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Arriving from Jamaica following a British education, Alexander James Dallas settled in Philadelphia in 1783, the year of the Peace of Paris which ended the War of Independence. Dallas wrote much about law, becoming the first recorder of cases before the US Supreme Court. He later served as Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and federal district attorney for Eastern Pennsylvania, appointed by President Jefferson. He was also appointed Secretary of Treasury by President Madison. Dallas wrote An Exposition of the Causes and Character of the War as part of an effort by the US government to explain and justify its declaration of war in 1812. However, the publication coincided with the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the war. The Exposition is especially interesting for the insight it provides on the foreign policy of the early Republic and the related philosophy of law and war. A central idea is that international law should chiefly benefit those remaining at peace. In this book, the original text of the Exposition is presented with annotations to help identify persons and events of interest. The editor has also added an Introduction, a bibliography, a short chronology of Dallas' life and the events of the war, and an analytical Index. As such, this annotated edition will be a key research source for students and scholars of the early Republic and of the development of American philosophy and early international relations.