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The Barbary Coast Wars

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  • Commodore Alexander James Dallas, USN (1791 - 1844)
    ) Alexander James Dallas (May 15, 1791 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - June 3, 1844 in Callao, Peru) was an officer in the United States Navy. He served in the War of 1812, operations against ...
  • Captain Josiah Tattnall, Jr. (USN/CSA) (1795 - 1871)
    Commodore Josiah Tattnall, Jr. (14 June 1794 – 14 June 1871) was an officer in the United States Navy during the War of 1812, the Second Barbary War, and the Mexican-American War. He later ser...
  • Captain John H. Dent, USS Constitution (1782 - 1823)
    United States Naval Officer. He served as the acting captain of the frigate "Constitution" in 1804 during the war with Tripoli. He was also senior officer in charge of naval affairs at Charleston durin...
  • Commodore William M. Crane, USN (c.1776 - 1846)
    Commodore William Montgomery Crane (1776 – 18 March 1846) was an officer in the United States Navy during the First Barbary War and the War of 1812. He was the son of Gen. William Crane who wa...
  • John Harris, Commandant of the USMC (1793 - 1864)
    John Harris (May 20, 1793–May 12, 1864) was the sixth Commandant of the Marine Corps. He served in the Marine Corps for over 50 years, attaining the rank of colonel. Harris was born in East ...

This project will focus on two wars the young United States fought off the coast of North Africa. Though little known, these wars cemented the country's position in the world as a naval power.

What? You've never heard of the Barbary Coast Wars? Are you familiar with the US Marine Corp Hymn? "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli. . ." Tripoli was a major port in North Africa.


The First Barbary War (1801–1805), also known as the Tripolitan War or the Barbary Coast War, was the first of two wars fought between the United States and the Northwest African Berber Muslim states known collectively as the Barbary States. These were Tripoli and Algiers, which were quasi-independent entities nominally belonging to the Ottoman Empire, and the independent Sultanate of Morocco.

The Second Barbary War (1815), also known as the Algerine or Algerian War, was the second of two wars fought between the United States and the Ottoman Empire's North African regencies of Tripoli, Tunis, and Algeria known collectively as the Barbary states. The war between the Barbary States and the U.S. ended in 1815; the international dispute would effectively be ended the following year by Great Britain and the Netherlands. The war brought an end to the American practice of paying tribute to the pirate states and helped mark the beginning of the end of piracy in that region, which had been rampant in the days of Ottoman domination (16th–18th centuries). Within decades, European powers built ever more sophisticated and expensive ships which the Barbary pirates could not match in numbers or technology.