|Scope and content
||"Unshackling America challenges the persistent fallacy that Americans fought two separate wars of independence. Willard Sterne Randall documents an unrelenting struggle for economic independence from Britain, overlapping two armed conflicts spanning a decades-long unofficial global trade war. Throughout this perilous period, the contest was all about free trade. Neither Thomas Jefferson nor any other Founding Father could divine that the Revolutionary War concluded only the first phase of their ordeal. The Treaty of Paris of 1783 halted overt combat but achieved only partial political autonomy from Britain. By not guaranteeing American economic independence and agency, Britain continued to deny American sovereignty. Randall reexamines the half-century-long struggle and persistent attempts by the British to stifle American trade. He shows how, despite outrageous restrictions, the United States asserted a new doctrine of neutral rights, developing the world's second-largest merchant fleet as it absorbed France's Caribbean trade during the Napoleonic Wars. Defying illegal British blockades and seizures of its sailors, America increased its transatlantic carrying trade fivefold in a single decade. The final act of this dramatic confrontation ended in a bloody stalemate that left the United States the world's largest independent maritime power."--Jacket.