After contentious nomination within own Republican Party, James Madison elected fourth president of United States. George Clinton, who openly opposes him, is vice president.
Just before Madison takes office, Embargo Act repealed as failure. Madison remains preoccupied with maritime and trade disputes with both France and Great Britain as well as longstanding quarrel with Spain over American claims to Gulf Coast, especially West Florida.
In effort to ease tensions, France repeals commercial restrictions on trade. Continuing crisis with Great Britain shows no signs of easing; trade restrictions remain. Madison announces annexation of West Florida, consolidating American control of Gulf of Mexico.
Unable to reach compromise with Great Britain, Madison asks Congress to mobilize American forces for defense of the country.