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The XYZ Affair

The XYZ Affair was a diplomatic incident between France and the United States that resulted in a limited, undeclared naval war with France known as the Quasi-War.

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Frenchmen plunder female “America” in a British satire of Franco-American relations after the XYZ Affair, May 1798

XYZ Affair & Quasi-War


The Quasi-War was an undeclared naval war that grew out of the XYZ Affair and ended when French politics changed direction after Napoleon came into power.

XYZ Affair & Quasi-War

John Adams

John Adams was President during the time when the XYZ Affair and Quasi-War occurred.

XYZ Affair & Quasi-War

Thomas Jefferson

A rift developed between Adams and Jefferson when they disagreed over American foreign policy and party politics during the Adams presidency.

Welcome to American History Central

American History Central is an online digital encyclopedia. It has been developed as an educational resource for students, teachers, and anyone interested in learning more about the history of America.

New Additions December 2018

June–July 1863

Gettysburg Campaign

Fought during the summer of 1863, the Gettysburg Campaign culminated with the Union Army of the Potomac’s victory over the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3.

June 1863

Battle of Brandy Station

The Battle of Brandy Station, also known as the Battle of Fleetwood Hill, fought June 9, 1863, in Culpeper County, Virginia, was the largest cavalry engagement of the Civil War.

July 1863

Battle of Gettysburg

Often referred to as the turning point in the American Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg was fought in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, from July 1 to July 3, 1863.

July 1863

Battle of Manassas Gap

The Battle of Manassas, also known as the Battle of Wapping Heights, was fought on July 23, 1863, in Warren County, Virginia. It was the last engagement of the Gettysburg Campaign.

Civil War Features


Atlanta Campaign

July 1861

First Battle of Bull Run

Brigadier General Irvin McDowell commanded Union forces during the First Battle of Bull Run.

July 1863

Battle of Gettysburg

A decisive battle of the Civil War, in which the Army of Northern Virginia suffered a devastating loss that turned the tide of the Eastern Theater.

September 1862

Battle of Antietam

The first major battle fought on Northern soil and the single bloodiest day of battle in the Civil War.

Exploring the Founders from the Revolution to the Constitution

We have written biographies on many of the men and women who influenced the ideas and actions that lead to the Colonies declaring their independence from England in 1776 and culminated in the ratification of the Constitution in 1788. Some of our most popular articles are listed below.


George Washington



Benjamin Franklin



Thomas Jefferson



John Adams



Alexander Hamilton



John Jay



James Madison



John Marshall


American Revolution Features

April 1775

Battle of Lexington

June 1775

Battle of Bunker Hill

December 1776

Battle of Trenton


Winter at Valley Forge

Influential Thinkers

Selected biographies of people who influenced the ideals that swept through the Colonies and fueled the American Revolution.

First Lady

Abigail Adams

The letters and memoirs of Abigail Adams are important historical documents. She was the wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams.

Signed the Declaration

Benjamin Rush

Rush was a prominent physician in Colonial America. He was a proponent of women’s rights and abolition of slavery. Rush signed the Declaration of Independence and served in the Continental Army.

Son of Liberty

Samuel Adams


Common Sense

Thomas Paine