All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Brian Steele

Advisory Committee Members

Carolyn Conley

Michael McConnell

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences


This thesis examines the build-up to and the events of the First Barbary War (1801-1805) with the purpose of demonstrating that ideological factors significantly influenced the decision to go to war – specifically the republican ideology of Thomas Jefferson and his belief that this ideology represented the essence of the United States and its Revolutionary heritage. As such, Jefferson will be the main focus of this analysis. This focus is justified because it is Jefferson who broke with the policies set by his predecessors and directly engaged the Barbary States with military force. Therefore, to understand why the United States went to war in 1801, one must understand Jefferson and his motivations.



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