The War of 1812

By : Alex Meneses

Causes of the War of 1812

1. Impressment

In the early 1800s, the British and French were still at war. Many British soldiers began to desert the British army, and the British government was getting very angry. They thought their men were escaping on American ships, so they began to stop the American ships to look for their escaped soldiers. They usually did not find their soldiers, so instead, they began to take American sailors with them. This is called impressment. The British kidnapped American sailors from their ships and forced them to become soldiers, and fight with the British, against their home country.


2. More Land

The War Hawks had their eyes on expanding west and taking Canada from the British and saw that as an opportunity for going to war with them, and solve other problems they had with them. The Americans thought it would be easy to get the Canadians on their side, then take their land from the British, but that didn't happen. The Canadians didn't take side with the Americans, nor did they like them, they saw them as enemies. Because of this, during the war, the Americans burned down York, which is present day Toronto. This infuriated the people in Canada, and they burned down the White House 2 years later.


3. War Hawks

Even though many Americans didn't want to interfere with the war, but a group of men who called themselves "War Hawks" were anxious to go back to war with the British. Their leader was named John C. Calhoun. Henry Clay and Daniel Webster were also important and popular War Hawks. These men were always pushing on going to war with the British. They had their eyes on Canada and wanted to expand west, so they saw war as a good opportunity to claim more land. They persuaded more and more people to want war, and eventually persuaded James Madison. Even though Madison didn't want to go to war, he declared war on the British in June or 1812.

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Dolley Madison

Dolley Madison was the wife of the former president, James Madison. Dolley and James Madison had 2 kids, one daughter and one son. She was known for her social graces and hospitality, which made her husband very popular among the public. During the War of 1812, the Americans burned down York, which is present day Toronto, Canada. The British were very angry and wanted revenge on America. In August 1814, British troops marched into Washington, D.C. and burned down the White House. Dolley and James Madison were among the last to leave the White House and tried to save what they could. Dolley managed to save a portrait of the first president, George Washington. Because of this, she became known as a national heroine.

Effects of the War of 1812

1. Increased Patriotism

The British military was one of the strongest in the world during the War of 1812. They had a large army, and they had many warships and a big navy. Thomas Jefferson had significantly decreased the size of the military during his presidency, so the United States had only about 36 warships and a small military made of many volunteers. Throughout the war, many militia men volunteered to help the army. This made the American military be made up of men of many different professions, such as farmers, merchants, and manufacturers. Even though the US had a small military made of men who were most likely not trained to battle, they managed to hold their own against the British and maintain their independence. This sparked a strong devotion and love for their country, which they didn't have before the war.


2.Weakened Native American Resistance

During the War of 1812, the British had formed an alliance with the Native Americans because they had a common enemy - the Americans. The Native Americans have been very angry because the Americans have been expanding west, and taking the land that belongs to the Native American tribes. The British knew the Native Americans disliked the Americans, so during the war, they agreed to help each other. After they war was over, the British left the Native Americans to fend for themselves, but their one of their leaders, Tecumseh, was killed in battle. Without the help of the powerful British and their leader, they had no power to get their land back. Therefore, there were less and less Native Americans who tried to attack the Americans for their land, and there was less resistance.


3.US Manufacturing Grew

Before the war, not many countries saw the United States as a country worth trading with because they are still a young country, and don't have a steady economy. The US had mostly been trading with countries in the Caribbean, Northern Africa, and a few countries in Europe. The was was very popular around the world, and everybody knew the British were very powerful and had a very good military. After the war ended, other countries saw America as a strong nation and began to trade with them. Many jobs as sailors reopened, so there wasn't munch unemployment

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