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War of 1812
Transcript of War of 1812
To understand the War of 1812, we must first consider what was going on to the east and to the west of the United States
War of 1812
More and more Americans were settling in the West which caused conflict with the Native Americans were kept losing their land to settlers
By 1812, more and more Americans were calling for war with Britain
The war of 1812 had two main phases. The first phase occurred during 1812-1814 when Britain was largely occupied with the war with France
The second phase of the war began after the British defeated Napoleon in April 1814, freeing their army to focus on North America
Treaty of Ghent
Delegates signed the Treaty of Ghent a couple weeks before the Battle of New Orleans and the treaty showed that there was no clear winner in the war.
To the East
American ships traveled across the Atlantic Ocean to trade with Europe.
England and France were still at war and this affected the U.S. in two ways:
-The British would stop any ships bound for France and vice versa
-Britain also started a policy of impressment, or kidnapping, American sailors to be British sailors
-Between 1803 & 1812 they impressed over 6,000 Americans
-Because of this Jefferson asked Congress to pass an embargo prohibiting trade with France and Britain
-The embargo had little effect on France and Britain, but it greatly hurt American farmers
-The embargo was a key issue in the election of 1808 which James Madison won
Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief, vowed to stop this by uniting Native American tribes. In 1811, while he was recruiting tribes for his alliance, the Shawnee were defeated in the Battle of Tippecanoe causing Tecumseh to side with the British in Canada.
Tecumseh's welcome by the British and the discovery that the Shawnee were used British weapons in the Battle of Tippecanoe increased anti-British feelings in the West
Those who supported war were called war hawks and many of them were from the western part of the country
Those in the Northeast were less eager for war because of business ties with Britain
On June 18, 1812, President James Madison asked Congress to declare war on Britain
The American military was weak at the beginning of the war because Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans cut down the size of the armed forces
During this phase, some battles were fought and American victories did put an end to British threat in the Northwest--and killed Tecumseh who died fighting for the British
In 1814, President Madison and other officials fled Washington, D.C. as British troops marched on the capitol. Madison's wife, Dolley, stayed behind to rescue important objects and barely escaped before the British burned the White House and Capitol building before marching on Fort McHenry at Baltimore
A Washington lawyer named Francis Scott Key was detained on a British ship during the battle and watched the battle all night and saw the flag at Fort McHenry still flying at dawn. He expressed his pride in a poem called "The Star-Spangled Banner"
Another notable battle during this phase was the Battle of New Orleans which made General Andrew Jackson a hero
The war did have three main effects:
heroic feats of men like Jackson increased patriotism
the strength of Native Americans was broken because they sided with the British
when war interrupted trade, Americans were forced to make many of their own goods which encouraged growth of American manufacturing
Anton Otto painting depicting the victory of the USS Constitution over HMS Guerriere in the War of 1812