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Reasons For The War Of 1812 History Essay

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The British interference with the American trade gave rise to the war of 1812. The European war between France and Britain made United States try to maintain its sovereignty and neutrality. The French and the British were using economic strangulation in defeating each other. In 1803, Britain barricaded the French possessions in Europe. The American ships always sailed by the American ports in evading the British trade prohibition between France and its colonies.2 the trade restrictions made the United States to wage war against the British to remove the trade prohibition.

The main reason was the impressment of American soldiers by the British. Impressment entailed the kidnapping of United States sailors. The British officials boarded the American vessels and ships taking the one who they were pleased with. This started when the British soldiers docked their ships in America. The British marine officers, apparently being faced with manpower problems, they illegally impressed the United States citizens. The United States considered the act as an insult to American sovereignty. The Americans also believed that any state that permitted the enslavement and seizure of its citizens was not fully independent.

The attack on by the British by the American ship "Chesapeake" other cause of 1812 war. The British ship, "Leopard" attacked the American ship since the captain did not allow the British soldiers to seek the deserters.3 Three American soldiers were killed during the incidence. This unbearable occurrence pressed the Americans over the edge. Following the Chesapeake event, the British in Canada recognized the potential hostilities. The British insured their friendship with the Indians to the Northwest. The United States perceived this to be the renewal of the Indian warfare as the British backed the Indians. The situation gained considerable attention Washington. The relations between America and Britain worsened further.

The British had compensated the Indians to assault the Americans. This was another chief cause of the war of 1812. William Harrison discovered that for years, the British government had been paying the Indians in attacking the Americans. After a fierce battle with the Indians, William and his men noted that the Indians were using British gunpowder and guns. When the Americans confronted the British on this matter, England denied having any contact with the Indians. Although the Indians lost the Tippecanoe Battle, they constantly raided and terrorized the American settlements. According to Adams, the Americans discerned that England was arming and persuading the Indians to attack them. 4 The only way for the Americans to stay safe was to drive the British citizens from Canada and also annex the Canada province to be an American territory. The war proved disastrous to the Indians in their capacity of resisting against white settlement and expansion in America.

The War of 1812

The American Revolution brought a bitter tension between Britain and the United States. This detestation among the two nations was acted out when the United States President Madison declared a state of war with Britain. The Unites States had the strong will of expansion; it was exhausted with the harassment on the seas by the British and the pride of not letting Britain get away with all the oppression.

The engagement of the war of 1812 was in three main scenes. At first the war was at sea. The Warships from both sides assaulted the merchant ships. The British cordoned the United States Atlantic coast and conducted raids to the United States. Secondly, the land and the marine battles happened at the Canadian and American frontier. Thirdly, the Gulf Coast and the American also experienced significant land battles during the war. The American forces routed the Britain's Indian cronies and repulsed an imminent invasion by the British forces targeting New Orleans.5

The United States in June 1812 declared war on the Great Britain. The declaration of war was the consequence of twenty years of turbulent relations between United States and Britain. The war found the British by surprise, and many Americans were worried about the war and its consequences. The United States had always maintained precautious neutrality throughout the successive government since 1789. The impending risks in shifting the policies and solving the existing accusation against the Briton using force were numerous. In an attempt to avert events that might lead America engaging in a battle, Jefferson had passed an Embargo in the year 1807.6 The embargo created a depression all over the nation. The American Congress later in 1809 passed the Non Intercourse Act. The act opened trade in every country except France and England. Napoleon was in agreement to the terms, and he persuaded United States to restore the Embargo against Britain. The efforts of Napoleon succeeded when England failed in repealing a barricade on Europe in due time. This made the tension between America and Great Britain to grow beyond peace.

During the summer in 1812, all was set for a battle. The British soldiers had just conquered the French, and full attention was directed to the developing situation in America. The Indian warriors prolonged their terrorism to the Americans. The American soldiers were now prepared to invade Canada starting from Detroit. The both sides of the Americans and British invaded the territories, but these incursions were temporary or unsuccessful. After the 1812 war, the Americans and Britons both occupied portions of each other's land.7 these lands were restored later using the Ghent Treaty.

The strong soldiers from the British navy counter attacked the American soldiers who had managed a single victory when the invaded Canada. The American success only weakened the Indians to the North, and this did not create any new territories. The Americans successful contained the Indians to the south, although they lacked in numbers to win the war. The British soldiers for the meantime defeated the American forces guarding the capital of United States. The British forces set Washington on fire and then marched to the bay of Baltimore. At Baltimore they met American forces at Fort McHenry where they battled for the whole night. This is the battle in which America received the valuable possession of any battle: The Star Spangled Banner. 8

The Americans forces resisted the British soldiers in New York, Baltimore and in the New Orleans. In New Orleans, the war was preventable as America and England had signed a peace pact few weeks before the war. On the Eve of Christmas in 1814 the war ended. Willig suggests the Americans finally gave the demands they had the British rejection of impressments.9 America also gave up its demand of ceding Canada to the America. The war proved disastrous to the Indians in their capacity of resisting against white settlement and expansion in America. The two year war ended after the signing of Ghent Treaty. The war did not achieve the concerns that were being fought over between the United States and Britain.

Conclusion

The War of 1812 ended in 1814 after over two years of a fierce battle. The war was in a stalemate with both sides counting the losses. The war was a momentous event in United States as it established a nation with sovereignty, identity and able to defend itself in any war. The 1812 war placidly favored the Americans. The British forces and government no longer had the reasons of interfering with trade in America as they were defeated by the French forces. The Indians who were the greatest stumbling block to the white settlement and expansion were not a threat anymore. The war of 1812 made the Americans feel safer in settling to the west.

Notes

Langguth, A. Union 1812: The Americans who fought the Second War of Independence. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006), 154.

Adams, Henry. History of the United States of America during the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. (New York: Library of America Press, 1891), 67.

Horsman, Reginald. The Causes of the War of 1812. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1962), 454.

Black, Jeremy. America as a Military Power: From the American Revolution to the Civil War. 2nd ed. (New York: Connecticut Press, 2002), 221.

Langguth, A. Union 1812: The Americans who fought the Second War of Independence. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006), 154.

Willig, Timothy. Restoring the Chain of Friendship: British Policy and the Indians of the Great Lakes, 1783-1815. (London: University of Nebraska Press, 2008), 29.

Black, Jeremy. America as a Military Power: From the American Revolution to the Civil War. 2nd ed. (New York: Connecticut Press, 2002), 341.

Horsman, Reginald. The Causes of the War of 1812. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1962), 231.

Willig, Timothy. Restoring the Chain of Friendship: British Policy and the Indians of the Great Lakes, 1783-1815. (London: University of Nebraska Press, 2008), 209.


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