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Causes and Effects of the War of 1812
Causes and Effects of The War of 1812 The nineteenth century brought major change to The United States turning it from a developing country into a world power. The addition of Alaska, Oregon, Texas, and Florida, the Mexican Cession and The Louisiana Purchase made The United States a world power. The War of 1812 catalyzed this great expansion. There were four main concerns that led to The War of 1812. Maritime and trade issues, the Embargo Act, territorial expansion, and War Hawks. Although they were major concerns, one alone did not start up the war. “On June 18, 1812, the United States declared war against Great Britain.
In what is often called America’s second revolution, the countries were locked in a series of battles for more than two years, which led to few gains on either side. It was one of the most unpopular wars in American history; when its treaty was signed on December 24, 1814, diplomats agreed that the countries should return to the situations they were in before the start of hostilities. ” The troubles with maritime and trade issues on the high seas could have been the biggest concern. As America increased in it’s foreign affairs it began to effect Great Britain and France and their on going quarrel.
So President Jefferson declared The United States a neutral power. However this tactic did not work because Britain felt anyone trading with France was an enemy. So from 1803 until 1812 Britain impressed approximately 10,000 Americans, forcing them to work on British ships. And in 1805 Britain decided in The Essex Case that any American commercial ship traveling between enemy or neutral ports will be seized. When word of this British interference and impressments of sailors came back to America citizens were outraged and anti-British feelings began to rise.
The Embargo Act was signed on December 22,1807 by Congress under President Jefferson. As a result of tension between Great Britain and France and the risk of losing American ships to either side this act was passed to ban all foreign trade. There was talk of amending the Non-Importation Act and The Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin even suggested going into a full out war, but Jefferson failed to see the benefit of a restrictive economic policy like the Non-Importation Act and preferred a peaceful end.
Although it was a noble idea to end the tension with a peaceful means, the act failed to make Great Britain and France respect American rights. The Embargo Act ended up affecting everyone at home more than it did Great Britain or France. The economy of The United States started spiraling downward since the act passed, and the smuggling trade began to increase. “Although it was successful in averting war, news of evasions and other such negative consequences of the Embargo forced Thomas Jefferson and Congress to consider repealing the measure.
The American economy was suffering and the American public opinion was not in support of its continuation. Ultimately, the embargo failed to have a significant effect on the British. Goods still reached Great Britain through illegal shipments; British trade was not suffering as much as the framers of the embargo had intended”. The act only had a major effect at home; making Americans furious Britain would not open up free trade. Britain began to see the increasing tension between themselves and the United States, so British officers in Canada began making friends with Indians residing in the Northwest region of The United States.
It was easy for Britain to befriend the Native Americans because they felt threatened by Americans and their desire to push westward, and take their land. One of the greatest Indian chiefs in North American history, a Shawnee chief, Tecumseh, prepared to protect their land. He began by traveling the Mississippi valley as far south as Tennessee looking for assistance to create an Indian confederacy strong enough to fight the Americans. He enlisted his brother, Prophet, to begin to unite the tribes of the west to fight against Americans.
A disagreement broke out over an American purchase of three million acres of land in Indian Territory. In a battle outside of Prophet’s town of Tippecanoe River, Prophet foolishly decided to attack American militiamen while they were sleeping. The town was torched in the battle that followed, and years of planning and organization was wasted. After this incident in June 1812, Tecumseh and a small company of Native Americans joined the British at Amherstburg. During the war, American’s called for an invasion of Canada mainly because the support the British gave to American Indians.
In the Battle of Thames, Tecumseh died and an American victory is gained. The War Hawks were a number of young representatives voted into the twelfth congress. They were typically people from southern and western states like Henry Clay, Speaker of the House at the time, John Calhoun of Kentucky and Langdon Cheves of South Carolina who spoke in Congress advocating going to war with Great Britain. They believed it was our right to expansion, and declared that a thousand Kentucky riflemen could take on Canada alone. They expected the war to be short, considering the British were in Europe fighting Napoleon.
Although opposed by the Federalist of New York, New Jersey, and most of New England, on June 18, 1812 James Madison declared war on Great Britain. “However the War Hawks had displayed much more energy in talking about war than in planning and preparing for war. At the beginning of hostilities there were about 7,000 men in the regular forces and these were commanded by senior officers who were old, incompetent or lacking in experience. Congress had voted for war, but seemed reluctant to spend the necessary funds upon equipment and supplies.
A bill introduced into Congress with the purpose of increasing the size of the American Navy was turned down by the members. Volunteer soldiers were badly fed and disgracefully clothed. In winter, the unfortunate sentries who patrolled the Canadian-American border shivered and shook on duty because they lacked overcoats. ” Some historians say the war hawks are the ones to blame for the war, because they wanted to wage a war knowing the United States military was inadequate at the time. The war ended December 24,1814 with The Treaty of Ghent. Not a single senator voted against peace.
Although the war did not have much effect at the time, besides gaining land conquered during battle, the effect of the War of 1812 would become grate. After the war, America gained international respect for resisting Great Britain’s control for the second time in less than forty years. Also, marking the last armed conflict between the two countries. Not only did the war prove the United States military, but also it’s army. It gave The United States battle tested leaders, and the opportunity to train servicemen; which proves to be needed to expand by land acquisitions from the Spanish-American and Mexican-American Wars.
The British blockade leading up to the War of 1812 strengthened the United States economy by requiring workers to manufacture most goods normally imported, diminishing foreign dependence. After the federalist did not support the war and were considered traitors for attempting to secede at the Hartford Convention, the party was destroyed. The end to this party marked an era of Good Feeling for the United States, since they did not have to deal with inter-party disputes. “Manifest Destiny”, America’s destiny to p from the Atlantic to the Pacific, would not be possible without the courage and wisdom The War of 1812 gave America.
The military would not have be what it is today without taking off the way it did after the war, or the nationalism Americans felt and have been able to p the difference between the oceans. Many nations saw how The United States struggled but kept holding on throughout the war to come to a peaceful agreement. By showing this, America became a force to be reckoned with and would prove to be a world power. Bibliography “American History Timeline- War of 1812. ” Accessed November 20, 2011. http://americanhistory. about. om/od/warof1812/a/war-of-1812-timeline. htm Dooley, Patricia L. “The Declaration of the War of 1812. ” The Early Republic: Primary Documents on Events from 1799 to 1820. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2004. ABC-CLIO eBook Collection. Web. 27 Nov 2011 “Embargo of 1807,” Accessed November 20, 2011, http://www. monticello. org/site/research-and-collections/embargo-1807. Volo, Dorothy Denneen, James M. Volo. “WAR HAWKS. ” Encyclopedia of the Antebellum South. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2000. ABC-CLIO eBook Collection. Web. 28 Nov 2011. “War of 1812, 1807. Accessed November 20, 2011. http://www. u-s-history. com/pages/h2621. html “War of 1812. ” Accessed November 20, 2011, http://www. warof1812. ca/intro. html “War of 1812: Battle of the Thames. ” Accessed November 20, 2011, http://www. historynet. com/war-of-1812-battle-of-the-thames. htm ——————————————– [ 1 ]. “Embargo of 1807,” accessed November 20,2011, http://www. monticello. org/site/research-and-collections/embargo-1807. [ 2 ]. “War of 1812. ” Accessed November 20, 2011, http://www. warof1812. ca/intro. html