The War of 1812
England vs. America Part II
Causes of the War of 1812
First Cause- War Hawks Elected
The War Hawks were Americans who were hungry for a war against Britain. They were angry with Britain for multiple reasons. The south was angered because Britain had damaged their trade with Europe, while the west blamed Britain for the Indian attacks on the frontier. In 1810, there were new "War Hawk" congressmen elected from the South and West.
Second Cause- Impressment
After Britain and France went to war again in 1803, America declared neutrality and wanted to trade with both countries. However, they refused to accept neutrality. Then Britain began capturing American ships and kidnapping their sailors.
Third Cause- Native American Attacks
The Americans decided to move into Indian land, completely violating the Treaty of Greenville. Little did they know that British troops were in western forts and that they had armed Indians with weapons to attack the Americans.
Fourth Cause- Economic Problems
After impressment, Jefferson proposed an embargo to avoid war. The Embargo Act of 1807 was put into action and America stopped all trade with Europe. It was the only way to keep American ships safe and dodge a war with Britain. However, without European trade, the American economy took a nose-dive.
Battles during the War of 1812
Fighting around the Chesapeake Bay
The British navy made their way to the Chesapeake Bay, where they marched soldiers to Washington D.C. Ports were blockaded, coastal communities raided, and supplies were seized by Britain. The American navy attempted to fight back, but their supplies were limited. As the British attack continued, members of the federal government fled, Madison being among those members. The Capitol building and White House were both burned.
Fighting at New Orleans
In this battle, Britain's goal was to capture New Orleans and the Mississippi River to cut off trade. On America's side, Andrew Jackson led the battle with approximately 4,000 troops and defeated the British army, who had double the American troops. Jackson became a national hero and inspired nationalism throughout America.
Effects of the War of 1812
Effect on Economy
In conclusion to the War of 1812, factories grew in America. During the war, foreign trade was cut off, therefore, America had to manufacture their own supplies. Industrialization came about because America depended less on British manufacturing.
Effect on Politics
William Henry Harrison and Andrew Jackson became heroes by the end of the war. Also, the Federalists, who looked down on war, were seen as unpatriotic after the Hartford Convention. The Federalist party then "died out."
Effect on Foreign Relations
America had become a world power and gained international respect. They were seen as a country who could defend themselves and hold their own ground. From then on, America would be seen as one of the most powerful nations on earth.
Effect on Culture
America entered a period of nationalism, known as the "Era of Good Feelings." They turned from Europe and began expanding west. Americans created a unique culture distinctly different from Europe. Patriotism was popularized from that moment on.