The United States were trying to trade with the French and the British at the same time, gut the French and British were in a war agianst each other.The United States
Okay, so we must keep our trading system up with the French and British.
Since the French and British were in the middle of a war, they didn't want the Americans trading with the other countyr becuase they thought they were favoring the other country.
YOU WILL DIE FIRST!!!
After a bit of time, the British started getting really worried abotu the Americans and started capturing their ships out at sea.
All of your ships belong to me now.
OH NO. PLEASE GIVE THEM BACK!!
.In 1797, the French started seizing American ships because they felt that Jay's Treaty favored the British, even though they made the treaty to compromise with both conntries.
You are favoring the British!! We are going to take all of your ships.
The French foreign minister sent 3 men, referred to as X, Y, and Z, to try and make the Americans pay 250k for the minister and 10M for France.
Pay us 10 million for France and 250 thousand for the minister.
I WILL DO NO SUCH THING!!!!!
After the XYZ Affair , Americans quickly adopted the saying, "Millions for the defense, but not one cent for the tribute!" Which means that they would spend all their money on the defense of America, but they would pay nothing for a bribe.
MILLIONS FOR THE DEFENSE, BUT NOT ONE CENT FOR THE TRIBUTE.
No, no, no. I'm sure we can work something out soon enough.