Declaring that America would spend "millions for defense but not one cent for tribute," Jefferson pressed the issue of piracy on American ships by deploying the Marines as well as six frigates to fight the Barbary Pirates.
In 1805, American Marines marched across the desert from Egypt into
Tripolitania, forcing the surrender of Tripoli and the freeing of all American
Jefferson determined that no nation or religion would blackmail the United States. His stand against extortion was not a popular one, earning him censor from Congress, the people, and European countries. However, he did not back off and he did not back down. (Go, Jefferson!)
Under his administration, the Muslim Barbary States crumbled as
a result of intense American naval strikes and shore raids by Marines. The Barbary States
finally officially agreed to abandon slavery and piracy.
Jefferson's victory over the Muslims lives on today in the Marine Hymn, with
the line, "From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli, We fight our
country's battles in the air, on land and sea."
Can you tell that I am a fan of the Marines?