The 12 Articles of the Treaty of Tripoli
The Treaty of Tripoli was a treaty written by Joe Barlow, an American diplomat, describing the first treaty between Tripoli and the United States of America.
In 1796 The Treaty of Tripoli was approved unanimously by the Senate in 1797, after being signed the year before in Tripoli, as well as in Algiers.
The purpose of the Treaty of Tripoli was to simply a diplomatic agreement containing 12 articles:
• Article 1: Established a friendship and peace between the United States and the Bey and those of Tripoli and Barbary.
• Article 2: If either country was at war with other parties, any vessels carrying goods would pass free and not get detained.
• Article 3: If a citizen of either party was found on a prize vessel from an enemy or other party, they will be set free and given their possessions.
• Article 4: Passports were to be issued to all vessels of either party.
• Article 5: a citizen of a party who has purchased a vessel condemned by the other party can consider that a passport for a year until he obtains a proper passport.
• Article 6: Vessels using other ports that need supplies or provisions would get them at market value.
• Article 7: If a vessel of either party was cast on the shore, assistance would be given. No pillaging would be allowed.
• Article 8: IF a vessel of either party was attacked within a certain distance of forts, it would receive assistance.
• Article 9: Commerce between the two parties was given the same footing as other favored nations.
• Article 10: Any presents or money demanded by the Bey of Tripoli for the Treaty of Tripoli was acknowledged and promised by the United States.
• Article 11: The United States is not considered a Christian nation.
• Article 12: Any disputes would not be settled with arms or war but rather the Dey of Algiers would be used as a mediator.
The Treaty of Tripoli was quickly considered moot since the Pasha of Tripoli then declared war on the United States in 1801. The United States retaliated by sending the Navy as well as the Marines to Tripoli where they defeated the Pasha’s armies.
While the Treaty of Tripoli was a very normal treaty, Article 11 is the reason that the Treaty of Tripoli is very well known. Article 11 has often been used in debates about the separation of church and states in the United States and its application to the founding of the nation.