Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of May 2nd, - May 8th, 2008

The Quasi War

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Quasi War with France

The Quasi War with France

  Known to history as the Quasi War, Pirate War, Half-War or Undeclared War with France, this engagement turned a corner in our diplomatic relations with the ally who had made our winning of the Revolutionary War possible.

  We are now entering a window of time when transiting Neptune is triggering the US Moon. By looking back into history, we can see when this alignment happened and therefore better understand its influence on us, and how it could influence our future.

  Neptune is the planet that rules the subconscious. It deals with sleep, dreams, imagination, confusion, illusion, fog, mist and uncertainty. Its power is in stirring up deep emotions, but without providing a clear path as to what to do about them. Our clarity, judgement and decision-making processes are obscured, like looking at an image through a veil or opaque glass. It's like having a few beers and trying to do homework. The answers may be fuzzy. We have a sense of what's there, but we can't be certain.

  At the end of the 18th century, the United States had no navy as her merchant ships were being attacked and commandeered by France. Having helped give birth to our revolutionary nation with loans and the help of the French fleet (indispensable at the battle of Yorktown), we proceeded to ignore our Treaty of Alliance with France by refusing to pay back the loan and even trading with the enemy, England.

Naval confrontation

Naval confrontation

  Understandably, the French were not very happy with this turn of events and seized US merchant shipping along the US coast and in the Caribbean as compensation. The Moon rules the navy. With Neptune paralleling our Moon, we had none. It had been sold off and a new one had to be built from scratch. The Federalists in the US Congress, including President John Adams, wanted war. Others, including Thomas Jefferson, wanted peace. In this diplomatic contest, the newly created navy was intensively and expertly trained, and in almost every engagement we had military victories. The US Navy captured 85 French ships. In terms of merchant shipping, according to one source France captured over 2000 US merchant vessels.

  Who was the winner?

  The Quasi War, appropriate to Neptune's fuzzy vision, was never officially declared by Congress. It took place entirely at sea and hardly raises a blip on the historical radar. In an interesting side-note, a different facet of our US Moon in Aquarius also manifested itself through this engagement. Neptune has a spiritual side, of connecting with the divine through prayer, meditation, and contemplation. Aquarius represent a freedom-thinking, independent minded, let's-make-peace sentimentality. One citizen took it upon himself to outfit a 'peace ship' and sail to France to stop the war after all the official US representatives had been withdrawn. In spite of personal threats to his safety by the Federalists, a life-long Quaker and friend of Thomas Jefferson, George Logan, sailed to France and was able to prevent the two countries from going to war.

  As a result of his heroic efforts, he was censured at home for his actions and the Logan Act of 1798 declared that no private citizen could again engage in diplomatic exchanges unless expressly authorized to do so by the government.

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