British-French WarsThe wars between Great Britain and France beginning in 1793 led to American ships being seized, or taken, by both the British and the French, for violating trade blockades each nation had imposed on the other. This made many American merchants very angry.
During this same time, the British also began stopping American vessels to look for British Navy deserters. When seamen suspected of being deserters were found, they were impressed into the British Navy. But not all of the men taken were British deserters. Thousands of American-born sailors were impressed between 1803 and 1812.