By Deborah A. Rosen
The First Seminole warfare of 1816–1818 performed a serious function in shaping how the U.S. demarcated its spatial and felony barriers throughout the early years of the republic. Rooted in notions of yankee exceptionalism, happen future, and racism, the criminal framework that emerged from the warfare laid the foundation for the Monroe Doctrine, the Dred Scott choice, and U.S. westward growth over the process the 19th century, as Deborah Rosen explains in Border Law.
When basic Andrew Jackson’s troops invaded Spanish-ruled Florida within the overdue 1810s, they seized forts, destroyed cities, and captured or killed Spaniards, Britons, Creeks, Seminoles, and African-descended humans. As Rosen indicates, american citizens vigorously debated those competitive activities and raised urgent questions on the rights of wartime prisoners, using army tribunals, the character of sovereignty, the foundations for working throughout territorial borders, the validity of preemptive moves, and the position of race in settling on felony rights. Proponents of Jackson’s Florida campaigns claimed a spot for the us as a member of the eu diplomatic neighborhood whereas whilst announcing a nearby sphere of effect and new ideas concerning the software of foreign law.
American justifications for the incursions, which allotted rights alongside racial traces and allowed huge leeway for extraterritorial motion, solid a extra unified nationwide identification and set a precedent for an assertive overseas policy.
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Additional resources for Border Law: The First Seminole War and American Nationhood
S. S. incursions into Florida. In response to Onís’s 1815 letter, Monroe denied that any anti-Â�Spanish insurgents gathered anywhere within reach of American laws and assured Onís that the United States prohibited its citizens from taking part in SpanishÂ�American wars and barred foreigners from recruiting Americans in the United States for that purpose. However, he pointed out that the law of nations did not obligate or empower the United States to punish inhabitants of Spanish colonies for acts committed outside the United States.
The slaughter of the Garrett family, a cross-Â�border killing of noncombatants, would later be an oft-Â�cited fact contributing to the United States’ legal defense of its 1818 invasion. 32 War Department instructions regarding the southwest Georgia border shifted in December 1817. In letters sent October 30 and December 2, 1817, Acting Secretary of War George Graham had made it clear to Edmund P. Gaines, Fort Scott’s commander in late 1817, that to avoid disrupting ongoing negotiations with Spain and good relations with other European countries he should not cross the Florida line to attack the Seminoles on Spanish territory.
Treating the communication as hostile, Jackson occupied Pensacola on May 21. SubÂ�Â� sequently, he forcibly took nearby Fort Barrancas, required Masot to sign articles of capitulation, and put the Spanish officers on a ship to Havana. Finally, on June 2, Jackson declared the end of the Seminole War. 37 Response to the Invasion Southern newspapers began reporting on Jackson’s invasion a week after it began. On April 14, Georgia papers reported that the United States had entered Florida and launched an expedition against Indians there.