Monroe–Pinkney Treaty

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The Monroe–Pinkney Treaty of 1806 was a treaty drawn up by diplomats of the United States and Britain as a renewal of the Jay Treaty of 1795. It was rejected by President Thomas Jefferson and never took effect. 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 to make the British abandon the practice of impressing sailors from American ships, as well as to address 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 many 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. President Jefferson received the treaty in March 1807, but was disappointed and refused to submit it to the 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.


  • Hickey, Donald R. (1987). "The Monroe–Pinkney Treaty of 1806: A Reappraisal". William and Mary Quarterly. 44 (1): 65–88. doi:10.2307/1939719. 
  • Horsman, Reginald (1962). The Causes of the War of 1812. New York: A.S. Barnes. 
  • Steel, Anthony (1952). "Impressment in the Monroe–Pinkney Negotiation, 1806–1807". American Historical Review. 57 (2): 352–369. doi:10.2307/1849880.