Picture of the Day: The Beginning of U.S. Intervention in Libya, 1801

By Chris Good
BainbridgeTribute.jpg
The history of U.S./Libya intervention began in the late 1700s, when North African states, including Tripoli, demanded tribute to allow safe Mediterranean passage of U.S. vessels. Above, U.S. Navy Capt. William Bainbridge pays tribute to the Dey of Algiers in 1800. He was treated quite rudely.

Tired of paying tribute to the Barbary states, President Thomas Jefferson sent a squadron of U.S. frigates to the Mediterranean. The first battle between the U.S. and present-day Libya occurred on August 1, 1801, when the USS Enterprise defeated the Tripolitan corsair Tripoli, shown below.

Enterprise tripoli - wiki.jpg
Both images via Wikimedia Commons.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/03/picture-of-the-day-the-beginning-of-us-intervention-in-libya-1801/72848/