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XYZ Address

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19 minutes

Summary

When John Adams sent three American ambassadors to meet with the French foreign minister, they were met with opposition from three French diplomats who demanded bribes. The Americans refused, and the snub escalated into a full-fledged controversy back in the US. There were talks of war, and Congress demanded to see the diplomats’ report. Adams handed it over, but not before inserting letters X, Y, and Z in place of the names of the Frenchmen involved in the scandal.   

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