Hi Paul,

Who was the President during the Napoleonic Wars? Oh, yes, why it was Thomas Jefferson (1801-09). I remember him; he is famous for having written the famous Declaration of Independence. He is famous for advising Americans to avoid foreign entanglements. He is famous for purchasing Louisiana (from France, err, Emperor Bonaparte). He is infamous for being a planter/slaver like other founders. His successor James Madison (another planter/slaver?) was President (1809-17) when the U.S.A. officially joined its friend Napoleon against the rest of the world with the War of 1812. But the U.S.A. was busy before that attacking ships of the Royal Navy here and there. They weren't stupid. They were merely a nascent empire then. They had to be careful until they could become a Big Power and play with the Big Boys.

Boy, the Great War came along at just the right time, didn't it? And what a happy result, too!

By the way, the Empire of Japan was on the side of us good guys in the Great War. They were rewarded by participating in the looting of German territories in the Far East. To get rid of Japan (a rival) it became necessary to turn the Japanese into enemies so Japan could be bombed into oblivion along with Germany in W.W. II. Then, like Germany (and Great Britain too), Japan could become a U.S. military base so everyone could be protected from the evil communists. I wonder how long it would take the U.S.A. to invade Canada if oil sales were cut off? Two minutes? That long? So much for "the world's longest undefended border"!

Fighting for freedom and democracy, that's the American Way. Right?

- Morley

P.S.: Compare the military-style expedition of Lewis and Clark organized by Thomas Jefferson to Alexander MacKenzie of the Hudson's Bay Company. MacKenzie got to the Pacific first (and more).

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