Event Summary


Barbary Wars, 1801-1805 and 1815-1816, from Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State

The First Barbary War from Thomas Jefferson Foundation

The Bombardment of Algiers, August 27, 1816 by George Chambers Senior.
The Bombardment of Algiers, August 27, 1816 by George Chambers Senior.

For background on the beginnings of American Foreign Policy, see America and the Barbary Pirates from the Library of Congress.

See also How Did the United States Defeat the Barbary Pirates?

Avast! How the U.S. Built a Navy, Sent in the Marines, and Faced Down the Barbary Pirates, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

See this article in the New York Times for a view of the Barbary Pirates as an earlier form of state-sponsored terrorism.

A Sea Fight with Barbary Corsairs
A Sea Fight with Barbary Corsairs


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Primary Sources

Treaty of Tripoli (1796) Also known as the Treaty of Peace and Friendship

George Washington and Barbary Coast Pirates from the Papers of George Washington Project

The Barbary Pirates: Letter from Tripoli from Teaching American History.org

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Multimedia Resources


First Barbary War on YouTube


Congressional Gold Medal awarded to Stephen Decatur,1813
Congressional Gold Medal awarded to Stephen Decatur,1813

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Lesson Plans
The United States and the Barbary Pirates from Constitutional Rights Foundation