Meaning of XYZ AFFAIR in English

(1797–98) Diplomatic incident between the U.S. and France.

Pres. Elbridge Gerry and John Marshall to France to help Charles C. Pinckney negotiate an agreement to protect U.S. shipping from French privateers. Before the three could meet with Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand , they were approached by three of his agents

called X, Y, and Z in diplomatic correspondence to Adams

who suggested a bribe of $250,000 to Talleyrand and a loan of $10 million to France as preconditions for negotiations. Adams rejected the French demands and reported the mission had failed. When he was forced to reveal the correspondence, public outrage was followed by calls for war with France. The {{link=Alien and Sedition Acts">Alien and Sedition Acts were passed to restrict potential French sympathizers. The Convention of 1800 ended a period of undeclared naval warfare between the U.S. and France.

Britannica English dictionary.      Английский словарь Британика.