Nonintercourse Act

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When the Embargo Act proved unsatisfactory as an instrument of American foreign policy, it was repealed in March 1809 and replaced with the milder Nonintercourse Act. This act maintained the embargo only against Britain and France, but did not ban trade with other European countries. Since trade could be conducted indirectly in this manner, the act was largely futile. It was also limited by its express deadline, that enforcement would end with the conclusion of the next session of Congress.

In an effort to induce one or the other of the belligerents to cancel their obnoxious decrees against American commerce, the Nonintercourse Act proposed to entirely lift restrictions against the first country to take this step. Neither did.

Opposition from the Federalist Party continued against the Nonintercourse Act as it had against the embargo. Eventually, the Nonintercourse Act lapsed and was replaced with the even more toothless Macon`s Bill Number Two, which opened American shipping to any foreign port and denied entry to American waters to both the British and French. Again, it offered to remove even those restrictions to the first country to meet American demands. Neither did.

All economic measures having proved ineffective, the United States was eventually brought into the conflict on the side of the French during the War of 1812.