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1812- War was the Only Choice

The War of 1812 comes across these days as basically a footnote in US History. At the time, Britain was engaged in a life or death struggle with Napoleon and so acted like the high-handed Empire they were. The impressment issue was huge. On the other hand, many in Congress had designs on Canada which was a bad plan. Napoleon’s first exile was in April, 1814 that that released a significant portion of the British army for service elsewhere. That in turn led to the Battle of New Orleans, of Andrew Jackson fame. The battle actually took place after a peace treaty had been sign between Britain and the US. Napoleon’s second exile took place after the Battle of Waterloo in June, 1815, thus finally ending the Napoleonic Wars. All, that to say, the period and relations with Britain were complex and some historians say the War of !812 was the war that should never have been. Such is history. Great blog.

Practically Historical

National pride had plenty to do with… starting the War of 1812. Britain refused to honor its commitments set down in the original treaty of 1783. Despite reaffirming those pledges in Jay’s Treaty of 1794, Britain continued to deny America the equal station it desired. The Royal Navy provided the greatest obstacle to American sovereignty, impeding America’s lifeblood, commerce. The 1807 attack on the USS Chesapeake in American waters was the most egregious violation in a consistent campaign to cripple our shipping. The trade restrictions laid down in the Orders in Council (blockade of Europe) were the final straw for many Americans.

  1. Neutrality- America wanted to be left alone, and the British were having none of it. The early disputes between Federalists and Jeffersonians over foreign policy matters were rendered moot by ascension of Bonaparte. The Adams administration had deeply strained US/French relations and Jay’s Treaty had failed badly. The…

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