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Jefferson's act essentially interfered with one of the original rationales for the American Revolution: the support of free trade. Instead of working with Americans who defied the act, Jefferson accused them of disloyalty and focused on enforcement. Jefferson was utterly incapable of rethinking the Act that quickly became a flashpoint in American politics. Americans were angry with Jefferson, but he refused to listen.
==Did the Embargo of 1807 diminish Jefferson's Reputation?==By 1809, Jefferson was forced to not only admit that the Embargo was a failure but Republicans eventually came out against the policy. In response, Congress passed the Non-Intercourse Act which limited trade to only Britain and France. The Non-Intercourse could barely be described as a restraint on trade to Britain and France. It would be relatively easy to ship American goods to a third party state and then send them to France or Britain. That's exactly what happened.
Ultimately, Jefferson refused to run for a third term as President, and his chosen successor, James Madison, was elected President. Jefferson was happy to leave the presidency and never returned to Washington.
Unfortunately, the United States was soon drawn into another conflict with Britain by 1812. The entire purpose of the Embargo was to demonstrate that there was potentially a new way to respond to aggressive warring European powers. That effort failed. Jefferson proved incapable of limiting smuggling by Americans that undermined his Embargo. Even though Southerners typically respected the Embargo, the failure to limit smuggling in the North hobbled the Embargo Act. Jefferson had essentially achieved all of the legislative goals he sought to accomplish during his Administration and the Embargo Act was one of his few clear failures.

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