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The War of 1812

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Rob Keahey

on 1 February 2016

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Transcript of The War of 1812

The War of 1812
Causes of the war
Conflict was continually escalating between France and Britain as they fought for supremacy of Europe.

The United States was actively trading with both countries, but Britain was trying to disrupt American shipping to France by both legal and illegal means.

Efforts to remain neutral started under Jefferson...
Causes of the war
Jefferson pushed the
Embargo Act
through Congress in 1807 and banned the American importation and exportation of goods. The intention was to force both Britain and France into respecting American shipping rights. It failed, and had a significantly negative impact on the American economy.

The Embargo was repealed in 1809 and replaced with the
Non-Intercourse Act
, which lifted trade bans, except to Britain and France.
Causes of the war
The Non-Intercourse Act was also a failure, having had little effect on European policy or revitalization of American Trade.

Macon's Bill No. 2
was passed in 1810, and outlined a provision to lift trade restrictions on either country who respected American shipping.

Napoleon seized the opportunity and peaceful trade with France resumed.
Causes of the war
Angered by this, Britain began the practice of
, which was essentially the capture of American ships and the abduction of their crews, who were then forced to serve in the Royal Navy.

Which was not a whole lot of fun at the time.
Causes of the war

American expansion into the Northwest Territory was provoking raids by native tribes in the region.

Britain had ceded the land to the U.S. after the revolution but wanted to discourage American expansion into the territory.
Causes of the war
Britain had considerable interests in the west, primarily fur trapping and trading.

They intended to use the Northwest Territory as a "buffer zone" between them and the United States

To accomplish this, they armed the native tribes of the territory.

This was only to gain a military ally...

Causes of the war
... however, native tribes quickly organized under the leadership of the Shawnee indians Tecumseh and the Prophet, and used the weapons the British had supplied to resist American encroachment.
Causes of the war
Tecumseh was the leader of a large Shawnee Confederacy, and discouraged tribal cooperation with the United States, going so far as to threaten to kill tribal chiefs who did not follow his lead. He had been in a series of armed conflicts with the U.S., known as Tecumseh's War.
Causes of the War
Tecumseh's brother, Tenskwatawa, known as the Prophet, was a significant Shawnee spiritual leader. He urged native tribes to return to the traditional values, rejecting European food, clothing, manufactured goods, and alcohol. The brothers organized themselves at Prophetstown in present day Indiana
Causes of the War
The Battle of Tippecanoe
With a force of about 1,000 men, Gen. William Henry Harrison, Governor of the Indiana Territory, marched toward Prophetstown on November 6th, 1811. Harrison intended to meet with the Prophet the following morning, but was taken by surprise at his encampment by the Tippecanoe River. Harrison's troops resisted and eventually repulsed the Shawnee, then moved into and burned Prophetstown. Harrison would use the fame he attained after this victory to win the presidency in 1840.
Causes of the war
Amid rising tension with the British and Native population, a group of pro-war congressmen, called the
War Hawks
, began to press Madison for a declaration of war against the British. War Hawks were Democratic-Republicans primarily from the western and southern U.S. They were led by Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun
Henry Clay (KY)
John C. Calhoun (SC)
Causes of the war
The War Hawks advocated for the invasion of British Canada.

Historians accept two possibilities for the adoption of this policy: the first being American expansionism, the need to acquire more land. The second being the use of British Canada as a bargaining tool against the Britain's interference in American shipping.

It would dictate much of American strategy early in the war.
The War
Congress issued a formal declaration of war against Great Britain on June 18th, 1812
The War
Fighting started in July of 1812 when General William Hull launched an invasion of Canada from Ft. Detroit. The invasion attempt was unsuccessful and Hull is forced to retreat back to Detroit, surrendering the Fort in August.
The War
In an effort to regain Detroit and launch another invasion attempt, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry defeated a British fleet at the
Battle of Lake Erie
on September 10th, 1813.
Perry's victory on Lake Erie secured the Ohio River Valley and allowed William Henry Harrison to retake Detroit and launch another offensive into Canada
The War
Harrison engaged British and Shawnee forces at the
Battle of the Thames
on October 5th, 1813. Harrison was victorious and Shawnee leader Tecumseh was killed, weakening the native tribe's role in the war. American's would again be victorious at York (present day Toronto), but lack of coordination and communication however, would ultimately result in the failure of the American's effort to take any sizable territory in Canada.
The War
The Creek War was fought in the south and considered to be part of the War of 1812 because several factions of Creek Indians allied with the British and had been encouraged to resist the U.S. by Tecumseh.

Andrew Jackson was sent to the Mississippi Territory (present day Alabama), to remove the native population ahead of American settlement.
The War
Jackson, along with his Creek, Cherokee, and Choctaw allies, engaged the Red Stick Creek at
Battle of Horseshoe Bend
(of the Tallapoosa River) on March 27th, 1814.

Jackson and his allies inflicted heavy casualties on the Red Stick Creek. After his victory, he essentially turned on his former allies and forced the Creek to cede 23 million acres of their land to the United States. Jackson received a promotion to Major General for actions in the Creek War.

The War
The British defeated Napoleon in the spring of 1814, allowing them to turn the full attention to the war against the United States.

They took a more aggressive posture, looking to take the ports of New York, Baltimore and New Orleans
The War
Because Baltimore was the primary British target, American defense of the Chesapeake Bay was concentrated on the port, which allowed the British to march into Washington, D.C.
The War
On August 24th, the British marched into Washington, D.C., and burned much of the city including the President's Mansion (The White House) and the Capitol.
The War
From Washington, the British continued their March toward Baltimore, accompanied by a British flotilla moving up the Chesapeake bay to both bombard the city and land additional troops.

The attack on Baltimore began on September 12th, 1814

Americans had taken extra steps to fortify the city and ground troops were unable to enter.
The War

Ft. McHenry withstood 27 hours of bombardment by the British fleet.
The War
Francis Scott Key, a lawyer from Baltimore, was aboard a British ship negotiating a prisoner exchange. He watched the bombardment of Ft. McHenry from the HMS Tonnant. At dawn, Key was able to see the American flag still waving over the Fort, and wrote the poem, "The Defence of Fort M'Henry" which would eventually become "The Star-Spangled Banner."
The War
Also in September of 1814, American forces defeated the British at the Battle of Plattsburgh, on Lake Champlain in upstate New York.

This defeat ended the British invasion of New York and put a stop to the British invasion of the Northern States.
The War
Having defeated Napoleon, Britain no longer had any need to continue the practice of impressment. They no longer needed sailors to fight the war in Europe and had nothing to gain from continuing to disrupt American trade.

After the defeats at Baltimore and Plattsburgh, the British no longer had the desire to engage in prolonged warfare with the United States, and sought to negotiate an end to the war.
The War
Representatives from both sides met in Ghent, Flanders (now Belgium) to begin negotiations. An agreement was reached on the basis of
status quo antebellum
, meaning "pre-war conditions."

Treaty of Ghent
stated that any territory that either side had gained would be surrendered, and the treaty did nothing to address the issue of American shipping, one of the primary reasons the war had started in the first place.

The Treaty was signed on December 24, 1814, and put and end to the war.
The War
Unfortunately, not everyone got the message.

From December 24, 1814, through January 18th, 1815, a serious of battles were fought as the British continued their push toward the city of New Orleans.
The War
Andrew Jackson, outnumbered by a margin of about 5 to 1, took up defense of the city. The bulk of the fighting in
The Battle of New Orleans
occurred on January 8th, 1815. Jackson was able to repulse the British attack. Jackson's forces suffered only 300 casualties, compared to the 2,400 of the British.
The Effects of The war
As the Battle of New Orleans was fought in the south, a group of Federalists from New England met secretly in Hartford, Connecticut.

Federalists strongly opposed the war and met to outline their platform. They argued for less federal regulation of business, removal of the 3/5 compromise from the Constitution and requirement a 2/3 majority congressional vote to enact trade embargoes or declare war.

Some radicals even proposed secession.
The effects of the war
The Federalists made the proceedings of the
Hartford Convention
public just as Jackson was claiming victory at New Orleans.

Their opposition to the war made them seem unpatriotic amid the patriotism that was spreading across the country.

The Federalists became increasingly unpopular and by 1820, failed to field a Federalist candidate for president. The party completely ceased to exist by 1824.
The effects of the war
Feelings of patriotism spread and led to a sense of
, a new national identity, that Americans had not previously felt.

Americans had fought against one of the world's superpowers, and won.

Many have referred to the War of 1812 as the "Second War for Independence." The country's sovereignty was permanently established.

The effects of the war
As a result of the embargoes and the British disruption of international trade, the manufacturing capacity of the United States increased dramatically.

Shortages of cotton cloth led to the emergence of the textile industry in the northeast.

The increased manufacture of textiles, along with the invention of the cotton gin in 1793, reinvigorated slavery in the south, as cotton had now become a viable cash crop.
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