In this Module: Weeks readings Ambassador Michael Oren writes: “Few events in the post-independence period of American History had a more transformational impact on America than the Barbary Wars.” 

Using Oren’s own title template of Power, Faith, and Fantasy, how would you use these terms to describe some aspect of what the US government learned from its Barbary experience?

  • What did the US government learn about Power at this time?
  • Did Faith play any role in its lessons, either Christian faith or Muslim faith as learned from their meeting with leaders like Abd-a-Rahman? [How religious were Adams and Jefferson?]
  • In terms of Fantasy broadly understood, did Americans come away with any wrong ideas about their experience?
  • Finally, students often conclude that after Barbary, Americans no longer compromised their core principles by paying tribute to foreign governments in the Middle East (if not to governments anywhere). Are there other ways in the future that we would learn to compromise American principles or pay tribute to leaders in the Middle East? What might a contemporary version of US tribute look like today?

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