In 1801, the young United States had just signed the Convention of 1800 in September which brought an end to the Quasi-War. The Quasi-War was a largely maritime conflict in which French ships seized an estimated 2,000 US merchant ships in the Caribbean. Fighting began in 1798 when the US refused to pay for their debt from the Revolutionary War after the mistreatment of US envoys in France, an episode known as the XYZ Affair. The US felt further justified in its decision on the grounds that the debt was to the ousted regime and not the one that took its place. What followed were French Naval operations in the Caribbean, state-sponsored privateering by both parties and the rebirth of the US Navy to deal with the conflict. Had the debt to France remained, this 1801 half dime could have been sent across the Atlantic as part of the $2 million owed.