War of 1812
Causes of the War
The causes of the War of 1812 were the need for land, impressment, British and Native American alliances, and the War Hawks. Each of these contributed in a different aspect. The War Hawks, most notably Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John C. Calhoun, pressed the nation for war. The need for land encouraged Americans to move west regardless of who had the land or wanted it. Squabbles over the land created tensions between the British and the Americans. Britain had already lost the colonies and was desperate for a hold on North America. Impressment often angered the U.S. through the British unfairly imprisoning American sailors looking for British runaways and the French. The sailors who were captured were humiliated by being forced to work on British ships. More often than not, the U.S. was not able to get those sailors returned. Lastly, the British and Native American alliances also helped by the British pushing the Natives into fighting Americans because they were closer and had different strategies to winning a battle. The Natives were already angry their land had been taken, and would have no problem fighting settlers.
War Hero: Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson became known as the hero of the Battle of New Orleans. Before word of the Treaty of Ghent reached the rest of the nation, the British made an advance on New Orleans. Andrew Jackson and the rest of his force made a retaliation and hid behind hay bales to hide from the British and to ensure their gunfire hit the hay, not any of the American soldiers. As the British advanced, they found themselves in the middle of an open field. This made easy targets for Jackson and his troops, and were able to kill hundreds of British soldiers and win a short but vicious battle. The victory made Jackson a known figure in the War of 1812.
Effects of the War
As a result of the war, the economy of the United States was actually boosted. While the nation was at war with Britain, obviously there was no trade between the two countries. Therefore, the U.S. began to build its own factories to process its raw materials. Previously, there was no reason to build up the economy, but the war provided one and motivated people to become self-reliant. More ports, canals, and roads were also constructed to transport goods from location to location. Even a Second Bank of the United States was crafted as the Federalist political party faded away.