' actually is? It doesn't appear that you do.

There are two sides of this 'argument' in that one can be fallacious, and the other not. It isn't fallacious when the authority, or authorities cited, in the argument under consideration is an actual authority on the subject being discussed. In the case of the Stodderts, as well as Marshal Smelser and Craig Symonds in their works on the subject (namely The Congress Founds a Navy and Navalists and Antinavalists, respectively) all three authors are authorities in the subjects upon which they write. And contrary to the ridiculous contention that these are secondary sources that are based 'heavily on secondary sources' all three volumes named rely heavily on primary source material.

I'll ignore the rudeness of your 'stupidity' remark which is uncalled for and needs to be withdrawn.

As an additional note, it's Col Elting, not Mr Elting, as he always used his retired US Army rank in his name. To ignore that is also rude and socially unacceptable.

As it appears that you need some education in historical fallacies and argument, you might want to get hold of David Hackett Fischer's Historians' Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought. I have found it useful over the years.

Further, you also might want to become familiar with valid historical methodology as well as how to approach historical inquiry. Your lack of a logical approach to sourcing and valid argument are telling in your postings.
Seriously?

Let me keep this simple. Primary source trumps secondary source-always.

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  #38  
Old 30 Aug 16, 06:46
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Originally Posted by Tuebor View Post
Let me keep this simple. Primary source trumps secondary source-always.
There are no absolutes in the study of history. You have not supported your argument either logically or factually. There is little or no analysis in your postings.

Further, you have left out the intention of the Adams administration in supporting the US Navy by omitting the program that Stoddert proposed for strengthening the Navy that was defeated by the Congress led by Gallatin, who wanted the Navy done away with.

In short, merely stating the law as passed does not prove your point.

Have you read the books by Sprout, Symonds, or Smelsor to name but a few? If not, then you are not even attempting to research the topic, merely defending the Jefferson administration blindly.
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Old 30 Aug 16, 21:51
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'To aim at such a navy as the greater nations of Europe possess, would be a foolish and wicked waste of the energies of our countrymen.'-Thomas Jefferson.

'However we may consider ourselves, the maritime and commercial powers of the world will consider the United States of America as forming a weight in that balance of power in Europe which can never be forgotten or neglected.'-John Adams.

'There must be a navy formed in time of peace.'-Alexander Hamilton.

'The question is whether it be proper, at the present time, to lay the foundation of a Navy, of a fleet, that might be able, hereafter, to give us a certain weight in relation to European nations.'-Albert Gallatin.

'You seldom hear of the fleets except when there's trouble, and then you hear a lot.'-Vice Admiral JS McCain, Jr, USN.

'Not alone is the strength of the Fleet measured by the number of its fighting units, but by its efficiency, by its ability to proceed promptly where it is needed and to engage and overcome an enemy.'-Admiral Richard Wainwright, USN.

'The necessity of a navy springs from the existence of peaceful shipping.'-Alfred Thayer Mahan.

'A Navy is organized to gain victory at sea, not to illustrate ideas about human equality.'-C Northcote Parkinson.
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Old 31 Aug 16, 02:11
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Originally Posted by Massena View Post
There are no absolutes in the study of history. You have not supported your argument either logically or factually. There is little or no analysis in your postings.
And this is known as the fallacy of name calling.

Quote:
Further, you have left out the intention of the Adams administration in supporting the US Navy by omitting the program that Stoddert proposed for strengthening the Navy that was defeated by the Congress led by Gallatin, who wanted the Navy done away with.
The Congress was not led by Gallatin. The Committee that was formed to report the bill was composed of Josiah Parker (Federalist and apparently chairman as it was he who reported the bill), Harrison G. Otis (Federalist), Richard D. Spaight (Republican), John Davenport (Federalist), Abraham Nott (Federalist who was replaced after the bill was reported by Republican Samuel Smith when Nott just up and went home during the Presidential Balloting process), Benjamin Taliafero (Federalist), and Republican David Holmes. Note that Gallatin was not part of the committee, nor is there any record of Gallatin speaking one way or the other on the issue of the naval bill other than with his vote. In fact no debate ever took place. There were two motions made to amend the bill. The first was to place all the riffed officers on half pay for life, which failed, and the second was to add an amendment also giving the President authorization to reduce the Marine Corps, which passed. There was no debate, just the motions and votes. The Bill then was voted on and overwhelmingly passed. They then sent it to the senate, where a committee composed of two Republicans and one Federalist (to wit Wilson Nicholas, John Langdon, and Uriah Tracy) who recommended it be passed with unanimous consent.

As for Stoddert's message to Congress. The (usually considered pro-Navy) Federalist Congress in effect tabled it. No reading was given and only hand bills printed up. No discussion. No debate. It was simply ignored.

What Stoddert wanted is immaterial especially for this debate, because...

Quote:
In short, merely stating the law as passed does not prove your point.
...the debate is over your claim that it was Jefferson who initiated and drew down the Navy. Again I refer to post #7 in which you wrote:

Quote:
The US Navy in 1801 consisted of a first-class organization both afloat and the shore establishment. There were 34 frigates, sloops, brigs, and schooners and the Navy had 6 ships-of-the-line under construction. The naval support establishment ashore was in excellent shape to support the fleet.

Jefferson wanted a small navy that would be supplemented in wartime by privateers and Congress wanted less than that. All but 13 frigates and one schooner were sold off and seven of the retained frigates were laid up in ordinary and were left with only a caretaker or two for a crew. The remaining active ships had their crews reduced to two-thirds the usual complement.
Now you would have us believe that it was Jefferson responsible for all this. All I merely did was show that the law responsible for those reductions was passed during the previous administration. Your response was to call it a cherry picked fact. It went against the story your were attempting to sell, and so you just ignore it.

Quote:
Have you read the books by Sprout, Symonds, or Smelsor to name but a few? If not, then you are not even attempting to research the topic, merely defending the Jefferson administration blindly.
What an odd comment.

[Edit] WTF, I do not need to explain myself.


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Old 31 Aug 16, 06:43
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Originally Posted by Tuebor View Post
And this is known as the fallacy of name calling.
Exactly what 'names' were you called?

Seems to me you are guilty of what you are accusing me of doing:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuebor View Post
Putting forth secondary sources as evidence is Argument From Authority, and so a logical fallacy. Using secondary sources based on secondary sources which are also based heavily on secondary sources is fundamentally stupid.
You began the pejorative postings with the above. I was merely remarking on the errors that you have consistently made in this thread. And you've done the same thing in the Civil War artillery thread. You don't support your arguments and, apparently, are not well-read on the subject. So, before using such terms as 'stupid' as well as references to vulgar or profane comments, don't accuse others of acting the way you do.

And the use of vulgarity and profanity merely indicates the bankruptcy of your own position in the discussion.

Further, the fallacy you are referring to is usually called the 'fallacy of argument ad hominem' and can be found on pages 290-293 in David Hackett Fischer's Historians' Fallacies which has already been referenced as a recommended book for you. It is a fallacy of substantive argument, to wit: 'The fallacy of argument ad hominem occurs in many different forms, all of which serve to shift attention from the argument to the arguer. Among its most common varieties are, first, the abusive ad hominem, which directly denounces an opponent. I haven't done this. I have criticized your material, justly, but not you personally. Conversely, you have used the pejorative 'stupid' in reference to me. Seems to me you are guilty of an ad hominem comment.

You seem to be having trouble with your historical fallacies. That's the second one you have used incorrectly or incompletely.
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Old 31 Aug 16, 09:22
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WTF, I do not need to explain myself
You don't have to do anything. However, you chose to participate in the discussion and you should 'explain yourself' if you wish to be taken seriously.

Your 'reference' to vulgarity is duly noted.
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Old 31 Aug 16, 09:31
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What an odd comment.
Not at all. If you haven't read the relevant material, which is based largely on primary source material, how can you attempt to understand the period and what actually occurred and who was responsible.

The legislation, if I'm not mistaken, was passed as of 1 March 1801 and Jefferson was inaugurated on 4 March. That doesn't leave much time for Stoddert or anyone else to react to what was going to happen.

Gallatin was the leader of the opposition to the US Navy as an institution and Jefferson's hostility to a standing Navy is historic fact. And it was the Jefferson administration that began and oversaw the dismantling and neglect of the US Naval Establishment in 1801, not the Adams administration.

It was Jefferson who referred to the US Navy as '...the ruinous folly of a navy' during the war in the Mediterranean which he initiated, a naval war, after doing his best to dismantle the navy itself.

And Stoddert's initiative to rebuild the navy with new ships-of-the-line and frigates and maintain the shore establishment is most certainly relevant.

I'm afraid in your zeal to support Jefferson and his administration, you've quite missed the point of the exercise. Jefferson's and Gallatin's anti-military policies left the nation unprotected and damaged the national defense.
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Old 31 Aug 16, 11:20
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Three posts and none dealing with the point in question.

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Old 31 Aug 16, 12:25
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The point in question is the reduction of the US Navy, which was addressed in one of the three postings.

And you still haven't answered the question put to you on the difference between Jefferson's and Madison's army, which referred to the OP.
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